UTI Grad Goes From Community College to Porsche Technician

Nov 20, 2020 ·

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UTI graduate Thane Molne always had a passion for cars and motorsports, but he didn’t initially consider applying these interests to a career. His pursuit of higher education started with community college and a focus on medical science, but it didn’t turn out to be a field he enjoyed.

Thane dropped the classes shortly after enrolling. He held several different jobs, ranging from camp counselor to short-order cook, before eventually taking the path that led him to his role as a service technician for Porsche.5

Read more of Thane’s story and how he was able to take steps to end up with a job he truly enjoys.

An Early Interest in the Industry

With a dad who went to tech school in the 1990s and who worked in trade mechanics, Thane developed an early love for the automotive industry. It wasn’t a career path he really considered, however, until driving by UTI’s campus in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Thane started fixing up cars with his ’92 Chevy Camaro. He worked at an auto shop for six months before deciding to enroll at UTI. A few people he worked with had attended UTI, which helped the initial thought become more of a reality.

The only thing standing in the way of pursuing a degree at UTI was figuring out how to pay for schooling. Fortunately, Thane was able to research some scholarships and funding options and was able to get financial aid to support some of the costs of attending.10

Taking His Future Seriously

Thane enrolled in the Automotive Technology program at UTI and commuted from Big Bear to the campus in Rancho Cucamonga, and he eventually moved to be closer to school. He set goals for himself in the beginning, one of them being to become certified.

Right before graduation, Thane was able to put what he had studied into practice when he helped one of his friends fix his transmission. “[We] worked on it until we fixed it. OSHA might not have approved of everything we did,” he laughs, adding, “but it felt good to put what I learned in class to work.”

Completing the program took hard work and dedication, but Thane saw it as an investment for the future. “It’s important to make it worth it. Be top of the class,” he advises. The time at school paid off when he was able to graduate with transferable experience.

Making a Difference During Uncertain Times

While attending classes, Thane worked at an AutoZone, then made his way to a Ford dealership as a tech, and eventually landed a job at a Mercedes-Benz specialist shop. After graduation, Thane was accepted into UTI’s Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP) at Porsche North America Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.15

While taking courses, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and affected the way all students learned moving forward. Online training was implemented, and Thane was still able to attend labs in person thanks to rigorous safety precautions. He now works as a technician at the Rusnak/Pasadena Porsche dealership.

There are a lot of positives about the job for Thane, including the fact that there is something different about each day. The problem-solving aspects that come with the work make it interesting. “It’s a path that feeds your family and keeps you learning,” he emphasizes.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought uncertainty to the world, including the job market. However, Thane has been able to keep working thanks to his status as an essential worker.

“There’s a big benefit to having job security … the streets are always going to be busy, and I’m happy to help people get from point A to point B by caring for their car issues,” Thane states. “Especially if those issues are related to driving the world’s finest sports cars.”

Thane is grateful for the education he received at UTI and credits it to his success in the workforce, stating that without the training and certification he earned, he couldn’t have landed a job.6

Reaching Goals and Setting New Ones

One of the biggest accomplishments for Thane was making it into the Porsche program. As far as goals for the future, Thane wants to climb the ranks and go from Bronze Trainee to Bronze Certified. Top-level certification is a huge priority, which means becoming Gold Certified. His favorite quote from the character Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson in the novel Contact Harvest sums up his attitude:

“I have committed myself to a life of service and sacrifice. I have set for myself the highest standards of personal conduct and professional skill.”

It’s safe to say that given Thane’s determination, hard work and passion for his career, he’s on the right path to reaching his goals.

Prepare for a Career as an Automotive Tech at UTI

Do you have the same drive and passion that Thane has for the auto industry? Want to train and prepare for a career as an automotive technician? Learn more about how you can train for an entry-level career in the industry1 in less than year7 by visiting our website or requesting more information today.

With classes starting every 3-6 weeks, no need to wait to start your career.
Hands-on training. Get hands on experience with the industry's leading brands.
No Pressure to commit. Get answers to your questions without any obligations.
Request More Info Or Call Now 800.834.7308

1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

5) UTI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a technician, such as: parts associate, service writer, fabricator, paint and paint prep, and shop owner/operator. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

6) UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

10) Financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.

15) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation. Programs available at select locations.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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