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Graduate Stories

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Why UTI Avondale Grad Brandon Davis Believes His Education Was Important

"My education at UTI means everything right now. Without my education, I wouldn’t be working here at Freightliner. I would be working in a warehouse if it wasn’t for UTI."


In the years following his graduation from high school, Brandon Davis found himself working in a dead-end job with no other career prospects. This wasn’t the life he imagined for himself. He had goals once, but somewhere along the way he lost track of them.

As Davis struggled to find a way out of his situation, he reflected on the example set by his hardworking father who spent 30 years on the road as a truck driver. Brandon remembered how fascinated he was by the enormous machines his dad drove.

“I always told him I wanted to fix his trucks one day,” Davis said. “I lost sight of that goal and one day I was going through a hard time and I see a UTI commercial on TV.”

What could have been brushed off as a childhood promise became an actual goal for Brandon once he discovered UTI. He enrolled in the Diesel Technology Program and relocated from Columbus, Ohio, to UTI’s Avondale, Arizona, campus.

“During my time at school there were plenty of times I wanted to give up and just go back home,” Davis recalled.

He had no prior automotive knowledge or experience, and one of his biggest challenges was feeling outpaced by his peers who had been working on vehicles for years prior enrolling at UTI.

One of Davis’ instructors, Mr. Galliardo (or as the students often call him, “Mr. G”), noticed that he was at a disadvantage, but he promised Davis that he would catch up quickly if he applied himself.

“Mr. G was just like me. He didn’t have any prior experiences before pursuing his career. It felt like he tried harder to make it easier for me to transition in to the real world. He gave me a lot of exclusive insight about what I would expect in the shop,” Davis said.

The one-on-one instruction Davis received from “Mr. G” helped get him master the fundamentals of diesel technology, and qualified him to enroll the Finish First program.

Finish First is a partner program with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). Over the course of 12-weeks, UTI diesel technology students get hands-on training with the biggest brands in the trucking industry. This exclusive program also opens students up to exciting career opportunities with the industry’s most respected companies.

Davis made it his goal to get an offer from Freightliner by the time he completed the Finish First program. By working with UTI’s employment office, he was able to secure interviews and eventually received an offer at Freightliner of Arizona.

Even though he had all the technical training, Davis wasn’t immediately put to work fixing diesel trucks. His first position was in fixing and acquiring parts for the trucks. This frustrated him at first, but he saw the wisdom in it when he finally started as a diesel technician. With a solid knowledge of the Freightliner parts and processes, he was much more efficient and valuable. 

“My education at UTI means everything right now. Without my education, I wouldn’t be working here at Freightliner. I would be working in a warehouse if it wasn’t for UTI,” Davis said. “For someone that wants to pursue this goal…don’t allow negativity steer you away from doing what you actually want to do. I put my life on hold to learn what I wanted to, and it worked out in the long run.”


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