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Graduate Stories

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Terrence Strazdon's Education at UTI Exton Leads to a Career at Lexus

"Going with a trade is a sure bet. Whatever the trade, even if you’re a carpenter or a plumber, there’s always a need for what you do. Almost everybody owns a car and is always going to need a skilled and knowledgeable tech to keep things running."


A four-year university education is not for everyone. There is more than just one path to reach career success. The world needs students pursuing skilled trades just as it needs students pursuing business majors. Our economy depends on the skill of tradespeople to keep it moving along. A livelihood should be chosen based on doing what one enjoys and excels at, not on what everyone else is doing simply because, it’s more common.

For Terrence Strazdon, he knew right after graduation that his career path wasn’t going to wind through the halls of academia but rather go straight to the trades. He didn’t want to waste any time where he didn’t want to be. He wanted the express route to his future.

His interest in automobiles started at an early age. While growing up his dad always had a few project cars around. Terrence would watch his dad work and even got to jump in to tighten a bolt or turn a screwdriver on occasion. He kept these moments close to him and found his career inspiration in the time under the hood with his father.

"Going to a trade school just made sense for what I wanted to do in life."

And after graduation, with the full support from both of his parents, happy to see their son pursuing what excited him, Terrence enrolled at Universal Technical Institute’s Exton, PA campus.

“Going with a trade is a sure bet. Whatever the trade, even if you’re a carpenter or a plumber, there’s always a need for what you do. Almost everybody owns a car and is always going to need a skilled and knowledgeable tech to keep things running.”

At UTI Terrence studied automotive and diesel technology. He would then refine his focus on Toyota and its higher-end brand Lexus.

“It’s been a worthwhile investment, I had little confidence when I first started out, just because I didn’t have the experience. Now knowing what I do and having confidence in my abilities, it was money well spent.”

After graduating from UTI, Terrence had a few opportunities come his way. Luckily, he landed his first job just a mere 25 miles from his home.

“I got a couple calls from different dealerships after graduating. And UTI’s employment services helped me with referrals by giving me information about dealers in my area and what they were doing. Lexus of Edison really stood out so I gave them a call.”

This phone call led him to where he is now today -- in the role of service technician at Lexus of Edison. The investment of his time and money at UTI helped him develop the skills he needed for this job. And his focus on Toyota helped prepare him for what he does every day. He knows the issues and intricacies of these vehicles. He has the confidence in his abilities to get the job done right. This confidence, he feels, is what the hiring manager saw in him and he thinks that this may have given him an advantage over the other people who applied for the same position.

“This industry has a lot of opportunity. There’s a lot of places you can go, you can go anywhere and work on anything. Between the conventional cars we have now to the future of self-driving cars there is opportunity everywhere.”

Neither Terrence, nor his parents, second-guessed what opportunities he should pursue. He wanted to get into the automotive industry, and he became a technician doing what he loves. What moves and inspires you? Your career path may be right there in front of you. And it’s up to you to take the first step forward.


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