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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Fresno Student Balances Military Career And School

December 18, 2012

John Tucker was looking SJVC Industrial Technology Student John Tucker to further his military career with an electrical training program when he stumbled upon SJVC’s Industrial Technology (IT) certificate program while browsing online.

“I thought this would be a better choice for me – something more recession-proof,” says John.

John was back from 9-months in Iraq and working part-time at the military’s Flight Operations center in Fresno when he enrolled last July. With 7-years already under his belt as a member of the Army’s 1106th TASMG, he wanted specialized training to enhance his 20-year commitment to the military.

“I didn’t know what I was getting into when I first started the IT program,” says John. But, he knew right away that the scope of the program’s training would give him an advantage wherever he went.

Many aspects of the IT program appealed to John. “I like how hands-on it is and how cohesive it is between students and our teacher,” he says. “We can have a lot of fun and still get done what we need to accomplish.”

“A lot of employers want 3-5 years experience,” he says. “But, I’ll get my foot in the door because many of them have already hired SJVC graduates in the past and are confident in what we know and can do,” he says. He has his eyes on local industrial companies and agriculture processing plants in the area.

John’s military training has helped him to focus on his goals. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and manages to balance his military commitment with civilian life. The National Guard requires him to drill one weekend each month and two weeks each year.

John’s car is in the shop right now, but he has been pretty pragmatic about that too. He rides his bike to morning classes four days a week and hopes to miss the spurts of rain.

He accepts whatever comes his way with a determination to push through. Three year-old Zavier and one year-old Holly have a champion in their dad.

“I just want to thrive and get a well-paying job to take care of my kids,” says John.

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