Katie Colligan is no stranger to cars, her father has been an automotive technician for over 30 years, and she followed him into the family business. “The idea of following in my dad’s footsteps really jumped out to me so when I started looking at college I knew I wanted to get a degree in Automotive Technology and hopefully one day be as successful as him.” Katie was actually enrolled in a different technical college before she even heard of Vermont Tech. A family member lives nearby and encouraged her to take a tour. During her visit she got to see the Randolph Center campus, the automotive facility, and met the automotive program Director, Robert Palmer. “He reminded me a lot of my high school automotive instructor which drew me into the program and then the idea of living on a college campus got me hooked.”
Katie was still torn between her two college choices, but that changed when she went to take a placement test for the other college. She says “I went back to take my test and asked if I could stop by and talk with my professor after just to get a little more acquainted with the school, and to my disbelief I was told, ‘no, that’s not something we do’. In that moment I knew Vermont Tech would be my home for the next 4 years. I knew I wanted a school that I could connect with my teachers have them actually know who I was not just a face in the crowd. The environment VTC builds was definitely the biggest factor in deciding to come here.” Learn more about out student to class ratio.
Katie graduated in 2016 with her Associates in Automotive Technology and in 2018 with her Associates in Diesel Power Technology and Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship +2 Program; which taught her business, accounting, and marketing skills that she will need to run her own shop. Katie said, “I think the most important memory from my time Vermont Tech was my first graduation from Automotive Technology (in 2016). This was such an amazing experience from me.” Katie graduated Magna Cum Laude and noted, “I think this was a huge moment for me because it’s not every day you see a female in this field so to be at the top made a huge impact on me. I think there’s a lot of girls out there who are scared to follow their dreams because of the judgment that can go on with it, I want to be part of the movement to break down those barriers and open up this field to women. I try and check in with the females in auto and diesel every year to see how their doing, I know how hard it can be being the only female in your program and I just want to see them succeed the way I did.”
Now, Katie works as a Assistant Parts Manager at First Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. When she isn’t working on her ’94 Dodge Ram, Katie loves to be outdoors; kayaking, fishing, and hiking are all possible.
She was also the President of the VTC Auto Club, Vice President of the VTC Diesel Club, Secretary of Student Council, and a 3rd year RA on campus (Learn more about VTC Student Life). She urges new students to get involved on campus, “There are so many different types of clubs on campus whether it be sports, vehicles, games, science, or something based on your major find a club you enjoy or start one yourself! Take risks, college is a time to find out things about yourself you might not already know, don’t be scared to try new things!”