Mike Smith

Mike never considered himself a traditional student.

“I was never exclusively a student,” he says. “I was working full time while I was at Vermont Tech.”

Yes, he had a job but wanted a more fulfilling career.

“I knew I needed a degree… I needed to be ready.”

Mike managed to maintain his good grades while working the night shift, only taking a couple classes at a time. It took him a little longer to graduate, but it was a good pace for him and his family. Halfway through his college career, Mike took time off to care his newborn baby boy. He picked back up at Vermont Tech in the Electrical Engineering Technology without a hitch.

Mike says that Vermont Tech, “made it fit. They made everything really helpful and easy.”

One professor’s lessons really stuck out for Mike. “Ralph Esposito, I remember all of his courses. One class was at 8 AM, right after work. But he kept things interesting. And he made the functionality of the lessons jump out.”

As a Software Engineer for Control Technologies Incorporated (CTI), Mike programs building automation systems to control heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC), lighting and energy management in large commercial buildings. These systems make sure that buildings are comfortable, energy efficient and easy to operate.

All of Mike’s field work is familiar from his coursework, especially his electrical circuit classes. But his education didn’t stop when he graduated, “All the software stuff I learned on the job.”

That’s no easy task, but Mike is a natural problem solver, as evidenced by the many Rubik’s Cubes on his desk.

“The big thing I like is how fundamental the job is. You can draw a lot of parallels between this and school.”

Mike recommends that new engineering students start out with electrical engineering.

“It’s a good foundation engineering in general.”

Mike now has two children and plans to continue working for CTI so he can support his wife while she obtains her degree. After that, who knows? You may see him back on campus soon for the Mechanical Engineering Technology program.

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