Jaime Briner, DeKalb, can state without hesitation what the best part of her ELE 102 PC Maintenance and Repair class was. “I was able to gut a computer with no fear of the consequences. If the thing caught fire, it still would've been alright.” Her statement is interesting especially in light of the fact that she began that semester a self-described novice: “I knew nothing of computers and that terrified me.”
On the other hand, Susanna Eschbach, Cortland, took ELE 102 because, unlike Jaime, she has always loved computers. “I was initially drawn to the class on how to fix computers. I then saw the fall syllabus for the computer technology major and the classes sounded interesting, so I signed up for the Fall semester of classes!”
Lucy Farley, DeKalb, has always been drawn to programs where she can use her hands as well as her mind. “I knew I was looking towards the Career Technologies division to call home during my two-year community college adventure,” she stated. “Once into my first Industrial Electricity and PLC courses things seemed to fall into place. With a vast and unique field such as Electronics, I have great optimism in finding a career path and position that seems as though it were tailored to fit me.”
Overseeing all this enthusiasm is Charles Raimondi, Electronics Technology instructor at Kishwaukee College. Charles is just completing his second year with Kish but is no stranger to the electronics classroom and lab – he came to the College with five years college teaching experience.
Electronics is a growing field and its complexity and intricacies are an attractive entryway into STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields for women. According to the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, women now comprise nearly 50% of all employees in the electronics industry and the demand for women in the field is growing rapidly.
Susanna is in the Computer Technology Program at Kish. “The first time you walk into an ELE class, you'll feel so overwhelmed. I'm half way through my second semester and I still feel that way a lot of the time. But then, if you persevere, you'll look back and be amazed at the amount of stuff you'll have learned and can do.” She also credits Charles with making learning a combination of lecture and practical application in the lab. She said, “The mix makes sure that we understand both the practical and theoretical side of electronics.”
Lucy plans to transfer to a university but in the meantime has submerged herself in a program with an instructor who gives her the freedom to pursue her dream with just the right amount of support. “I am extremely fortunate to be employed within the department under my FANTASTIC instructor, Charles Raimondi, and am looking forward to the upcoming semesters,” she said. “Charles is extremely passionate about his work. The classroom atmosphere is best described as student-oriented. And Charles makes it a point to integrate women into STEM fields, as it is in high demand.”
But for Jaime, electronics is not a career goal. She plans to be a Public Relations professional, but learning the ins and outs of computers just made sense to her. “I wanted to learn about computers considering how vital they are and likely will be later in my career.”
Susanna loves the challenge. “The best part of classes is always learning new stuff. It really never gets boringAnd it doesn't hurt that since the electronics field is one of the fastest growing industries, you're almost guaranteed a decent job as soon as you graduate!”
Enjoying the field and good job prospects makes the circuit complete.