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Morrisville Students and Automotive Careers


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Select Morrisville State College Automotive students and faculty had the opportunity to see the new sparkling showroom floor at Jaguar Land Rover North America  when it opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art North American Headquarters.

“It was breathtaking,” Ray Grabowski, associate professor and chair of Morrisville’s Automotive Department, said of the impressive 144,000-square-foot facility in Mahwah, New Jersey, which includes a product research, training and development center along with the new showroom.

Grabowski accompanied automotive management BBA students Matthew Hartunian and Christopher Sindoni and automotive technology BTech students Ian Ball and Timothy Cino to the by-invitation-only grand opening, along with students from five local colleges.

Morrisville students also gained a new perspective on their future career possibilities through participating in a question-and-answer session with the designers. “I came to Morrisville to be a master technician, but after seeing all of the opportunities, my eyes are open to all I can do in the industry and the different places you can take your career,” Hartunian said.

It was exactly what Grabowski was hoping to get out of the trip. “From a professor’s standpoint, the intent was to open the students’ eyes to the industry,” he said. “It allowed the opportunity to see how the industry can cross into other areas.”

That vision was presented by Maria Rodriguez, product communications coordinator for Jaguar Land Rover and a 2010 graduate of the college’s automotive technology BTech program. Now in her “dream job” after working in various areas of the industry, Rodriguez knows the importance of discovering the variety of options available in an automotive career.

“I think opportunities like this one offer students special insight into the corporate automotive environment and provide a peek behind the scenes, so to speak, about jobs that may not be immediately on their radar,” Rodriguez said. “For me, offering these opportunities to students is important and quite special. Being able to now open the doors and give students exposure to this side of the automotive industry feels like my way of helping them find their dream job as well.”

For Sindoni, the “absolutely incredible experience” and Rodriguez’s impressive position with the company reinforced the value of Morrisville’s versatile automotive program.

“We already have a huge leg up since we have the technical training here, along with the business training,” said Sindoni, of Tarrytown, New York, who is now eyeing the marketing and sales side of the industry. “There are so many avenues we can go into.” The trip was one of many networking events the Morrisville auto program takes advantage of, ranging from visits to local repair shops and insurance auctions to attending the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Don’t close yourself off to just working on cars,” Hartunian said. “There is a whole playground of things we can do and that we are exposed to.”

 

 

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