Allow me to introduce Preston Mortenson, a diligent student currently enrolled in the Automated Manufacturing program at Bridgerland Technical College. Originally from Littleton, Colorado, a cozy suburb just southwest of Denver, Preston has developed a profound fondness for Paneer Tikka Masala, particularly from the renowned Pandora Oven in town. His educational journey led him to Bridgerland Technical College after his pursuit of a mechanical engineering degree at Utah State didn’t materialize as planned. He subsequently made a seamless transition into a technical systems degree with a specialization in automation and robotics, requiring him to join BTECH and acquire a technical certification to further his education.
Preston’s dream job lies in the field of agriculture, where he aspires to integrate automated systems into agricultural equipment. His vision is to enhance farmers’ productivity while alleviating some of the burdens they face in their daily lives. Following his graduation from BTECH, Preston plans to return to Utah State University to complete his technical systems degree. Reflecting on his experiences, Preston advises future students to approach the program with utmost dedication. He emphasizes that the more effort and commitment one invests, the greater the rewards and the swifter the progress. Preston cherishes the competency-based learning system at Bridgerland Technical College, which allows students to repeatedly attempt and master concepts they initially struggle with. He also praises the exceptional instructors who readily provide guidance and support.
To prospective students contemplating the program, Preston offers reassurance that prior knowledge is not a prerequisite. The curriculum is structured to gradually build from the basics, such as using a screwdriver, to programming programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and everything in between. Checkpoints and diverse lab activities ensure students understand the processes and are well-prepared to enter the industry upon completion. For Preston, a pivotal moment came when he realized his genuine passion for robotics. Initially drawn to the field out of curiosity and a preference for hands-on work, he discovered immense satisfaction in witnessing automated systems flawlessly bring components together. The fruits of his labor throughout the program have been deeply rewarding. Preston’s inspiration for entering this field stems from the reliability and consistency offered by robotics, which alleviates the burden of mundane tasks. As technology advances, robotics can tackle even more complex challenges. Preston believes that embracing automation frees up time, enhances creativity, and propels overall progress.
Expressing his admiration for Bridgerland Technical College, Preston wishes that all educational institutions would adopt a similar teaching approach. Drawing from personal experiences, he contrasts the memorization-based approach he encountered previously with the competency-based system at BTECH. The latter prioritizes comprehensive understanding and the ability to repeat learned skills consistently, instilling confidence in graduates as they enter the industry.