7 Tips for Success at UTI
If you’re thinking about taking the next step and enrolling at a trade school like UTI, you might be wondering, “How can I be successful?”
Most UTI grads will tell you that when it comes to your training, you get out of it what you put into it. Success requires hard work, dedication and drive, and it can be helpful to hear from those who have taken the road before you.
We asked a handful of our graduates and instructors to share their most helpful tips, and this is what they had to say!
1. Follow Your Passion
According to motorcycle instructor David Dyck, passion is everything. While in recovery from a previous motorcycle accident, David saw a commercial for MMI from his hospital bed and decided to take the leap and enroll in the Motorcycle Technician program.
David graduated from MMI in 2001 and today, is an instructor at the very same school that gave him his start. "You really want to have passion for this. If it’s something that you enjoy doing, why not do it?,” he shares. “When I go home from work, I can still go out to my garage and tinker on my stuff and enjoy it."
David’s story is a testament to how far passion can take you in this industry. Despite the hurdles you may face, your passion will be the force that drives you to succeed!
2. Ask Questions
Angela Barbosa began her journey at Universal Technical Institute as an employee. While she worked at UTI, she also attended the school as a student and later pursued a diesel apprenticeship. When the opportunity arose, UTI supported her as she made the jump into the industry.5
During her time at UTI, Angela learned the importance of being an active participant in her education. “Ask as many questions as possible. And if it’s not a good time, jot them down and talk to your instructor later. Be proactive with your education and experience to make sure that you’re putting into it what you get out of it,” she shares.
Ultimately, Angela’s curiosity and willingness to ask questions is what allowed her to forge her own path and pursue a career she loves.
3. Work Hard
The path of a technician in training isn’t always glamorous, and it certainly isn’t easy. However, it’s worth it if you have a passion for the industry.
According to marine instructor Billy Crosby, the secret to success is hard work. He encourages all of his students, whether they’ve grown up around boats or are brand new to the industry, to have a goal and be willing to put in the hard work it takes to get there.
Upon graduation, Billy always tells his students, “Don’t oversell yourself. Be humble. Let your work show your ability more than your mouth." At the end of the day, hard work is what will allow you to advance in the field.5
4. Keep Learning
It’s no secret that the automotive industry is continuously evolving due to changes in technology. For NASCAR Tech grad Jason Ingle, the ability to adapt and continue learning has been key to his success.
"There's always something to keep an eye out on,” Jason shares. “The electronics of everything is getting more and more advanced, so you have to keep your head up and continue to educate yourself."
Today, Jason is an Engine Dyno Operator for Hendrick Motorsports.24 He loves the variety that his job brings, because it always presents an opportunity to learn something new. While NASCAR Tech gave him a foundation of knowledge, he’s continually educating himself in order to advance in his career.5
5. Be Professional
Becoming a technician is about so much more than learning the mechanics. Today’s employers look for techs who have a strong sense of professionalism and know how to succeed in a work environment.
BMW program grad Brandon Jurasin credits his education for developing both his technical and professional skills. According to him, “UTI teaches you life lessons as well as educational points.”
When it was time to set out and look for a full-time position, Brandon tapped into UTI’s resources to prepare before meeting with employers. "Employment Assistance services teaches you how to interview and how to present yourself, how to sit up straight, what to wear, how to dress for the job you want. It really helps a lot,” he shares. Showing professionalism in an interview goes a long way.5
6. Attitude is Everything
With the right attitude, you can go far in this industry.
According to motorcycle instructor Jimmy McMillan, success at UTI doesn’t come in a predetermined package. Throughout his time teaching, he has seen students come in with no prior mechanical experience, yet excel in their training and in their careers.5
"Success doesn’t necessarily have to do with one’s technical background, but with attitude as well as confidence,” Jimmy shares. It’s all about keeping a positive attitude and embracing challenges when they come your way.
7. Don’t Give Up
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to never give up—even when the road is tough. NASCAR Tech grad Dustin Desautell experienced this firsthand, and he encourages aspiring technicians to stay committed and take your education seriously.
“Make sure you go to class, don’t come late, make sure you’re there on time, and make sure you’re there every day,” Dustin shares. “Never give up. Keep pushing. Seek help and advice from instructors and even other students."
All in all, training at UTI is hard work—but if you remain dedicated and keep your end goal in mind, it will all be worth it in the end!5