Skip to main content

Navy veteran begins civilian career in HVAC

Fighter jet

Brooklyn Park, Nov. 11, 2022 – Most military veterans attend Hennepin Tech using the GI Bill, which provides funding for many costs associated with college – even a housing allowance. A staff member on campus assists veterans with enrollment.

An HVAC student, Scott Peterson, described his four years of service in the U.S. Navy and the transition to his new career and college life.

Hennepin Tech: On behalf of everyone at Hennepin Tech, thank you for your service. You served four years in the Navy. Did you have the chance to travel overseas?

Scott: I visited Spain, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Oman, and Bahrain. I deployed twice on an aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. I did a world tour on the first deployment. That was really long. And I went to the Middle East on the second deployment. I worked as an Aviation Electrician and repaired generators on F-18 fighter jets.

Hennepin Tech: Why HVAC?

Scott: A few months before leaving the Navy, a friend of mine in Minnesota asked me, ‘Hey, do you need a job?’ I said yes and he hired me to work in HVAC. I’ve been there ever since. I was looking for hands-on work.

Hennepin Tech: The HVAC program at Hennepin Tech is known for its enormous learning labs that have equipment for students to work on. Yet, before students attend the in-person classes in the labs, they complete General Education classes online. That’s what you are doing now. Do you enjoy online learning?

Scott: I like it because I can work full-time at my job and then after work, I login to my Hennepin Tech classes when I have time. It makes life easy because you don’t have to be someplace at a certain time. The first week, it was hard to get used to the website for students, which is D2L. I’m not a tech-savvy person. Once I read they syllabus, it taught me how to navigate it and it became easy after a few days.

Hennepin Tech: So you already have a job in HVAC --and you are enrolled in the HVAC program at Hennepin Tech to advance your career. Correct?

Scott: Yes and it will be great to learn more about how things work. At my job now, I know how to change things and repair things. Once I’m taking the HVAC classes, I’ll know why the system failed and why it needed repair. There are other Hennepin Tech HVAC students who also work at the same HVAC company where I work.

Hennepin Tech: What would you tell other vets who might be reluctant to enroll in college?

Scott: I would tell other vets to just do it. You earned it, you might as well use it. Besides having your tuition paid for, the monthly housing allowance is awesome. Hennepin Tech does a good job welcoming vets. There are a lot of resources available.

Hennepin Tech: You said the Navy helped prepare you for college. How so?

Scott: It was very valuable. The Navy makes you grow up quick. You leave home and don’t have anyone to rely on. I made a lot of good memories. I’m a lot more organized than I was in high school. Everything has its place and has to be put back in a certain way. As a Navy electrician, I learned to read a wire schematic so that has been a good skill to have for HVAC. If I would have come to college after high school, I probably would not think of college like I do now. It means more to me.

About Hennepin Technical College
Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College (Hennepin Tech) is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 40 programs in the skilled trades and high-demand career fields. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for high-paying employment opportunities.

Last updated by mdibba : 2022-11-11 09:36:09