Bernardo Burgos Accelerated in the Maintenance Technician Program and has landed a Dream Job!
Bernardo Burgos knew he had it in him to get to the top of the manufacturing industry. As a machine operator, he was used to handling the pressures of production expectations and hard deadlines. But he wanted that top spot; responsibility for keeping all the machinery ready to meet those production goals.
Bernardo wasn’t a dreamer….he was a planner.
He knew Carrington College’s accelerated Maintenance Technician program was his way up.
What lit your fire to make your move up?
When someone at work took out a motor or put a new piece of machinery together, I was always interested – and I like getting my hands dirty.
I was a machine operator for a manufacturing plant for 7-years when a promotion came up for maintenance. But they didn’t take me seriously until I signed up for school.
How did you find Carrington College’s Maintenance Technician (MT) program?
I searched online, but a lot of schools didn’t have hands-on experience – and that’s what I needed. And Community College was set up to take two years. Carrington gave me all the information I wanted to hear, and I knew it was what I wanted. And it would only take 8 months.
What pushed you to make a commitment to college and the Maintenance Technician program?
My wife, Neidy, and my daughter, Leia (due soon). I’ve always had that instinct to do better. I never grew up in the best neighborhood; always had to watch my back. I learn from other people’s mistakes, so I do the opposite. I never really had my father around. I pretty much just wanted to be a better man.
What is one of the most important things you learned in your Maintenance Technician program?
Definitely, PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). Just knowing how to hook up motors and general electrical knowledge is very valuable in my work. And when I learned to hook up a motor – Phase I, Phase II and Phase III, I realized that I got it! The very next day at work – with all three of my bosses looking at me – I fixed a motor on our conveyor belt. There was a little bit of pressure on me.
Did you fit in with other Maintenance Technician students?
If one guy doesn’t get it right away, we help each other out. I’m 28, so the most important thing for me is to take notes. One guy in class is nineteen and he’s like a sponge remembering everything! When you’re young, everything sticks.
There are two or three around my age and a guy in his forties. It’s never too late to work on what you want to do…but I’d rather do it now.
Was there anything you didn’t expect in your Maintenance Technician program?
Soft skills, like emotional intelligence. You’ve got to know how to act with people; you can’t overreact or argue (at work). Never belittle someone, if they’re not doing something right. Sometimes it’s better for someone to learn by failing – unless it has to get done…then step in.
What has been your greatest struggle?
Just trying to keep a fresh mind. I sometimes work 12-hour days, then go to school right after work. I’m in bed by 11:30 PM and up at 3:00 AM. I do it because I want a better future for our family and future children.
Do you have the support in class that you need to succeed?
Mr. Como (instructor) is a great guy who’s been through it all. Whatever question you had, he had the answer. He made sure that, at the end of the day, you understood whatever you didn’t get. He wouldn’t give up on you. All of our instructors have hands-on experience and share everything they’ve done.
Our lab work, it’s very hands-on, and we talk and give each other feedback. You’re not always going to understand something, but they take the time to show us how something works.
How did the Maintenance Technician program impact your job?
My boss had hired two new maintenance guys that didn’t work out. He decided to give me a chance in maintenance. It’s funny that so many times whatever I just learned in school, the next day at work, I’m doing it!
Is your boss happy with your progress?
He gave me the raise I was supposed to get after I earned my certificate (Certificate of Achievement for MT program) – five months ahead of time. I’d pretty much started at the bottom here and worked my way up. And I wouldn’t be where I am now without the program.
What does your future look like in this industry?
The PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) knowledge will change my job description, and in a couple of years, I will, hopefully, be ready to take my boss’s position as Plant Engineer. In another 15 years, I want to become Plant Manager. I think I can handle it.
What advice would you give to someone considering the Maintenance Technician program at Carrington College?
Don’t give up on your dreams. I knew if I didn’t do this, I’d regret it later in life.