As part of our ongoing series that highlights NHTI alumni, the following blog post is written by Mike Farina, 1971 graduate in Electrical Engineering Technology. He’s the reason why NHTI received $5,000 in scholarship funds (through his employer) for 2020/2021 to support our freshman Electrical Engineering Technology students.
Early in my life, I had definitive goals for my career and aspirations for my life – some would call them unrealistic given my very modest starting point. I had no money and did not want to burden my parents with the cost of my secondary education; I had three other brothers, all of whom were smarter than me and more deserving. Nevertheless, I felt with hard work and diligence, I could do great things. All I needed was a solid platform from which to launch. Once I had some essential skills and credentials, I could take it from there.
I was also highly ambitious, a trait that comes from impatience. I did not want to languish for four years when I could learn all I needed to in just two. Being pragmatic, I saw life in scientific terms; the path I chose was for a STEM secondary education.
NHTI was initially an unlikely choice, but then I spoke to previous grads and asked if my thoughts about it as a launching pad were rational. I spoke with the professors about why they were at NHTI, given they could be anywhere else; the same concept emanated about enabling and empowering students to launch into careers and life. So, I began at NHTI. I was thoroughly challenged in an academic manner as never before, but I was also surrounded by some of the brightest folks I had ever met, all with similar ambitions. And in the end it worked.
I have met or exceeded my lofty goals. My education at NHTI positioned me for career opportunities that took me all around the world, working and living for a substantial portion of my career outside of the U.S. I have worked for very large corporations. I have been a corporate officer of a publicly traded company. I founded a successful start-up venture.
NHTI taught me was to work as smart as possible. And that propelled my career and my life.