Like many people, Felipe Agurto wandered along life’s path for a while before finding the right direction for his career.
After graduating from high school on the west side of the state, Agurto enrolled in the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering but soon discovered it wasn’t really what he wanted to do.
“I initially wanted to become an aerospace engineer and work on designing airplanes. That eventually transitioned to being more interested in designing extraterrestrial vehicles, like rovers and whatnot,” says Agurto, now 29.
After some introspection, he left U-M in 2017 and struck out on a journey of discovery, working in a variety of industries before refocusing on his formal education at Washtenaw Community College in 2019. At WCC, he recently earned an Advanced Manufacturing associate degree with a Numerical Control concentration.
Agurto joined ZOLLER, Inc. — a German based precision tool presetting company with its U.S. headquarters in Ann Arbor — in May to support the company’s Tool Management Solutions product. ZOLLER has donated nearly $250,000 in equipment to WCC to train students on state-of-the-art machinery and has launched a robust apprenticeship program.
“The job is lots of quick thinking and problem solving, which keeps me on my toes,” Agurto says. He connected with ZOLLER at one of WCC’s career fairs and used the college’s services at its Center for Career Success to fine-tune his resume and other presentation materials. Agurto also consulted with WCC’s Financial Aid Office to get a Michigan Reconnect Scholarship that he used to pay for tuition and fees.
“I feel the biggest advantage about the WCC program was the exposure to several aspects of manufacturing. I specialized in machining and CNC (Computer Numerical Control), but robot programming, fluid power and PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) were all included in my education. Ultimately, this gave me the flexibility to conduct a wide job search across multiple disciplines.”
Keeping his options open is a result of the credentials he received from WCC as well as a key factor in his future planning.
“My ultimate dream career goal is up in the air," Agurto said. "There’s still so much I don’t know about the manufacturing world, and there are countless directions my career can go."
WCC CENTER FOR CAREER SUCCESS
Let WCC’s Center for Career Success help you put your best foot forward and find your dream job! Visit the office on the first floor of the Student Center, call 734-677-5155 or email [email protected].
This story appears in the Winter 2024 edition of Launch magazine. See complete issue.