Detour Becomes the Destination for Systems Tech Grad
The turbulence of 2020 and the time since has many of us still reeling, but for Jonte Morrison, there was a silver lining.
Morrison earned his B.S. in Industrial Technology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in August 2020. Morrison says it wasn’t an ideal time to start job hunting, so he looked for other opportunities to advance his career.
Just a few weeks after completing his bachelor’s, Morrison began the M.S. in Systems Technology online at UL Lafayette.
Now, he’s graduating from UL Lafayette for the second time and says he’s glad his path shifted in this direction.
Growing up in Lafayette, Morrison was always a problem solver. Industrial technology provided the opportunity to channel that into a career.
"It has a little of every type of engineering,” he says. “You have construction, you have chemical, you have electrical — you learn all of the different types of engineering in one major. That's what attracted me the most because it's not one-dimensional.”
Although he didn’t immediately pursue a position in his degree field, Morrison began working full time upon earning his bachelor’s degree. Advancing into graduate school meant he needed a program that would allow him to balance his responsibilities while earning his degree.
Because courses in the master’s in systems technology program are 100% online, Morrison was able to strike that balance.
“It actually worked out for the best because I could work my full-time job and get my coursework done,” he says.
That isn’t to say it didn’t take some adjustment. Morrison hadn’t taken 100% online classes before his graduate coursework and had to quickly develop strategies for managing his time.
“Of course, it was a challenge, especially when I first started,” he says. “As time went on, I learned to prioritize. Of course, school came first. I looked at the deadlines for assignments and tried to get them done a couple days before the due date to keep a good work-life balance.”
Morrison says every course in the online M.S. in Systems Technology program built on the knowledge he gained through his undergraduate degree, but he especially enjoyed delving into Lean manufacturing and lifecycle analysis concepts.
"Lean manufacturing is basically telling us how to make a business run faster, using less energy and less money, so I think that's very interesting,” says Morrison. “And with lifecycle analysis, that's basically taking the product and seeing the steps that he could do to get created. I've also found it very interesting.”
With his master’s degree in hand, Morrison is embarking on his next chapter proud of the experience he’s accumulated.
“Industrial and systems technology are great degree fields,” he says. “It helps you get your feet in the industry before you actually get in the field.”
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