Program graduates visit WSCC’s Electronics Technology Department to offer professional advice, encouragement

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Photo: Daniel Wilhite, left, and Mavon Copeland both recently visited Wallace State’s Electronics Technology Department, discussing a handful of career topics with the program’s current students.

HANCEVILLE – In Wallace State’s Electronics Technology Department, instructor Joe Hendrix appreciates having graduates return to campus, encouraging and mentoring the new students in the program. 

Mavon Copeland and Daniel Wilhite, both graduates of the program now working at the Yates Nissan Battery plate in Smyrna, Tennessee, visited the program at the outset of the fall semester.

“To maintain the relationships with our graduates is invaluable to a program. If they didn’t have a good experience here, they surely wouldn’t agree to take the time to come back. Mavon Copeland and Daniel Wilhite both love their jobs and it shows,” Hendrix said. “The first couple of semesters are the hardest in the program. We ask a lot from our students, so I think it’s important to show them the rewards are well worth it in the end.” 

Copeland, a 2013 Wallace State graduate, has served as a maintenance technologist at the Nissan battery plant for nearly two years after beginning at the company as an intern in October 2012. As an intern, Copeland, 28, was one of the first Industrial Maintenance Co-op students, traveling back and forth between Wallace State and the plant. Copeland initially earned a full-time job as a maintenance technician before being promoted to a maintenance technologist. 

Wilhite, a 2014 Wallace State graduate, has worked at Nissan for nearly two years himself, moving from technician to lead technician to now as a maintenance supervisor. Wilhite, 26, is a Hanceville High graduate. 

“It’s awesome feeling knowing we graduated from such great program at Wallace State. Joe (Hendrix) has such a great named all across the industry and does all he can for his students,” Wilhite said. “He prepares you for to get a job once you graduate. As long as you are willing to give 110 percent, Joe will do all he can to help find you the right job.” 

While Copeland and Wilhite work in different areas at the Nissan plant, they each shared their professional experiences with Wallace State’s current Engineering Technology students, including potential wages one can earn upon graduation and raises than can be attained throughout a career in the field.

They also discussed their day-to-day duties, job benefits, job expectations within their departments and goals for furthering advancing their careers.

“I encourage you to interview with companies as much as you can when you are a student. It makes things much more comfortable for you when you are looking for that first job. I interviewed with companies like Rehau, Topre, Alabama Power and Kamtek,” Copeland said. “There will be a lot of job opportunities for you once you graduate from this program.” 

Wilhite added, “This program can get your foot in the industry door and all of the things you have learned here will get you on through that door.” 

Copeland and Wilhite are among a handful of program graduates or industry representatives that Hendrix hopes to have speak to his students throughout the course of the semester, including employees from Topre, Rehau, Yutaka and other local and state companies.

For more information about Wallace State’s Electronics Technology Department, contact 256-352-8154 or 256-352-8150.

For more information about Wallace State, visit