(SWEETWATER, Texas) – It seemed to be in the works at a young age for Tanner Tankersley to work on automobiles.
“I grew up around people I like to call ‘vehicle heads.’ They always were working on cars together,” said Tankersley, who is studying for his certificate of completion in Automotive Technology at Texas State Technical College.
His love for working on vehicles has grown since he arrived at TSTC and prepares to graduate in the fall.
“I wanted to become a physical therapist but saw how the financial toll would be. I knew working on cars would be a good career,” he said. “I decided to attend TSTC and have enjoyed attending class.”
Tankersley said having a small class allows him and other students to work together on projects.
“I have always been used to small classes,” said Tankersley, who graduated from Rotan High School. “You have the ability to be assisted more, and we have the luxury of working in the shop with each other.”
Instructor Gerod Strother said Tankersley has been one of the students who helps to ensure that everyone is safe while working.
“I want to focus on our students and make sure they are paying attention. It is always about safety for me,” he said. “Tanner is one of those students who always makes sure to be safe and is always helping his classmates.”
One of Tankersley’s favorite lab sessions focused on car engines.
“I enjoyed that unit because we were able to pull out the engine and see how to do it in a shop setting,” he said. “Doing that reassured me that I made the right career decision.”
Tankersley said he wants to become Automotive Service Excellence-certified. According to the ASE website, more than 250,000 people have been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
ASE tests and certifies automotive service professionals in order for customers to gauge a technician’s experience.
“If I am able to receive that certification, I will be able to one day open my own performance-based auto shop,” he said.
With his goal set, Tankersley said he wants to learn as much as he can during college.
“Having Gerod as our instructor has been great. He not only helps you with what we need to do to be successful, but he helps with the mental aspect of going to school,” he said. “He is always willing to help us inside and outside of the lab.”
Tankersley said his time at TSTC may not be complete after he finishes his automotive certification. After visiting the Diesel Equipment Technology program earlier this semester, adding diesel engines to his resume could be in the future.
“I really enjoyed going to the diesel lab and learning what they do. I could see myself coming back and learning more,” he said. “The instructors are so knowledgeable about what they teach. I had a blast hanging out with them, and I know it would be a good addition to my resume.”
Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.