(WACO, Texas) – Sean Vanderveer, of Sherman, is a graduate of Texas State Technical College in Waco, where he earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology, which is now known as Precision Machining Technology. He was recently named executive director of the Sherman Housing Authority and oversees 298 units.
At Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Vanderveer received a bachelor’s degree in Finance, a second bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health, and a Master of Business Administration degree.
What factored into your decision to attend TSTC?
My father knew about TSTC because he was a machinist by trade and he owned his own business with a partner. I wanted to go into the family business and wanted to go to TSTC.
What was the path you took to your current career?
I worked in the family business in the oil industry for several years, and then I decided to go to school for my finance and MBA degrees. I started a media company during that time, and we started developing properties downtown. I went to work for the Sherman Independent School District in their communications department. I heard about this position (at the housing authority) and interviewed for it. It seems like a random path to get here, but if you look at everything, it fits.
How did TSTC influence your career?
I would say TSTC had an influence in being able to think logically, but also mechanically. I learned some good skills related to that. I learned about being able to juggle multiple things at once and stay on task at the same time. I also learned about communication in being able to talk to instructors and students on projects.
What is a typical day like in your job?
There is a lot of communication with our maintenance staff as far as work orders coming in. If a unit becomes empty, I look at what needs to be done to get it ready for the next resident. I work with the office staff and communicate with the residents and the housing authority board.
What are some of TSTC’s technical programs that are compatible with the work the housing authority does?
Building Construction Technology would be one because of the maintenance, and we are looking at a construction project in the future that will add 70 more units. Computer Networking and Systems Administration might come into play because we have our internal network here. Electrical Construction graduates can work on the maintenance side, and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology for sure because we do some of that internally. Also, Business Management Technology and Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology fit into what we do.
What career advice can you offer?
The biggest thing is to keep your mind open. Where you start is where you are not necessarily going to go. Having an open mind is key. I would also add to pay attention to every time you have an experience at school to take it because you can apply those skills and knowledge in different ways.
TSTC offers Precision Machining Technology at the East Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas and Waco campuses. The program offers an associate degree, a certificate of completion and an occupational skills award.
For more information, go to tstc.edu.