IMG 8120 1 372x451 - TSTC Web Design and Development students reflect on experiences at SkillsUSA

(RED OAK, Texas) – Two Texas State Technical College Web Design and Development students from the North Texas campus, Dave McMillan and Michael Clesh, recently reflected on their experiences last month at the 59th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

McMillan and Clesh competed as a team in the Upper Web Design competition at the event and placed fifth. 

McMillan said the ratio between design and development changed between the state and national competitions. 

“It was heavier on the development, unlike state, which was heavier on the design,” he said. “We were given a wireframe, which is just a very basic model of the website, and we had to coat it with their assets.”

Clesh and McMillan both agreed that the restrictions placed on the competition was the most difficult part.

“It was a little different than we had anticipated,” Clesh said. “We were expecting to go in there and be able to kind of utilize everything that we’ve learned. But they kind of limited what we were able to do, which provided a challenge on its own.”

Clesh said it was this aspect that he learned the most from.

“Sometimes you have to really focus on the basics,” he said. “Having some of these advanced skills doesn’t always benefit you.”

Clesh and McMillan agreed not only on the most challenging part of the competition, but also on their favorite part, which was networking with the other competitors.

“You definitely get immersed into the culture very quickly there, even if you try to resist, because you’ve got so many people coming up to talk to you that are from places like the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and other places that you wouldn’t normally run into even in your field of study,” McMillan said.

Both students attributed their knowledge and skills to their education at TSTC. 

“If there’s a new skill you’re looking to learn and you know you’re wanting to be the best of the best, definitely go to TSTC,” Clesh said. “I love what they stand for, putting Texans into great-paying jobs. I don’t think there is a better place to go to school for it.”

McMillan specifically mentioned the instructors and their impact on his experience.

“They work with you … just the ability to reach out and talk to them and pick their brain is something that you don’t normally get,” he said.

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