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Alan Engels – Alumni Profile

Posted on: August 22, 2023   |   Category: Alumni Spotlight
Alan Engels Web Background

Name/Location Today: Alan Engels; Parsons, Kansas

Program of Study/Year of Graduation: Consumer and Industrial Electronics, 1971

Why did you choose to attend Lake Area Tech? I lived in Watertown and I knew some of the staff.

Where are you employed today? Retired

When was the last time you visited campus? July 2023

What was your favorite thing about Lake Area Tech? Victor Wilky and Donald Haag were my first year instructors. A guy I had not met before and I were assigned lab partners. We were constantly done before any of the rest of our classmates with our lab assignments. This irritated some of our classmates, so they started sabotaging our parts. That did not do much to slow us down, so then Victor and Donald started sabotaging our parts. We remained the first ones done.

What was the biggest lesson you learned at Lake Area Tech? Due to classmates and teaching staff sabotaging our parts we learned better troubleshooting. I know this made me a better technician.

What made you want to continue your education? I wanted a profession that really meant something. I worked for a company that manufactured electric products. I learned what I could do there and they promoted me to a Manufacturing Engineer. I had a two-year technical degree not a four-year engineering degree. A year after a larger company bought the company, they closed all eight plants in the United States and moved out of the country. I went on to get a BS degree, and then to my Master’s degree because without the additional education, it was difficult to get a good job. If they required a four-year degree, I was immediately eliminated. If it did not require a four-year degree, I was over qualified.

What advice would you give a current Lake Area Tech student? If you have teachers that include REAL world situations, listen really carefully!

What makes you proud to be an Alumni of Lake Area Tech?  We moved to Watertown in my junior year of high school and I graduated from Watertown High School. Staff at Lake Area were attentive to the needs of students and were there to help students understand what the work environment is really like.

What advice can you give to Lake Area Tech students that will be entering the workforce? Be ready to deal with the jabs and what life throws at you. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different. Take advantage of opportunities that come your way, even if they are unexpected and push you out of your comfort zone.