After attending a four-year college for one semester, Henrik Struck decided to withdraw because he didn’t really know what he wanted to do. He found a part-time job and began taking some classes at HCC. Then he saw an advertisement on an HCC bulletin board for the Construction Management Apprenticeship Program.
“I’ve always liked working with my hands,” says Struck. “The work-study arrangement of the apprenticeship was very appealing. I also liked that it was a 2-year commitment.” Struck has found the program to be a perfect blend. He works for EMH Environmental—a waste-water management company—Monday through Thursday and attends class on Tuesday and Friday nights. His classes help him do his job. His job helps him understand his classes.
“I have such a different mindset now,” he says. “I am focused. I am learning how to manage my time, and to be reliable, prepared and accountable. I am learning technical skills on the job site, and management skills in the classroom. The crossover gives me an incredible level of understanding.”
Struck has completed his Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certification and will take his construction management degree exam when he finishes his apprenticeship. He also appreciates the diversity of students in the program. “Everyone has come from all different paths,” he says. “I am learning so much from the other students.”
Struck has been living with his parents so he can save what he earns from his apprenticeship job, in preparation for his next step in education. “My goal is to transfer and earn a degree in engineering,” he says.
His long-term plan is to work in construction, ideally in a position where he works both in the office and in the field. Because he is working in the field during his apprenticeship, he has a much better idea of the challenges that can come up on a job site. “The tradesmen and craftsmen really respect managers who have worked in their place, understand what they are dealing with, and who value the work,” he says. “I have made many contacts and created lots of working relationships which will help me in the future.”
Wherever you want to go, you can get there from here.