October 24, 2012
Heather VanAlstyne, a resident of Gloversville, graduated from Broadalbin-Perth High School and continued her education at FM due to its affordability and its convenient location. However, entering the field of Electrical Technology was furthest from her mind. “I wanted to be a nurse,” said Heather. “It was a great field, but I didn’t love it. I wanted a career that I would love.”
Heather’s academic advisor, Christie Crawford, recognized her strong abilities in math and science. She recommended Heather change her major to Electrical Technology. “I had no idea what I was getting into, but I worked hard and ended up choosing this as my life-long career,” states Heather.
“Christie’s suggestion of this program impacted my life from the day I started. Professor Rich Prestopnik and Instructor Jeremy Spraggs guided me throughout the program and taught me everything I know. I wouldn’t be where I am today without any of them. I am so thankful for Christie and both Professor Prestopnik and Instructor Spraggs.”
While at FM, Heather was an electrical technology lab aid. “I gave other students opportunities to come into the Cleanroom or into the lab and work on any projects they needed to; or they would ask to get extra time using the equipment,” says Heather. “The program was the perfect fit for me.”
Today, Heather is an entry level maintenance technician at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Although she has not yet decided on when or where she would like to further her education, Heather says she is continuously learning on the job about new technologies and advancements through GLOBALFOUNDRIES. She is ready and willing to continue to learn so that she can climb the career ladder. “There are several levels of technicians, so I plan to at least move to the top level,” she says.
Heather is happy with where her degree from FM led her. “Usually, you are out looking for a job. But if you get into this field (Electrical Technology), the companies are searching for you. Not many fields can say the same thing. There are so many opportunities and options with this degree. This is one of the best programs to get into right now. Do you like all the new devices constantly coming out; IPads, cell phones, IPods, GPS systems, wireless systems, flash devices, computers? I’m involved in the microchip production of all these new items. With FM’s Electrical Technology Program, you could be in my shoes. Any internship opportunities or extra activities to get involved in will help you with your career as well. It’s all about taking that first step.
People always think they are too busy to find time to do something they really want to do, but that’s just an excuse. I know because I never pictured myself where I am today. If I didn’t take that first step to FM – if I didn’t try nursing – I would have never known it was not for me and how a career in Electrical Technology was waiting for me. Everyone throughout FM has been very helpful along my journey,” says Heather.
Eventually, Heather would like to move her and her one-year old son (and three dogs) closer to GLOBALFOUNDRIES. She said she likes the Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, and Malta areas.
Amy Radik is Coordinator of Public Relations & Marketing at FM.
Photo of Heather in FM’s Cleanroom attached.