When Christina Schubert heard about the ICATT Apprenticeship Program from an instructor, she knew it would be a good fit for her aptitudes and goals. Schubert, a student in the Engineering Technology Program at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, applied for the program in fall 2018 and began a mechatronics apprenticeship in June with BBS Automation Chicago, Inc. – a company that provides automated assembly and testing systems for diverse industries.

Schubert said the ICATT Apprenticeship Program has been a valuable opportunity to build her expertise in different engineering disciplines and learn from mentors.

“The hands-on experience is helping me develop my knowledge and skills,” she said. “I’m able to work with teams in different departments. In the first one, called mechanical build, I’m learning how to build parts for machines. After that, I’ll be in another department, electrical build, where I’ll learn more about the PLC programming, electrical schematics, and wiring. It’s satisfying, looking at a part that I built, seeing it being used for a machine – which can be turned on and alive.”

At BBS, the team acts as mentors who are invested in her success. She said she feels supported and reassured knowing that she always has someone she can ask for guidance or feedback.

“ICATT is a program that helps you gain experience and skills – in mechanical design, in mathematics,” Schubert said. “My mentors explain how to make a problem easier or work with me regardless of my current level. They help me overcome any confidence barriers that I have and show me how to go about doing a job.”

Schubert is looking forward to gaining more experience at BBS, and she aspires to become an electrical build or robotics engineer.

“My plan is to stay at BBS after the program and get more into the design process of electrical build or mechanical robotics departments,” she said. “I want to be a well-rounded advanced engineer, able to go into any department and know what I need to do to put something together.”

Learn more about becoming an ICATT apprentice.