Episode 1: Matt Bannister

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Matt Bannister is a 30 year old Mechanical Engineer for Fluke Corporation, based out of Everett, WA. He finished his AA (2 year community college degree) and then graduated with an mechanical engineering degree from Central Washington University. He has worked with Fluke for almost 7 years now and loves it. Listen as he talks about how he financed college through federal grants and student loans, his struggles landing a job after his “sure thing” fell through just before graduation, and how his persistence and positive attitude helped him land a job with Fluke, where he has thrived and still works today. We also go into taking advantage of company paid travel, and utilizing your strengths in your industry as a means of sharing your gifts and excelling in whatever you do. Enjoy!

-As you listened to the interview with Matt,  could you feel the energy and enthusiasm he speaks with? This is infectious and an amazing trait that Matt possesses. Think about the energy you bring to the table in a conversation. When you speak up, does it grab people’s attention because you are clearly passionate about what you are talking about?

-Matt’s employer, Fluke Corporation, is always hiring! Click here to access their employment page.
Mechanical engineering degree info including jobs it can lead to and typical salaries.
“You can’t be afraid to ask for help”
Matt faced a steep learning curve when he started his major and when he started his job. A huge part of his eventual success was swallowing the ego and asking for help from others. This a great article about how to ask for help in the workplace, and it can equally be applied to asking classmates and teachers for help.
“Know who you are as a person” 
Developing self-awareness is one of the most important yet difficult parts of maturing as young woman/man. Set time aside each week to take a look at yourself. Recognize your strengths and how you can utilize them on a day to day basis to improve yours and others lives around you. Recognize your weaknesses and constantly work on developing them. Ignoring a weakness is the worst approach you could have; it will always come back to bite you. Matt recognizes he is positive, personable, and approachable. He used these skills to crush interviews and land him a job in an industry where most people are more intoverted and “nerdy” if you will. I haven’t seen him at work, but I guarantee he is one of the most outgoing and friendly people on his team. This is his strength. He mentions he “is not always the smartest”, so he works on this every day by checking his ego and constantly asking others for help on anything he may not know. Every person on a team has strengths and weaknesses, and the ones who succeed share their strengths and develop their weaknesses.
-Matt played college baseball for one year. He talks about how it humbled him as well as taught him time management skills. The following is a straightforward article about what it takes to be a student athlete in college.
-Matt travels for work somewhat frequently. Unlike others I know who travel, he really takes advantage of the opportunity by seeing it as a paid opportunity to go somewhere he otherwise would never see. Free flights, hotels, and food. Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of work involved. Matt makes sure to make time to explore the city and try the food and beer. He mentions how he has met people from India, Hong Kong, and other places that have become his friends. The older you get, the more you will realize just how important these friendships are and what they can become. If travel is important to you, consider taking a job with travel while you are young and single.
-Matt mentions Bangkok and Hong Kong as two of his favorite cities. One of his favorite airlines in the far east is Singapore Airlines.
-Matt used Federal Grants and Student Loans to pay for his degree. After graduating, he ended up with around $50,000 in debt from the loans he took out. Listen to how he manages this debt today, his plan that he stuck to, and what paying for his own school taught him.
-Questions? Comments? Hit me up. If you want to get in touch with Matt, I can arrange that as well. I hope you enjoyed the first episode of Mind Your Major!

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