William Hoover Testimonial
Well it’s been a little over 2 years since I started my new job. It’s the job I got about 2 months before I graduated from the Capstone HVAC/R Certification program. I work for a large Multi-National Corporation and I service and repair commercial refrigeration, HVAC and food service equipment. I’m not sure if my story is that unusual but one thing I’m very sure of is that I owe any success I have had to Capstone College and most especially to my instructor, Mr. Ed.
Without going into a lot of the history let’s just say I found myself at 55 years old and needing to find a new way to support myself. I had no background as any kind of technician or equipment repairman as I had made my living for the past 20 odd years in sales and marketing. It was a desk job that never took me anywhere near turning a wrench or reading a Multi-Meter.
I had a lot of doubts and reservations before signing up with Capstone but I knew I needed to “re-invent” myself somehow because what I was doing just wasn’t working anymore. When I first met Mr. Ed I was impressed with his knowledge of the field but more than that I could tell he really loved being a positive force for change in the lives of his students. I got the feeling from him that no matter what, as long as I gave it my all, I would make it through the program and have plenty of exciting opportunities awaiting me. As I progressed through the program I began to feel increasingly confident that things would work out well for me, if only through the sheer force of Mr. Eds will to make it so. In the first few weeks of class I found I was so grateful for his tireless determination and commitment to all of his students that I was driven to do right by him, to show him he wasn’t wasting his efforts on me.
I had always sucked at math and was pretty intimidated by it but Mr. Ed gave me the encouragement and special attention I needed to begin to wrap my mind around it. I struggled with the practice boards at first and I REALLY struggled with reading schematics and electrical troubleshooting but somehow Mr. Ed made me sure all I had to do was to want it bad enough and all the pieces would fall into place.
To put it all in a nutshell, Mr. Ed has this unique ability I think all truly great teachers must have. He seemed to share in my successes and my failures so I never felt alone. He is a teacher but also sort of a partner and as long as I was “all in” and giving it my utmost, his will for me to succeed would pull me along until the lights started coming on and suddenly I couldn’t understand what it was that ever had me so flummoxed.
So….about 5 months into the program I started testing the waters, looking at job boards and getting a feel for what’s out there and my likelihood of actually landing a job. As most of you have or will discover, a lot of employers want 2 or more years experience to consider an applicant. The thing is…I had a secret weapon I like to call the “Capstone Ed-ge”. I knew Mr. Ed had confidence in me and he made me believe that any employer would be lucky to have me on their team. I came up with this letter that briefly told my story (everyone loves a good story) as far as my background and how I was “re-inventing” myself, changing careers rather late in life. It went on to say how I would be graduating the HVAC/R program in a few months and I was looking to work as an un-paid volunteer to start gaining valuable hands on experience. I mostly used Craigslist and just checked it every day and emailed my letter to every job posting for HVAC or Commercial Refrigeration. Within 2 weeks I had gotten 5 interviews and all of them said the same thing more or less: there is no way we would let you work for free but the fact you are willing to shows us you’re hungry for the job, you want it real bad!
Of the 5 interviews, 2 of them wanted to see me again after graduation and one offered me the position I still hold to this day. They wanted me to start before I would actually complete the program but it was no problem because I was allowed to switch to night class for the rest of the term. By the time I got my certificate I had already been working in the field for about 2 months!
To say thanks to Capstone, Mr. Ed and the entire staff who were so helpful, encouraging and supportive doesn’t seem like nearly enough. My time there was a time of growth and discovery and it challenged me, rewarded me and gave me some of the best memories of my life!