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Help a person make decisions!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by greaserat, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. greaserat
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 18


    Hello everyone. I feel that this is just enough on topic to allow me to ask. I have loved tooling with cars since I was a little kid. I have taken technical programs in welding (which I graduated from), graduated high school (with honors), and currently attend a university. I am doing fine at the university, but feel miserable on the career path I am on. I have done a lot of research to see what I could really do. I can do a lot, but I want to work in the performance industry. I love anything that has to do with speed, and the addiction will never die. I guess I need to be concise. I just want to see what everyone's two cents is worth on what to do. I could finish the four year degree (which I have 1 1/2 years done) and get a business degree to open my own speed shop. Then I could go on to a school to learn about machining, etc. Or I could drop it after this semester, and go directly to a school to learn about machining, and just rely on working my way to the top. The sky is the limit. I just feel like I am all over the place. I don't have to pay a cent for college, right now, as I have scholarships. I have yet to find a performance machining college that would be able to pay for my tuition. It is all on me. (No parents to pay.) I also would like some opinions on some of the better machining schools out there. I have called around, and get millions of different answers all the time on what is considered a good school. I want to work only with performance. I know that is hard to get into, but that is why I work hard, and hopefully it works out. Just throw some suggestions at me. I appreciate any guidance.

  2. Harris
    Joined: Feb 15, 2007
    Posts: 863


    Personally I go with staying in the program you're in right now, a free ride thru college is nothing to take lightly.
  3. dickster27
    Joined: Feb 28, 2004
    Posts: 3,200

    from Texas

    The only suggestion I can give you, my young friend, is to stay in school and graduate. Then figure where your future is going.
  4. Bottom line- take the time and finish the degree- that stupid little piece of paper will be like gold if you ever need to fall back on it.
    Then you can go after your desires without any regrets.

    What are you currently studying- something that would transfer well into machining?

  5. get your degree.

    then you can be a greaser and a rat.
  6. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,763


    Get ahold of Kyle or Stacy Tucker at Detroit Speed and Engineering. They are doubling their Reasearch and Development department. They might be looking for some good employees, especially during the summer. Perhaps you could intern with them and see if it's something that could turn into full time after you finish school. They are located in the Charlotte, NC area.
  7. Good call hotrodladycrusr- this is why I LOVE THE HAMB!!!
  8. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 11,150

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Yep, Get your degree regardless of what it is.
    You have your whole life to decide your REAL future,
    Don't overthink anything. Dont let impatience over rule solid common sense decisions.
  9. SHRUM
    Joined: Feb 25, 2005
    Posts: 616


    Get the degree
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    Finish school. I know lots of people that regret NOT finishing college, but not a one that regrets sticking it out to the end.
  11. Mopar34
    Joined: Aug 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,028


    Stay in school, get your degree. A business degree will take you a long way in life, especially if you want your own business one day. Get your machining experience part time, then after graduation decide how you want to pursue your chosen career. You will still be young and have time to pursue your dreams.

    If you got scholarships for the college program that you are pursuing don't give them up. Anything free is usually good, unless it's bad, but scholarships are not bad. (A jail cell is free and bad :D ).
  12. Stroked
    Joined: Oct 11, 2005
    Posts: 388

    from DFW, TX

    You've already started toward a degree, so no matter field I recommend following it through and getting that piece of paper...

    You said you're in the business school.
    Is that what you really want to do or did you just pick it to pick something?
    I think the biggest question you should ask yourself is this:
    Do you want to run the business and bet he guy behind the books or do you want to be the guy making the business run by doing design, testing or other forms of work?

    If you want to run the business you should probably stay where you're at. Stick it out, then get the mechanical training and experience later.

    But if you chose the latter, and you are a hands on, mechanically inclined person, have you thought about engineering? It could open more doors for you in the industry you are interested in. 1.5 years in is not too late to transfer departments.

    You may not see job postings everywhere but there are definitely openings in the industry for both types. The more people you meet and the more networking you do, the better off you'll be. You never know who's on the other side of the HAMB.

    I'm 23 and am currently an engineer for one of the biggest diesel manufacturers out there. I did an internship the summer before I graduated college and then signed on a year later... wanna know how I landed this gig? I met my boss (GM of engineering) on a damn internet message board! (another car site) :eek: :cool:

    In short, don't lose sight of your end goal. Stick with it and start beating down doors. You can make it happen but if you're totally unhappy where you are right now, maybe that isn't the best path to get you to that goal.

    - Matt
  13. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    surely there is a nascar engine builder near you, they could be a help. Pro Motor Engines is a small shop, they might be better at guidance than Roush. .02
  14. GizmoJoe
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,297


    I never once planned on opening my own shop when I was "young". I just wanted to get my hands dirty and fix cars.
    When I wound up finally having my own business by.. well... just evolution, I found that I was sorely lacking in business understanding.
    I've seen too many people, who were good at what they did, start their own business and fail because they either sucked at the business end or hired someone to do the books who either stole from them or cost them too much.
    It's your life. You have to make up your own mind.
    If you have someone else in the picture to be responsible for or share life with then you need to do a lot of talking regardless of your path!
    You should be happy in life but happiness can cost a lot if not planned to some degree. No pun intended.
    My vote? Like most of the others here...
    1. Finish the business degree if you can stand it, understanding it can be a tool you can use later. You won't regret it if you ever start your own place or manage one. At least you'll understand those accounting thingies.
    2. Apprentice when you can to get an "in" and stay current (great idea hotrodladycrusr)
    3. After the (relatively) "free" degree find a job that you love to do.
    4. Enjoy life. It goes by quickly.
    5. Don't regret decisons. "Draw from your past. Don't let your past draw from you". I wish I had made that one up.
    All the best in whatever path you take and.. stay in touch here.
    I've seen a lot of internet sites but the knowledge and experience that is shared here is amazing.
  15. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,374


    Finish college and get your business degree. During the 1 1/2 years you have left do some serious investigating about getting a job in what it is you really want to do like hotrod ladycruiser suggests. Your business degree will get you in the door and you'll be able to pursue your dream. So hang in there.
  16. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654


    Yep. Get the degree...then try to get in the door at a performance shop to learn the basics... if you were still in to it, then look into opening one of your own. You have to pay your dues, but along the way it might open your eyes.

    I wanted to own a body shop until I worked in one for a few years close with the owner...not worth the headaches to me anymore. I still don't know what I want to do, my degree got me a decent-paying office job- not ideal for me but it pays the bills and keeps the cars as a, it never really ends...
  17. greaserat
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 18


    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I was currently on a science track (pre-med, specifically). What was I thinking? I now need to ride out the rest of the semester, but having my own business/machine shop is a dream. I know I want to be in the automotive industry, and have since I was about eight years old. I now plan to put my hours to a business degree, and gain as much knowledge as possible. Some people have talked some sense to me at school, and on this board. I guess that piece of paper really is worth its weight in gold. I need to really stick it out, and get everything I can out of this education. I have started making contacts, and plan on going through with them. I just need to keep the motivation. Thanks to everyone, and I need to check out Detroit Speed and Engineering. That sounds like something that may blossom further possibilities.
  18. Rustyjoe
    Joined: Oct 6, 2007
    Posts: 5


    I wish somebody told me that samething. :eek: Stay with it...
  19. Stay in school, get the degree.
    buy a little lathe/mill/drill combo for your dorm room (your roomate will LOVE that!!) and some books and teach yourself basic machining when you have spare time.
  20. Mark in Japan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,466

    Mark in Japan

    " I just feel like I am all over the place."


    Listen to your elders!!!!!!!!!!!!! they are actually MUCH kooler than your 'olskool' friends at that college bar.....and their opinions are actually based on real life experience!
  21. GlenC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 757


    I'll stick my 5c worth in too...

    Get the degree, become the 'boss' of your own business and pay someone else to do the hard slog!

    Have you ever noticed a mechanic's daily driver? They're often pieces of junk becouse the mechanic is so sick of working on other people's cars to make a living that he can't be bothered working on his own for 'fun' which is no longer there.

    Cheers, Glen.
  22. I got a degree in Heavy Equipment... to fall back on someday.

    I got a job not to long out of school working on turbine engines, my dream job. Got laid off 5 years later. Guess what saved me?

    Now, I'm about 13 credits shy of a batchelors degree in science, and my AAS has opened many doors that probably wouldn't have budged.

    Even if you never plan on using your degree, it will come in handy in the future. Kinda like becoming an Eagle Scout... seemed useless at the time, but you'd be surprised about how many doors that could open.

    Stay the course, even if it may not make sense now. There's a whole lot more to life than now. Took me a while to figure that out.

  23. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


    You should go to law school, or get a degree in political science and finish becoming a damn politician..
    In all that verbiage you left out more information than you gave. :rolleyes:

    This is Tech week!
  24. JDHolmes
    Joined: Nov 25, 2006
    Posts: 918

    from Spring TX

    In today's world, a college degree is a necessity for most types of advancement. Even if you work outside of your degree, having the college degree tells employers that you are able to stick with the program, that you can undergo hardships to achieve the end, and that you can see the course. College diplomas also bring a lifetime increase in pay estimated at 50% over the lifetime of the individual.

    You are young. You're supposed to be "all over the place." That's the point of doing what you're doing...find what your life will be. One cannot find his place in the world without experiencing many different things and most unhappy people I know are those that started one thing and done it for 40 years.

    Want to get into the "performance" field. Go to the local machine shop and tell him you'll work for $3 an hour, cleaning and learning, and doing whatever. Do it for six months, then go to the local mechanic shop and do the same thing. Do it in the evenings and weekends rather than running the bars with your buds.
  25. Great advice! I used to want to be a mechanic, paint and body man, anything to do with cars. Didn't happen. Now I'm glad I get to work in an office(but still do something creative), make damn good money, and when I come home I'm not too dog-ass tired to have fun in the garage, which I can afford (and am well on my way doing so)to stock better than some pro shops.
  26. Phillychop
    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 22

    from Philly

    i dropped out of college 2.5 years in so i could work on cars full time because "i love cars". what i came to find is that i love MY cars and hate everybody elses. working at a dealership as a hired wrench killed my love of working cars. it took me 10 years to get out of the dealership. now i have an office job at one of the countrys largest aftermarket part companies and i like working on cars again. if i would have finished school i could have gotten the same job only 8 years sooner. so finish the degree and get a part time job in a local machine shop. even if it is not high performance it is still experience that is not wasted. even if you sweep the floors for them you can still hang around and watch and LISTEN.

    People say that a degree is worth its wieght in gold...bullshit paper does not weigh that is worth much much more
  27. Dick Dake
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 788

    Dick Dake

    I have 2 Bachelors and will start on a Masters in 2009. My degrees have nothing to do with my job but it will get you almost any job you want. Find out what job you can get and make some good money. Do some time in the trades to see what it is you want and do it for free. If you still like it, you found your dream job. Then look at how you need to go about it and not loose your stuff. Take your time. Be smart.
  28. I'm with HEATHEN; I've met a lot of people who don't work in the field they studied in, but I haven't met anyone who wishes he'd dropped out to get a hard-labor job. And if you don't think the automotive field is hard labor, you haven't worked flat-rate.

    In case you're wondering, I fucked off and blew the 'free college' deal as a kid, then when I went back in my twenties, I dropped out the second time in order to support my wife, and soon-to-be-born baby.

    I'm forty now, and sitting here with my arm in a sling (fell down at work) just the other night, wondering what the fuck I'll do for money if I were to become injured/disabled off the jobsite. I've worked for 28 years (yes, since I was twelve) and seem to require the use of two arms - and my back if I want to make any kind of money.

    And believe what GlenC says:
    I was hard pressed to do any more than change oil on my cars when I worked in an auto shop. Now I work on trains, and I'll be damned if I want to see one on my time off!

    You know, the only starving artists are the ones who are trying to make a living by it.

    Just opinions, take or leave as desired. Best of luck with choices.

  29. greaserat
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 18


    Thank you all. I am a very serious student, and was just trying to figure out a good plan of attack. I planned my courses for the rest of my Bachelor's Degree today. I am going to stay on the course, and finish up. I guess I can be impatient at times, though. Can't let that get in the way.
  30. Stay the course young man! I, too, struggled with the direction of my studies. But perserverence has gotten my family and I a rather nice life.

    Since you are in the early stages of school a change of major may not set you back much. Interested in the performance segment of the automotive aftermarket? How about degrees in both engineering and business? The key now is to combine degrees and/or go further in your education. Sorry to say a basic bachelors doesn't mean all that much any longer.

    Best of luck. You have decades worth of the real world waiting for you. Spend the extra time now preparing for it.

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