Terrace, BC – Coast Mountain College (CMTN) Electrical instructor Linnea Waechter had hardly touched a tool before signing up for the Electrical Foundations program at CMTN in 2012.
Now, Linnea says her whole life revolves around the electrical trade and she’s never looked back.
“For me, it was eye-opening,” she says, adding that she was encouraged to enter the program by her mother because she liked math and physics. “It was a whole different world that I’d never experienced, [and I found] I was really good at it.”
As a first-year apprentice, Linnea was a contestant in the Skills Canada Regional Competition, which she won. She then moved on to compete at the provincial level against third- and fourth-year students. Although Linnea wasn’t successful in moving to the national round, she says she learned a great deal from the experience, and it was exciting to see what was possible in the trade.
“[Electrical] is such a vast trade,” she says. “There’s so many different sectors and ways and places you can go with it, and I really love that about it. You’re always going to learn something new, it’s always changing.”
After working in the industry for several years, Linnea decided to go back to school to study for a diploma in Business Administration at CMTN, while at the same time working full-time as a project administrator of Waap Amgam (House of Cedar) during its renovation.
“The great thing about [the Business Administration] program is that it really ties into everything,” she says. “Everything’s a business.”
Upon completing the program, Linnea received the Collegiate Bronze Medal for obtaining the highest grade-point average in the Winter 2020 semester.
Now as an instructor of the Electrical Foundations program, Linnea says she enjoys taking complex concepts and breaking them down for her students.
“I love that light bulb moment… when you have a student who tries so hard and puts so much of themselves into something, and then you get to watch them be successful.”
Asked what advice she would give those considering the electrical trade, Linnea says to go into it with a healthy respect for electricity and the hazards that it poses. With safety front-of-mind, there are many exciting opportunities in the field.
She also stresses that people’s careers can change many times in the course of a lifetime, and having the willingness and flexibility to switch tracks as needed will help you succeed.
In the future, Linnea hopes to continue teaching at CMTN and spending time with her two-year old daughter and family.
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