I Define Success: Amanda Johnston

Amanda Johnston.png“Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, set your sights on your goals and dreams and just keep pushing through until you get there.”

After years of dead end jobs and wanting more for her life and family, Amanda decided she wanted to go into machine maintenance. She knew Ivy Tech Community College was the place to help her succeed in this career path.

“Being a woman, in a male dominated field, I knew that it was going to take an education and a lot of hard work.”

She knew having kids and a full-time job was going to present challenges in going back to school. As she explored her options, she discovered that Ivy Tech offered online classes, as well as small classes on campus. Before making the decision to go back to school, Amanda talked to her family and made sure that she would have their support.

“My real motivation was when an older man at my (then current) job told me that I couldn’t be a machine mechanic because that was a man’s job. I told him to hide and watch.”

The first couple semesters at Ivy Tech, Amanda took classes online and scheduled her classes on the same day of the week to work around her full-time work schedule.

Hamanda-johnston.jpger employer offered tuition reimbursement at 100 percent for A’s and 75 percent for B’s. This pushed her to work hard for straight A’s, and continually landed her on the Dean’s list at Ivy Tech.

When her work schedule didn’t allow her to take all the classes she needed on the same day, she would pick up welding classes to fill the gaps. While taking classes in welding, she learned about opportunities at a company called Major Tool and Machine.

About a year ago, she took a big chance and switched jobs. As of December 2016, Amanda works as a machine mechanic at Major Tool and Machine, successfully accomplishing what she set out to achieve.

“My advice is never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something; set your sights on your goals and dreams and just keep pushing through until you get there.”

Amanda will graduate with her associate degree in Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology in December 2016. Eventually Amanda plans to go on to get her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology or electrical engineering technology but for the time being, she plans to work and spend time with her family.

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