Graduate Profile: Michael Abbott

posted on Monday, May 13, 2019 in  College News

After taking a few college classes directly out of high school, Michael Abbott decided to take a break. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, so he took a job at the Target Distribution Center in Cedar Falls. The work became monotonous pretty fast, and he knew to move up he’d need more skills.

His father graduated from Hawkeye when Michael was in middle school. When he asked coworkers at Target, they recommended the Industrial Automation Technology program.

“The program is one of their top choices to pull new hires from,” he said.

Michael enjoyed the electrical aspects of the program, like wiring Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). He was impressed by the faculty, who brought real-world knowledge into the classroom.

“I think they’re really well-grounded,” Michael said. “I was able to take what they were saying in class and apply it out in the field.”

When he graduates on Friday he already knows his next steps. In March, he interviewed for a job in multi-craft maintenance. He received a job offer the same day, with starting wages at more than $25 an hour.  

“This program is a good choice for anyone with a problem-solving mindset, or anyone inclined to work with their hands,” he said. “You’re going to have very well-rounded fundamentals ingrained in you so you can apply them to whatever your job needs.”


  1. Graduation
  2. Industrial Automation Technology
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