ALUMNI PROFILE: RICKY JIMINEZ
Ricky Jiminez had a long path to take to get to Hennepin Tech and his Architectural Technology degree. His family immigrated to the U.S. from Acapulco when he was 5 years old, spending the first three years in Arizona before moving to Minnesota. “My parents thought they would have more job opportunities in Minnesota,” he said.
As the oldest of five children, Ricky saw the importance of those job opportunities and quickly realized that education would be the key for him. While attending Cooper High School in Robbinsdale, he developed an interest in engineering. A Cooper staff member there encouraged him to visit Hennepin Tech and look into its programs.
“Mike Lopac introduced me to Architectural Technology,” Ricky said. “It’s artistic and there is a lot of math and thinking involved. Engineering uses basic good science, but Architecture uses 3D modeling to show how things will work. Drawing comes into it too.”
He enrolled full-time in 2011 and completed his Associate’s degree in 2013. Because he was not yet a U.S. citizen, he wasn’t eligible for any government aid. If he was to pay for the program, it had to be out of pocket. So while being a full-time student, he also worked full-time at a restaurant during the winter and for a landscaping company during the summer. It was challenging, but he never lost sight of the goal of graduating and getting a job in his field.
That’s exactly what he accomplished. After graduation, he began work as a drafter for MLA Architects. In the future, he can see himself going back to complete a four-year degree. “I’d like to extend my education once I have more experience,” he said. In the meantime, he has a job he loves thanks to Hennepin Tech. He notes that his parents are very proud of him—he’s the first in the family to graduate from high school and from college. He’s setting a great example for his younger siblings too. The next oldest boy is already enrolled in PSEO and has his sights set on college too.
What advice does he have for others facing challenges in completing a degree? “Always have connections and always talk to people. If you don’t understand something, talk to your instructor. They really want to help. Ask a lot of questions, get the help you need, and never give up."
Last updated by jhanson : 2016-07-27 10:07:19