Return to school unlocks unexpected doors for Mid-State graduate
For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – When it comes to bold career moves, Luke Mroczenski, Nekoosa, has mastered the crash course.
Set to graduate this spring from the Mid-State Civil Engineering Technology-Highway Technician program, he first took a step back from his full-time salary and health insurance after one year of teaching high school math.
“I wasn’t sure if I was exactly where I was supposed to be in life,” Mroczenski explained.
“I’d already gone the four-year route, and it was good,” he said about deciding what to do next. “But, I knew that based on time and money, I wasn’t looking to go back into a four-year university.”
After researching his options, he found the answer in a civil engineering degree and a career in surveying. The work would draw on his math skills with the perfect blend of physical and intellectual challenge. He also looked forward to a hands-on profession that would get him outdoors more often.
So, he enrolled in the Civil Engineering Technology-Highway Technician associate degree program at Mid-State and left his teaching career behind, or so he thought.
From the start, Mroczenski decided to apply for a part-time tutoring job in Mid-State’s LiNK, just to round out his college experience and use his math skills for good. Little did he know that this one application would turn into academic coaching and even teaching a math course for Mid-State.
As he prepares to take the next step in his career, Mroczenski realizes he has more options now than he ever dreamed of when he first decided to return to college for another degree, in part because of the opportunities he’s found at Mid-State.
This past summer, he completed a surveying internship for a company in Wausau and has the option to work for them after graduation, but it’s not the only option that now has his attention. For Mroczenski, deciding to teach was always about assisting and lifting people up.
“If I can see a way to help people, I like to think that I’m going to pursue it,” he said about the possibility that he will keep teaching.
Whatever he decides, Mroczenski is comfortable in the fact that he can start earning immediately in a hands-on profession that aligns with his new skills, or he can further invest in teaching at the college level and see where that leads.
Find Mroczenski’s full story and video at mstc.edu/gradspotlight.