Opportunities through education
By Jarod Davis
At age 57, Michael Hart graduated from Trine University in 2019.
Michael now works for Creative Merchandising Systems Inc. (CMS), selling fixtures for stores to display their goods. Thanks to his Trine education, he’s developing his own product and hopes to see it succeed.
Michael joined Trine to further his job opportunities. He took courses in 1990 at Lansing Community College, aiming for an associate’s degree in industrial drafting, but was unable to fund the rest of the classes. His classes did get him drafting jobs, but he wanted to have more opportunities.
That’s what led him to Design Engineering Technology at Trine.
The education received at Trine helped Michael have the confidence to get a new job. He had been with his previous employer for 20 years and was excited to take on new challenges.
“It gave me the confidence to step out and try a new job,” he said. “Things I learned from Trine are updated ways of doing things in the workplace. I think it showed CMS that I commit to something, stick with it and finish it. Changing jobs was very exciting for me.”
Taking classes online was a completely different experience than classes in 1990, according to Michael. Michael enjoyed the face-to-face opportunities in the classroom and it was hard for him to adjust to pure online classes. However, he did enjoy turning work in online and not having to drive to class.
“I really enjoyed the classes where the instructors would have videos or face time to teach things you can’t get from the books,” he said.
Michael’s product in development is used to change flat tires on double-axle trailers.
“You don’t need a jack to raise up the trailer,” he said. “The tow vehicle is used along with the product, adding stability when changing the flat. I’m still testing the product and working on getting the trademark for it. I do have a web address and hope to get that going soon.”
Michael’s long-term goals are to continue working at CMS and learning from others in the workplace.
“My dream is to see my product take off and maybe pay some bills off,” he said.