OCC Graduate Chris Sorensen Turns Hobby into a Career
After serving eight years in the U.S. Army, Chris Sorensen was searching for a new career when he returned from active duty in Afghanistan in 2014.
He considered pursuing a degree in education and becoming a history teacher, but changed his mind after meeting with officials at a state university.
A lifelong car enthusiast, Sorensen was helping his brother work on a vehicle when Sorensen’s fiancée and now wife, Sydni, suggested he turn his passion into a career by studying Automotive Service Technology at Olney Central College.
“I thought it was a good idea,” Sorensen said. “I met with an advisor and everyone was very helpful. The ladies in the office were awesome. I had my books and was enrolled in the program that same day.”
Sorensen enjoyed the hands-on aspects of the program and the instruction provided by Tyler Boyles, whom he calls “amazing.”
“I loved everything about the program,” Sorensen said. “The open shop was great and we had access to a lot of the tools you use on the job. We got to work on bigger equipment and that has been a big help to me at work.”
While attending OCC, Sorensen also took welding and diesel engine classes, increasing his skills and marketability. He also served an internship at Bateman Auto Parts in Olney.
“I went into the program like it was a job,” Sorensen said. “It’s like everything in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.”
Sorensen completed his associate’s degree in May and a week later was employed at McClane Motor Sales Inc. in Newton where he is a service technician.
“I love working on cars,” he said. “Every day I get to wake up and go to work doing something I love.”
In January, Sorensen will be sharing his knowledge as the instructor for OCC’s automotive diesel performance class.
“I would recommend the automotive program to everyone,” Sorensen said. “I have customers come in and ask how I learned to do all of this because they have a son who is interested. I tell them to go to OCC and talk to them about the automotive program. It was perfect for me, and the guys who were in my class. We got a lot out of it.”