After serving in the Navy and several years of doing security, Vincent Romero felt like he had gone as far as he could and was ready to start a new career. A chance encounter with an HVAC technician gave him just the inspiration he was looking for.
“I was doing an escort for my client and there was a technician who came to his house to do maintenance, and he started talking to me,” Vincent said. “He said that HVAC is something to look into for my future. That was how I got started. I just needed change. I had gotten as far as I could go in my previous career and wanted to be a little closer to home and have better hours. I just proposed to my now wife, so I needed to get out of the career field I was in and get to something a little safer.”
UEI College’s Ontario campus was just down the road from his home and so Vincent decided to give it a try.
“It has been really challenging because it was total opposite of what I’ve done before,” he said. “I’ve been comfortable doing the same field of experience for the last 10 years, and I just wanted to take a chance on myself and see if I was capable of doing something else.”
Without any experience with mechanics, some concepts took a bit longer to grasp, but as a veteran, Vincent was used to dealing with complex problems. He was able to ask the right questions and study, and he managed to achieve honor roll status for every module.
“Overall, I think it’s just a great program to get into and get your feet wet,” he said. “You leave with a basic understanding of what to do once you are actually in the job. If you show up every day ready to learn, it makes it all a lot easier. You just have to have the right mindset for it.”
Vincent’s mind was focused on creating a better future for himself and his new wife.
“I wanted to get out and be able to start the best life possible for her,” he said. “She was supportive of me jumping into a new career I knew nothing about, so I wanted to make sure I was giving her the most I could for her patience and trust in me.”
When it came time to find a job, Vincent had to have some patience. In security, he always felt confident that he would get any job he applied for but being the new guy in the field felt a little different. Shortly after graduation, he was hired.
“It feels good,” he said. “It’s still a lot of learning and different things every day. That’s what is interesting – it’s something new every day. It’s great if you like working with your hands. If you’re on the tech side and troubleshooting, it’s something that will make you think. There’s something for everybody. Everybody learns differently. Find the way you learn and allow yourself to adapt to this program. Go 100 percent all in and you will be fine.”