February 4, 2019
Writer: Rachel Wynder

BYU-Idaho has the largest automotive program in the United States. And it's helping students get amazing jobs with companies like Tesla, Toyota, Chrysler, Ford, and Volkswagen.

The program brags a 100 percent placement rate, which means 100 percent of its graduates have a job when they leave school.

Brandon States is a student getting a degree in automotive engineering technology.

"I think the best thing [a student can do] is start networking early," States said.

And he’s right.

Troy Spratling who teaches Advanced Engine Performance, and Transmissions, tells BYU-Idaho Radio the most valuable class in the auto department is the Career Networking class.

“They go through resumes. They contact potential employers, internship providers... and recruiters. I really think every program on campus should have a class like that!” Spratling said.

Knowledge and experience are certainly vital for young graduates, but networking is the differentiator.

Keith Rose, an alumni of the program, said networking is how he got his job with Toyota. Rose said he signed up for a class that toured different companies. That’s how he met the Toyota recruiter whom he kept in contact with.

“He was able to help me understand what types of question are asked by Toyota," he said. "Each company... has certain ways of interviewing. He gave me good insight as to what types of questions to prepare for.”

So what is in the future for Brandon States?

“I've got a job offer right now from Tesla in Washington state," States said. "And I’m still applying to a lot of different places.”

The future definitely looks bright.