Aria Trayer, 19, of Battle Creek, is a 2023 graduate of Lakeview High School who studied Industrial Welding at KCC. She’s also a 2023 recipient of the Bettie & Jim Cox Scholarship — awarded to select students pursuing degrees in manufacturing — through the Battle Creek Community Foundation.
Why did you choose to study Industrial Welding?
I chose Industrial Welding because when I was in eighth grade I went to a career fair and at that career fair I tried out welding for the first time, and the man at the booth said that I did really well on the practice machine. When I was little I was around welding all the time at the racetrack and I always thought it was the coolest thing ever. After I went to the career fair and tried out welding I knew it was what I really wanted to do. So I enrolled in Calhoun Area Career Center for welding, and my second year at the Career Center I got sent out to KCC for dual enrollment and I loved it. That’s what made me choose welding at KCC.
Why did you choose to study specifically at KCC?
Through dual enrollment I chose to study Industrial Welding at KCC because I knew getting that college experience in a career field that I liked so deeply would help me get the outcome that I wanted. Also it would give me an unforgettable experience while learning lots and pushing myself to do better.
What’s been your favorite part of your time at KCC?
Some of my favorite parts about my time at KCC were making new friends to struggle with and to help build me up. I enjoyed getting to know my instructors and hearing their points of view and opinions on how to fix things and make them better.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned at KCC?
The most interesting thing I learned at KCC is that no matter how many times you mess up you can’t let it knock you down. You may need to walk away for a few minutes and come back when you have cleared your head and you are ready for a fresh start. Before you start anything new, take a deep breath. It is a new beginning and a time to improve yourself and show off what you learned.
What is your goal for after you graduate from KCC? What do you hope to do for a career?
After KCC I am going to the University of Alabama for aerospace engineering and mechanics with a minor in metallurgy. For a career I hope to work at some big space company or the Air Force for welding.
What advice do you have for current or future KCC students?
Don’t give up. Keep pushing and you will get the outcome you want in life. Trying hard might seem like too much work but it will all be worth it in the end.
This Q&A first appeared in the September 2023 edition of BruIN magazine. To read the issue online, please visit kellogg.edu/bruinmagazine.