When he was in high school, Brandon Foster discovered he was interested in pursuing a career in diesel mechanics. Now, a decade later, he is a Diesel Equipment Technology instructor at Texas State Technical College in Fort Bend County.
Foster appreciates TSTC’s mission of “placing more Texans in high-paying jobs” and being part of a gateway to better opportunity for students.
“My vision for my students is that they come to class excited, engaged and ready to ask questions,” he said. “And what I love about TSTC is that everyone is here for the student, and the student is encouraged to learn and be successful thereafter.”
The Goldthwaite native began his career as a part-time mechanic’s helper at a company his stepfather worked with at the time. He was still in high school when he received that opportunity, and it was a pivotal moment for him.
“This is the moment I knew I wanted to pursue a career in diesel mechanics,” said the 27-year-old. “Everything was bigger, better and louder. And the technical side is what keeps me going. There are so many advances always happening.”
After a stint working in the oil fields, which he said were not a good fit for him, he earned his associate degree in diesel mechanics in 2016 from a Central Texas college.
Driven by a constant motivation and interest in learning more, Foster now holds an Automotive Service Excellence Medium-Heavy Truck master certification, as well as a universal certification to work on automotive and residential air conditioning.
“No matter what you do, there is always room for improvement,” said Foster. “You have to continue learning if you want to be successful in your field.”
Foster has extensive experience working for diesel service centers, but the owner of a particular shop in Lampasas where he worked pushed him to continue his education and showed him what it means to keep learning.
“I owe this guy a lot. He shaped my life,” he said. “He introduced me to all of the possibilities and opportunities I could work for in this field. I’ll never forget how kind he was and what he taught me.”
Currently Foster is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology.
He said his career has taken him full circle, from industry to the classroom, and he knows that his purpose is to help others be successful.
Foster said his goal as an instructor is to share his knowledge and experience, and to create critical thinkers, problem-solvers and lifelong learners.
“I love watching students learn and have that “aha” moment when everything comes together for them,” said Foster. “This is what makes teaching so fulfilling and meaningful to me.”
Diesel Equipment Technology is also offered at TSTC’s Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses.
For more information, visit tstc.edu.