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An Associate Degree becomes a Ticket to Travel

Butler Auto Student Jessica drives a big red truck.
Published: Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Butler Automotive Technology student experiences the ins and outs of her career through internship at Yellowstone National Park.

For Jessica Brashears, a two-year degree in auto technology from Butler Community College is a ticket to work, find adventure and travel. Last summer, Brashears was an intern at Yellowstone National Park.

Brashears learned about the internship through her teacher/mentor at Butler, Mark Jaye.

“He’s super helpful anytime,” Brashears said. “You never feel like you’re a burden. That’s the best thing you can ask for in a mentor.”

With Jaye’s encouragement, Brashears landed the internship in Wyoming. She worked on busses and trucks and was often on-call to help tourists who had locked themselves out of their cars.

“I learned a lot of real-world information,” Brashears said. “I was getting paid to be in the mountains. On my days off, I could explore the park.”

This spring, Brashears will earn her associate degree in auto technology. Now, she says, “I can go anywhere.” Brashears once drove a truck; now she can fix that truck, or any other vehicle. This 29-year-old from Derby, by way of Missouri, said that being able to fix her own vehicle was a freeing feeling for her. Brashears, who loves adventure, wants to see new sights.

“Now I have a career that can take me anywhere,” Brashears said. “I have the potential to live anywhere.”