Graduating from Flint Hills Technical College is bittersweet for graduates Sean Davis and Karley McLaughlin.
“FHTC feels like home,” McLaughlin, a dental hygiene student said. “From the first time I visited, the staff went out of their way to make me feel at home and included. I’ve made so many memories and lifelong friendships. I know Saturday will be a little sad.”
Davis, who has completed the Network Technology program at FHTC, agrees graduating will be bittersweet, but he said he is prepared for the next chapter of life — thanks to the skills he has obtained at FHTC.
“I feel prepared for my job,” Davis said. “The program and internship pushed me out of my comfort zone and I feel ready.”
Davis and McLaughlin both already have jobs awaiting them following graduation. Davis has accepted a position as a systems and network administrator at Washburn University and begins his new job on Monday. McLaughlin will begin working as a dental hygienist for a dentist in Topeka a week after graduation.
During Davis’ time at FHTC, he not only learned the technical skills necessary to fulfill job duties, but polished the soft skills necessary to find success in an office setting. He attributed much of this to the internship opportunities the college provided.
“One reason I chose the program at FHTC is because it required an internship,” Davis said. “I completed my internship at Newman Regional Health. All but one of their IT employees are graduates of FHTC, so they knew exactly what I was learning and helped me apply those skills to my duties.”
McLaughlin also gained plenty of hands-on experience in the dental hygiene program. From completing clinical hours to volunteering her time at Kansas Mission of Mercy, she was able to see the impact dental care can make on individuals in need.
“KMOM is a day-long dental clinic for people who are in need of dental care but can’t afford it,” McLaughlin said. “Some people come the night before and camp out in line to make sure they can get it. It was amazing to see how much of a difference it made for them. Dental care can make a person feel so much more comfortable and I think everyone should feel good about themselves.”
With graduation fast approaching, both students are preparing to bid farewell to the faculty and friends who have made their time at FHTC so special. Davis will even be delivering the commencement address and sharing some words of wisdom with his fellow graduates.
“I will be encouraging my classmates to always leave things better than they found them,” Davis said. “Whether it is a place you visit, or your school or job, or relationships you develop, we should always leave them better than we found them. FHTC has done that for me. I have more confidence now and know I can complete my goals.
“You get out of it what you put into it and I put a lot into my time at FHTC.”
Both say they would have never made it to graduation day without the support of their instructors, friends and family.
“We all did this together,” McLaughlin said of her classmates. “We spent so much time together and with our instructors. We really developed good relationships that will last forever.”
“I couldn’t have done it without my fiancée, Alyssa Boesche,” Davis said. “She has been so supportive and encouraging.”
FHTC Commencement begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at William Lindsay White Auditorium.
10 a.m. Saturday
William Lindsay White Auditorium, 111 E. Sixth Ave.
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