Hands-On Experience: Why Learning on the Job Makes All the Difference

Have you ever opened a cookbook to make a recipe, yet found that you had none of the ingredients? Perhaps the recipe calls for a difficult technique, with a piece of equipment you don’t keep in your kitchen. What once started out as a great idea to make a fun meal now seems confusing and like more work than you expected.

Similarly, when you want to begin a job in an interesting field, you need to be equipped with the right knowledge and skills to get started. If you walked in on the first day and had no idea what to expect or to do, you are behind.

While there is always room to grow and improve in your career, it definitely helps to have the basic requirements and expectations to succeed. That’s why learning a job first-hand, in real-life settings makes all the difference.

How IntelliTec Students Learn: Our Real World Approach

At IntelliTec College, we understand that the trades our students receive training in require a certain set of skills, certifications, and proof that you can excel in the field. To help students hit the ground running towards a new career, the curricula we offer include real job training.

Along with the important information you learn in the classroom, you gain practical skills that prepare you to start your career right away. How do we do it? See just a few of the ways we accomplish this below!

Externships

One of the most common ways that our students gain real career experience is through our externship program. Because IntelliTec is invested in the communities where we are located, we have great connections with businesses, clinics, and more around town.

Thanks to our instructors who know their industries well, and thanks to our helpful career services department, students are able to connect with externship hosts. These externships, offered in a variety of settings for different programs, allow students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining experience and seeing how the day-to-day business is handled.

During your externship, you will shadow, learn from, and begin working alongside a worker in your industry. Students are able to see what their future career looks like and how coursework affects the ability to perform in the workplace.

Our Salons

For students in our cosmetology and massage therapy programs, we offer a truly hands-on approach to honing their skills.

In Grand Junction and Pueblo, we have two cosmetology salons, which are open for customers to come in and let students try out their craft. The salons offer hair, nail, waxing, and skin services to the public.

As an affordable option for our communities, these salons also give great real-life training to students. We ensure that students have had enough experience before working on a customer, but also let them do services to learn tricks and techniques that they cannot learn in the classroom.

Click here to access our cosmetology salon’s page and to learn more about the services offered to customers and the experience students gain!

Similarly, our massage therapy students have their own massage clinics in Grand Junction and Pueblo, too! While some massage services at upscale spas can cost quite a bit of money, our services in the massage clinic provide the same relaxing experience for a fraction of the cost.

Students practice their therapeutic skills with an array of massages – from 30 to 90 minute offerings in various massage options, such as popular Swedish and Deep Tissue massage therapies.

The public is invited to come in, get pampered, and leave feeling renewed, while helping out a massage therapist in training! Click here to visit the massage clinic’s page.

Laboratories

For science-based programs, such as medical, dental, pharmacy, and nursing assistants, laboratories offer real experience for the workplace. Getting into the true science of your new career allows you to find out how medicines work and how to make solutions while on the job.

Additionally, our medically-based programs are able to work within our simulated clinic settings, which are offered on all of our campuses. Inside the clinics, you get a true feel for what it is like to work alongside fellow professionals, how the day flows, and how to handle emergencies.

With these experiences, students in the medical field can not only learn faster, but they also can get a better sense of what type of work they would like to pursue. By giving laboratory and clinic settings at the college, along with externship opportunities in hospitals and other medical settings, IntelliTec allows students to find their true passion and decide on a career that fits their personality.

Equipment and Technology

For some of our programs, the right technology and tools provides enormous value to students. When you are familiar with all of the latest updates in your industry, you can find a job that is innovative and able to adapt, giving you a long-term career where you can always grow as technologies change.

As an example, our new Computer Systems Technician program was recently started to keep up with the booming tech field. Our students are able to complete their own labs, working on actual computer systems and finding solutions to some of the most common industry problems.

For students in programs like our HVAC & Refrigeration or Automotive Technician, having simulated equipment and the right tools makes all the difference in how students learn. HVAC students even receive their own toolkit through the program, which allows them to work with the real-world tools, become familiar with them, and fix issues that arise.

For Automotive Technician students, IntelliTec has an array of Snap-On tools, allowing students to run diagnostics and become familiar with one of the leading brands used in the industry today. In addition, automotive technician students receive their own set of tools upon graduation to ensure they are equipped for their new career!

Additionally, for programs like Personal Training, understanding the equipment and how it affects the body and a client’s results is crucial. In addition to understanding the theory behind their work, personal trainers get hands-on learning in our spacious fitness facility, which is equipped with state-of-the-art practice training equipment. Having the right equipment allows trainers to see it in action, understand its impact, and make recommendations to clients based on their experience.

Think Outside the Classroom with IntelliTec

There’s a reason why IntelliTec College provides more than just a classroom setting. We all learn in different ways, but one of the most effective ways to learn is by doing!

Trying something out for yourself, especially for a new career path, means having consistent practice, becoming familiar, and feeling confident. If we taught just a classroom alone, our students would not have the practical experience and exposure that a potential employer wants.

Through IntelliTec’s programs, students get a distinct advantage above other job seekers. Instead of coming into a job as an entry-level candidate, you have the skills and real-life experience. This allows you to tell an employer directly what you are good at, what you love, and where you see your career headed with them.

Curious about a certain program and how hands-on learning can help you? Browse our programs here, and contact our Career Services department to learn more!