Keegan Hubert’s time at NCK Tech will provide many career options in the auto industry
Keegan Hubert grew up watching her uncle return twisted, dented metal back to its former, shiny glory. From that point on, she knew she wanted to become an automotive collision technician.
Today, she is pursuing that dream in NCK Tech’s Automotive Collision Technology Program. Although it may be an untraditional route for many women, Hubert has never dreamed of doing anything different.
“It’s kind of fun being a woman in a stereotypically male-dominated field,” said Hubert. “I don’t receive any different treatment from our instructors. I proved to the guys right away that I can do just the same work they can do, or even better.”
Hubert’s family roots in the automotive field combined with her natural skill have reaffirmed her decision. Two of her uncles turned to NCK Tech for their degrees, as well. She enjoyed spending time in her uncle’s shop as a child, learning the ins and outs of the trade.
“I thought it was so cool, watching him fix different cars and trucks,” said Hubert. “I like that you can get a car that hit a deer or a tree — seriously banged up — and make it look brand new again. Or, helping a family restore a car that’s been in their family for a long time. I love that.”
Hubert, from Clyde, Kansas, is finishing her second year on the Beloit NCK Tech campus. While the first year revolved around learning the basics, such as fixing a dent and using a paint gun, she said her second year has focused on more in-depth procedures.
“The program at NCK Tech is a great combination of hands-on experience and classroom time,” said Hubert. “We’re able to just go into the shop and dig in. Then, in our class time, we learn the background of why we’re doing it a certain way. You get a good reflection of how to perform inthe field.”
NCK Tech provides students with the latest equipment and training materials. When Keegan graduates with her associate’s degree, she will be fully trained in estimating, analyzing damage, metal and body work, painting, glass replacement, final detailing, as well as repair procedures.
A typical day for Hubert is spent in the shop on campus. However, in her free time, she enjoys serving as an ambassador for NCK Tech and exploring the activities the campus offers. Opportunities such as intramural sports, dance lessons and other campus-wide events make it easy to meet new people.
“My first year, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know very many people on campus,” said Hubert. “Now, being a student ambassador has helped me really get involved. I’ve discovered that there’s something going on around campus nearly every evening.”
Learning to get along with individuals from all walks of life will serve Hubert well in her future career. While she’s gotten to know students inside and outside of her classes, she said every interaction could be considered a lesson.
“In the shop, you learn to work well with other people, even if it’s difficult,” she said. “When I’m out in the real world, I’ll have to work with everyone. That’s been an amazing learning experience.”
Hubert has enjoyed her time at NCK Tech so much that she might stick around. When she graduates, she said she would be interested in becoming an auto collision instructor at her alma mater. Or, she might take a route she already knows by heart.
“I might work at my uncle’s shop and learn the business side,” said Hubert. “Maybe I’ll take over his shop or open my own. I have a lot of options.”