By Kate Wallace
Mike Gately is one of the staff members at SCTCC who almost everyone on campus knows. With his position in IT, his job lets him get around to almost all corners of SCTCC to help people with their computers, from troubleshooting software to making sure the Mac lab is up to date.
And while everyone may know Mike, not a lot of people know that he’s actually a 2011 graduate of the SCTCC Information Technology program with an AAS in Network Administration.
“I had done some work with the school through facility maintenance management, and I liked the school. It had a program that I was interested in, so I took it,” he said. Then laughing, “And since I’m slightly older, I thought two years was all I should risk at this point. And then I could always transfer to a four-year degree later if I really felt ambitious.”
He had been managing facility maintenance prior to coming to SCTCC, but he had an interest in IT work. As he got older, he found that he had more focus on where his interests lay, so he thought he’d try to get a degree in Information Technology. And that’s just what he did.
“The students and I got along great,” he remembered. His seasoned time as a student was a huge help to him and his classmates. He was the oldest student in his classes, and older than some of the teachers. He got help from them on classwork because they quickly understood the material, and they got help from him on the “real-life” experiences, like how to apply for a credit card.
His second year as a student, he was a work study for the IT Dept. at SCTCC, which laid the foundation for his future. With his AAS finished, he left for a three-month internship, then applied for his current position of Endpoint Administrator at the College. He’s been at SCTCC for 12 years.
During that time, he’s worked with many students, and he’s impressed with how intelligent they are and their persistence: “They know what they want to do, and in general, they go get it done.”
For the next 75 years, he has high hopes for SCTCC and the future.
“I think we could be the MIT of Minnesota. MIT started out as a technical college, and there’s no reason we can’t do the same thing,” he explained. “Because the future is not in the current technologies that are around the world right now at these big high-tech companies. The future is in this school.”