Patrick Coursey '11

faceWhen I was searching for colleges in High School I had a hard time finding the right balance between what I wanted to study and the right type of class environment.  The Thompson School ended up being a perfect match for me.  I have always been a hands-on kind of person so the small class sizes and the personal relationships that the teachers created were great.  Not many people can say that they called their professors by their first name!  The wide variety of classes by the CT (Civil Technology) program was fantastic.  To be able to study Surveying & Mapping in one hour and Welding in the next kept things fresh and more enjoyable.   Probably, what was my best experience at the Thompson School was how the classes where structured just like it would be in the field.  Instead of being stuck in the class room where there were no opportunities to practice, the Thompson School provided what they called, outdoor "Labs."  These labs helped me relate better to what I was actually going to do someday.  Also instead of being limited to certain times when you could ask questions, the CT building (Putnam) was open almost 24hrs a day.  You could go1 in, discuss questions with professors and or have full access to the computer labs and equipment.

What I liked best about UNH was the ability to live and socialize on a campus with a large amount of people but still have that small town feel.  I came from a small town and was happy to find people with my same interests.  If it wasn't for UNH I wouldn't have met the people that I did.  Some of them are friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

Currently, I am working for a local general contractor call R.M. Piper INC.  We focus on bridge building/reconstruction, concrete, and site work.  Out of college I was hired on as a laborer, but it wasn't long before I was given a chance to use my skills acquired at the Thompson School.  A year after graduation I was given my first job to run a NHDOT road project.  Aided by my skills from UNH, I was able to finis3h the job and was actually personally requested back by NHDOT last summer (2012) to do additional work.  Since then, I have been promoted to the title of foreman and have been using my skills in surveying and layout to help build jobs.  I have also been able to assist in job estimation and takeoff. 

The Thompson School helped me get to where I am today by giving me usable skills that apply to my career field. The professors at the CT program have actually worked and have years of experience in the field that they are teaching.  Having been at the Thompson School has helped to get me noticed and has given me a chance to prove my worth in the work place.

My goals for the future are to keep building on what I have learned by gaining experience and to use my knowledge to advance in my field so I can build a good life for myself.  Someday I would even like to be able to come back to school and further advance my skills.