The December graduate is now working for Remis America LLC in Elkhart. The company designs, builds and installs energy-efficient refrigeration systems for retail stores. He is responsible for designing the mechanical cases and insulated doors using both AutoCAD and Solidworks software. Lathro is quick to point out that he is using the skills he learned in his PNC classes.
In time, he intends to take the Professional Engineer license examination and beyond that, he would like to earn a Master’s degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering Technology.
“I enjoy the handson nature of working with computers,” said Lathro. “At PNC we had a tremendous hands-on experience.”
As a student, Lathro worked at the PNC Information Services, Technology Help Desk. That job brought him into contact the PNC students, faculty and staff as they encountered computer hardware and software problems.
Lathro admitted that he loved the day-to-day challenges of the job. “The job at the Help Desk is ideal for someone who has background knowledge or experience with computers. Like any job, it was a bit challenging at first, but when I got used to it, everything became easy. In most cases, I was able to help solve problems and answer questions. However, Information Services at PNC is about team work so if I had trouble answering questions or solving problems, I could always ask the people I worked with or my supervisor, Dawn Madura. Everyone was very willing to help.”
A native of the Ivory Coast, Lathro found a welcoming, family atmosphere at PNC. He started his academic with the Purdue College of Technology at South Bend, when he didn’t think his major suited his talents and career ambitions, he turned to PNC.
“I believe my degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering Technology will offer me more opportunities down the road,” Lathro explained.
When he explored his academic options, found that Susan Wilson, PNC director of School Partnerships, answered his questions related to his International Student status while Christopher Smith, PNC associate professor of Electrical Engineering Technology, helped him register for classes and ease his transition.
As Lathro settled in, he established a routine that helped him ensure his success in the classroom.
“School was always my priority,” he explained. “When I got my class schedule for this semester, I created a timetable to see how many hours I could be free to work at the Help Desk without affecting my performance in school.”
Lathro’s grades earned him mention on the PNC Semester Honors List. And he enjoyed an active social life as a typical university student, spending his free time going to the gym, seeing a movie, watching sports on television and hanging out with friends.
Among his favorite PNC experiences were the bus rides to West Lafayette to take in Purdue football games on weekends.
Having completed his degree, Lathro is now in a position to offer his advice to students weighing the future.
“I advise students to study very hard because that is the only key to success. PNC offers great programs. Class schedules are flexible, professors are experienced and know their material, the university atmosphere is great for learning,” he said. “Do not hesitate to ask questions to professors because they are really helpful.”