Keila Schmitz

Keila Schmitz
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

I planned on going into the medical field and looked into massage therapy, physician’s assistant, nursing and medical lab technician programs. The more I thought about it, I just didn’t think that would suit me. I was looking for a sustainable income in an industry that was projected to grow, and I’d heard that demand for HVAC technicians was on the rise and thought it would be a good gig to get into while demand was high.

I am loving the HVAC program. I chose it because I had a friend in the program who I’d helped with his homework from time to time. So I went out on a limb by going into a program that is predominantly male and knowing very little about HVAC beforehand. It has definitely been an experience, but an experience full of learning, laughing and making a lot of memories. It has turned out to be a blast.

My whole class plus the teacher are males and, at the business where I interned, there was one woman in the fabrication shop. My advice to other women in fields dominated by men is to just have confidence in yourself. I have had a great experience with this program, but I also want to give a huge shout-out to having some amazing guys in my class as well as an awesome teacher. As long as you prove that you can work hard, you will get the respect you deserve.

Schmitz will graduate in spring 2020 and has a job lined up with an HVAC firm in Grand Forks, N.D.