Stefanie Oxendine | A&P Graduate

I went to Spartan in June 1992. I had just graduated high school two weeks prior and was only 17 years old. As a child I was always fascinated with airplanes. I would always reply to those business reply cards that I found in magazines. They asked questions like, ‘where do I see myself in the future?’ Then low-and-behold a Spartan representative called me that April. He then came to my hometown in Lumberton, North Carolina. We then discussed courses and he showed me several videotapes. I decided to enroll in the A & P program. I was beginning to feel more positive about my future in the aviation industry. I arrived at Spartan. The administration process went quite smoothly. Everyone was very helpful and friendly. Throughout my training at Spartan, I found the instructors to be extremely nice and made everyone feel comfortable. That was wonderful for me because I was so young and the only female in each class, not to mention being in a male dominated field. Therefore, class participation was especially rewarding and fun. Hats off to the instructors for being firm, yet down to earth. Considering all my classes together, I seemed to be partial towards the powerplant side of the house. The only thing I didn’t like about attending Spartan was the tuition. Nothing to do with the school. It’s just that I’m a Lumbee Native American Indian whose tribe isn’t recognized. To this day I ponder over the issue; if I was only recognized then I definitely would have enrolled in more classes. That was a shame. Looking on the brighter side, I have no regrets.
After achieving my A & P in 1994 I joined the Army. One reason is because I was only 20 and another was I needed at least 5 years experience in Aviation. I enlisted as a helicopter engine mechanic. The deal was I join for three years without going to AIT since I already had my A & P license. I was guaranteed E-4 after two months at my first duty station. Most people would say I shouldn’t have joined the Army first, but I would have never gotten all the hands on training like I did at Spartan. After my three year tour I got hired on immediately at Gulfstream Aerospace in 1998. My current job is an Avionics Technician. Not only do I have my A & P but I’m also getting opportunities to work in Avionics. Our company is the largest business-jet operation in the world. My job consists of installing all the wiring for the different avionics systems, troubleshooting problems, inspections, sheet metal work, and everything related to the avionics package. The same month I has hired on here I also joined the Air National Guard as a C-130 engine mechanic. To keep my powerplant license current and I joined for six years to get the Loan Repayment Program for college. The military has been a big help. I would like to thank Spartan again for being a well known technical school and for opening the biggest door to my future.