Mike Carno has always enjoyed being a “hands on” kind of worker. After graduating from Bishop Ludden in 2011 he spent the summer working in a machine shop. He planned to attend OCC in the fall but wasn’t sure what he would major in. “A week before the semester started I got a tour of the machine shop (classroom in the Whitney Applied Technology Center) and became a Mechanical Technology major. I wound up loving it.”
While excelling in Mechanical Technology, Carno learned about the College’s Nuclear Technology program. He was intrigued by the career possibilities but stuck with Mechanical Technology, earning his associate degree in 2013 and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY IT two years later.
By the fall of 2015 Carno was back on the OCC campus pursuing degrees in both Nuclear Technology and Electrical Technology. “The cool thing about the nuclear program is that they get people who work at Nine Mile and Fitzpatrick (nuclear plants) to come and teach. They would tell us about the job market and when to apply.”
Carno was about three-quarters of the way through the programs when he applied for a job at Nine Mile and was hired almost instantly. His position in Operations pays extremely well and he’s found the work environment to be outstanding. “It’s a very controlled, very steady pace. Everything is controlled by nuclear procedures. Safety is very big. People are also very open to feedback, especially when you come in as a newer employee and look at things differently than others.”
Two years into his nuclear career Carno remains grateful to OCC and all of the professors who he learned from in the Mechanical Technology, Nuclear Technology and Electrical Technology majors. “The people who were teaching you had done these jobs before and knew what they were talking about. If you had a question that wasn’t straight out of a book, they could answer it. They were very open to helping you as long as you put the work in and definitely oveprepared you.”
You can learn more about OCC’s Mechanical Technology, Electrical Technology and Nuclear Technology majors here. Students who do well in these majors have the option of going directly into the workplace with outstanding starting salaries or transferring and pursuing bachelor’s degrees.