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Getting the Green Light

Garrick Johnson II has always been fascinated by how things work.

It's an interest that led him to major in mechanical engineering at Missouri S&T and helped him land his first job months before he'll walk in his commencement ceremony.

Last fall, the senior from Florissant, Mo., accepted a job as an engineer with John Deere & Co.  in its construction and forestry division, which has a product line of more than 100 models.

"My parents were ecstatic when I told them about my amazing offer," he says. "My mom definitely could not keep it to herself. So when I got back home, everyone in my family and my church knew the big news."

The company extended Johnson an offer after he completed a summer internship with them in Dubuque, Iowa, an experience that added to his technical, networking and communication skills.

"I love how they use the work that interns produce throughout the summer," he says. "I provided my input for an aspect of a cab assembly inquiry and was credited on how my input was pivotal for the future design of the unit."

Johnson remembers that one of his biggest concerns as a high school student was not having enough funds to continue his education at Missouri S&T.

"I always thought this university was a great fit for me because of my involvement with the Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) program, Miner Days and Open Houses," he says. "However, staying and finishing my education here with minimal debt was my top priority before enrolling."

As he looks forward to graduating in May, Johnson couldn't be happier with his future.

"Both of my parents were — and still are — proud of my success," he says. "Trust me, they will be the loudest ones at my graduation this coming May."

Story by Mindy Limback
Video by Terry Barner