Marcus Irvine

Marcus Irvine VAe Graduate

My Story

I first learned of the electronics technician course that is hosted by VAe, through the vocational rehabilitation department (VRE) of the Veterans Administration. I was assured that being a disabled veteran qualified me to attend this course, which was a godsend. For six months, I had been having absolutely no luck with finding employment after relocating to the Cocoa Beach (Florida) area. Both the Veterans Administration and VAe worked together to not only get myself into the course, but they achieved this in what I believe was record time.

I was recently informed that I was a being considered to attend the IWCE and ETA sponsored conference in Nevada, representing Veterans Assembled Electronics (VAe). I am very thankful not only for the opportunity, but also just the consideration. Even the thought of being considered is motivation for me to keep pushing further and faster into the electronics field.

Program Experience

I started the course with limited to no experience. The most experience I had with the internal workings of an electronic device was cleaning up the mess after destroying a non-functioning desktop at a local rifle range almost a decade ago. There were a few instances in the military where I needed to solder a connection, but now I realize what I was doing was well below par. Within my first two weeks of the course, I earned IPC certifications in J-STD-001, 610, 620 and the space addendum. Two weeks after that I was certified by ETA in Electronics Module (EM) 1 (DC), followed by EM2 (AC), EM3 (Analog) and am currently preparing to test for EM4 (Digital) certification. In the very near future I will complete the program (EM5, Comprehensive) which will garner my Associate level as a Certified Electronics Technician (CETa). I have to give credit to the VAe staff for not only allowing me to move as quickly through the material as I did, but also being able to answer any and all questions I had instantaneously, and in a variety of ways allowing me to fully comprehend the material I was taking in.

The connection and relatability the staff of VAe has with the veterans that attend their course is essential. Being able to move through the course at one’s own speed allows veterans to attend to their obligations in life as well as the course. I remember a point in the beginning when I was not going to be able to afford to come to the course for a few weeks, the staff of VAe ensured I would be able to continue attending the course without interruption. Now I am being recommended to attend a conference on the other side of the country, as a representative of VAe, because someone believes I am an exceptional student with the potential to succeed. I cannot take the credit for being an exceptional student without being able to give credit and appreciation to not only the institution that provided me with the education but also the instructors at VAe that shared both the knowledge in books and their years of experience. I am grateful for the consideration of being a student representative of VAe.