BROWNSVILLE, Texas – With a knack for drafting and design at a young age, Cristian Banda knew this was the career for him, and now Texas Southmost College is helping him work toward that goal.
The Brownsville native expects to graduate from TSC’s Computer-Aided Drafting Technology program with an associate degree in summer 2021, but he didn’t always think becoming a college graduate was a possibility.
“I didn’t attend college right after high school,” said the 25-year-old. “I lacked confidence in myself and in my skills. I didn’t think I could be successful in college, so I didn’t go.”
Instead, Banda worked as a waiter, but struggled to make ends meet.
“I got tired of working jobs that were taking me nowhere,” he said. “I wanted something better, so I took a chance on myself and enrolled at TSC.”
He said that was the best decision he could have made.
Since enrolling in TSC’s Computer-Aided Drafting Technology program, Banda has maintained a high GPA, even earning a spot on the dean’s list.
“I really have to give credit for my success to my instructor Mr. Robert Vasquez,” said Banda. “He recognized very early that I was not very confident and that I doubted what I could do. It was his patience and mentorship that pushed me to keep going.”
Banda said everything he has learned during his time at TSC has given him the solid foundation he needs to lead a successful career.
Computer-Aided Drafting Technology students like Banda gain knowledge of the disciplines of drafting and design, learn to read and create multi-view mechanical and architectural drawings, develop two and three-dimensional drawings using industry-standard drafting software and prepare detailed architectural construction drawings.
“I’ve come to realize how easy the work in this field comes to me,” he said. “I have a passion for it; therefore, I’m constantly working at improving my skills and learning new techniques. Plus, the instruction and guidance I have received here at TSC has helped me prepare for the real world and broadened my career options.”
With a brother and cousin also in the field with a design firm in Brownsville, he has been able to take what he has learned in the classroom and apply it to the work he is doing as an intern at their firm, B&B Design.
“It wasn’t too long ago that I could not even imagine doing what I’m doing now,” said Banda. “I’ve matured, gained confidence and I’m more dedicated than I ever was to school and closer to a career, thanks to TSC.”
Banda said he hopes to work with his brother and cousin after graduating, but ultimately, he hopes to expand the firm’s services to include commercial drafting and design or to open his own firm.
“I can really look forward to a future of possibilities now. For the first time, I’m even considering continuing my education,” he said. “All it took was four semesters at TSC to put me on the path toward success.”
TSC Computer-Aided Drafting Technology offers two pathways – a Certificate of Proficiency and an Associate of Applied Science degree.
Graduates of the program can find employment in the architectural, construction, engineering and manufacturing sectors.