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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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McAllen
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STC, Texas A&M Engineering Academy Connect Students to Industry

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Students who are part of Texas A&M Engineering Academy at South Texas College toured the Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages plant recently in McAllen. The tour enabled students to get a behind-the-scenes look at industry to supplement what they are learning in class. Courtesy Image
Students who are part of Texas A&M Engineering Academy at South Texas College toured the Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages plant recently in McAllen. The tour enabled students to get a behind-the-scenes look at industry to supplement what they are learning in class. Courtesy Image
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By Joey Gomez

McALLEN, Texas – Industry visits by students with the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at South Texas College are providing them with the opportunity to see how engineering concepts are being applied beyond the classroom.

A recent tour of the Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages plant in McAllen enabled students to get a behind-the-scenes look at industry as well as network with professionals on the job.  

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Courtesy image

“Students are being exposed to various opportunities that are available to them in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Maricruz Hinojosa, project manager with the Texas A&M Engineering Academies program. “I believe this can potentially help them make a more informed decision when choosing their engineering major.”

Offered in partnership with Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering, the Academies program offers students an opportunity to pursue an engineering degree while co-enrolled at Texas A&M and STC. Students are then able to transition to Texas A&M in College Station, Galveston or the McAllen campus to complete their bachelor’s degree in this highly competitive program.

“What these students have gone through, I went through as well as far as trying to get your foot in the door and helping your family and providing for them,” said Adalberto Garza, plant manager at Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages facility. “You have to work hard and make good things happen. This is what I am trying to convey to students because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes.”

STC together with Texas A&M University launched the Engineering Academy in 2023 and welcomed its first cohort in the fall. The Academy gives students the opportunity to pursue one of 22 majors within the College of Engineering at Texas A&M.

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Hiram Moya, currently one of the STC Engineering Academy students as well as a Valley representative for the academy itself, said visiting the plant was essential as he wants to pursue a degree in industrial manufacturing engineering.

“In terms of the Coca-Cola experience, I really appreciated getting a first-hand look at the various processes including design and manufacturing. I feel like I could relate to it on a personal level and seeing it in person will be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life,” Moya said. “You get to see the job outside of the classroom and you get to talk to professionals in the field which can lead to internships and even jobs. Participating in the tour will greatly benefit me and help me move forward. I believe networking is an important part of being a college student, maybe even more than just getting straight A’s.”

For more information on the STC, Texas A&M Engineering Academy, please visit www.southtexascollege.edu/academics/partners/tamu-engineering/index.html.

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