Colin Phelps

Phelps eyes limitless engineering opportunities

Colin PhelpsColin Phelps’ career horizon is wide open. He could one day be designing the next Tesla or Willis Tower. Phelps is working toward a degree in Computer Aided Design in IVCC’s 3+1 program with Northern Illinois University and plans a career as a civil, architectural or mechanical engineer.

Through IVCC’s MIMIC program, he is gaining hands-on experience manufacturing a product, marketing it and selling it. His 2019-20 project is a wooden cutting board with cutouts for spice cups. The Making Industry Meaningful in College program brings together students in marketing, statistics, CAD, electronics and other disciplines to collaborate on a product that will be sold to the college community at the spring MIMIC fair. “It’s been great,” Phelps said of MIMIC. “I’ve met a lot of new friends and everyone is willing to help you.” He looks forward to going to school each day because his courses are solely focused on his career pursuits. He’s become so proficient in CAD, he now tutors fellow students.

Colin PhelpsPhelps, 20, works part-time in security at Ottawa’s Pet Smart Distribution Center and serves one weekend a month as a combat engineer with the National Guard in Marseilles. He’s completing year four of a six-year enlistment that began his junior year at Ottawa High School.

Phelps knows he made the right decision in choosing IVCC. “With the tutoring center, writing center and so many other resources, IVCC has solid support centers,” Phelps’ said. “Overall, IVCC has been a great experience.”