Technology careers start at MHC
For two IT professionals, the opportunity to develop a solid foundation of skills and build successful careers in the community started with information technology programs at Medicine Hat College (MHC). With their education, Tom Kimber and Ashley Widmer, alongside several other MHC alumni and faculty, work at Auto-Star handling everything from customer care and training to quality assurance.
After Kimber fixed his first computer in high school he was hooked on pursuing a career in information technology. On a recommendation from his teacher, he enrolled in MHC’s computer systems technology program and made the move from Swift Current to Medicine Hat in 1995. The variety of courses, small classes, hands-on learning opportunities and support from instructors were benefits to students, explains Kimber.
“MHC had a bit of everything. You learned programming, assembly language and hardware, and could pick which path you wanted to take. We even took accounting, which was helpful when I was self-employed. You could go in any time or stay after class and instructors were more than willing to spend the extra time with you.”
Kimber worked in various roles in Saskatchewan including IT management, network administration, and web development before returning to Medicine Hat to join the Auto-Star team 10 years ago. As a customer support specialist for the global retail POS technology provider, Kimber delivers technical support and travels across North America setting up new systems and training clients. He also continues to pursue learning opportunities with additional certification courses.
Just down the hall from Kimber works fellow MHC graduate Ashley Widmer, a quality assurance programmer analyst. In 2013, her final year of the information technology software and internet development program, she learned about the Auto-Star position from an instructor who also works for the company, and was offered the job before she even finished school.
According to Widmer, one of the biggest advantages of her MHC education was the small class sizes, which allowed the group to take their knowledge further and work together to stay on track.
Similar to her college experience, relationships are a big part of Widmer’s positive career environment at Auto-Star. In addition to sharing common interests like books and games, a spirit of learning and cooperation exists among employees and creates a collaborative working community.
“The people I work with are amazing. They’ve taught me that you never know everything. The fields change and the programming languages change so you're always learning,” says Widmer.
“I love the fact it's different every day.”
Learn more about Information Technology programming opportunities at MHC.