TSTC Drafting and Design student finds niche, balances motherhood and job

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Alejandra Sanchez is an Engineering Graphics and Design Technology student at TSTC’s Harlingen campus. (Courtesy: Texas State Technical College/TSTC)

HARLINGEN — Texas State Technical College student Alejandra Sanchez does her best to balance motherhood, a college education and being an assistant manager at a pizza restaurant.

Sanchez is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Graphics and Design Technology at TSTC, and she finds it interesting how some instances in her life would later connect to drafting.

“I remember watching a team of workers build a home from beginning to end based on a blueprint,” she said. “I learned that a blueprint is the plan of how a home will be designed. In high school I did well in algebra, geometry and precalculus. Those subjects are tools that a civil engineer uses. After I graduated, I pursued a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at a university. But what I learned was primarily about theory. I wasn’t happy because I’m a hands-on learner.”

The La Feria resident is getting plenty of hands-on experience at TSTC.

“Everything that I’m learning about mechanical engineering is my passion so my daughter and I can have a better life,” she said. “I am doing assignments with programs such as AutoCAD and SolidWorks. I love it.”

Now in her third semester at TSTC, Sanchez looks forward to finishing her degree and finding her dream job.

“My knowledge and skills are growing, and I’m excited for my future career,” she said.

Miguel Loya is one of Sanchez’s drafting and design instructors.

“Alejandra is exceptional at handling multiple responsibilities because it showcases her dedication and time management skills,” he said. “She shines in her attention to detail and promptness, which will undoubtedly meet client needs by ensuring high-quality work, timely delivery, and precise attention to project details.”

According to onetonline.org, architectural and civil drafters earn an average salary of $57,420 in Texas, while mechanical drafters earn an average of $62,700 a year in the state.

In Drafting and Design, TSTC offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in Architectural/Civil Drafting Technology, Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology, and Engineering Graphics and Design Technology, as well as several certificates of completion. For a complete list, visit tstc.edu/programs/draftingdesign.