WHAT WERE YOU DOING PRIOR TO TRADE SCHOOL?
I actually went to college and got a degree in business and everything. I did that route for a little while and just really hated office life. So I quit that and just went back to doing my recreational activities, like surfing and working at retail shops. Right before I enrolled in trade school, I was a forklift operator for IKEA. When I left, I was making a little less than $21 an hour which was about $700 a week.
WHAT MADE YOU LOOK INTO A TRADE SCHOOL EDUCATION?
It's been in my family for a little bit. I have a couple of uncles that are truck drivers, and I got into warehousing jobs and driving forklifts. I liked being active and moving, it’s the main thing, so office jobs weren’t really for me and the retail space didn’t feel like a career that suited me. But when I realized how much money truck drivers were making, I thought I could get into that. I’d been fork lifting for over two years and felt like I was not gonna get any better at that. I was also enticed by the lifestyle that trucking affords you, the financial freedom to go on vacations, and things like that.
WHAT WERE THE DIFFERENCES YOU NOTICED BETWEEN COLLEGE AND TRADE SCHOOL?
I mean, an obvious difference is the amount of time. One was four years, the other was four weeks, so, a very stark difference. But aside from that, I found the course to be really thorough. Back in the day you drop, you'd jump in the truck with somebody you knew that drove and then a week later they handed the keys and that's just how you learned how to truck. But nowadays there are just so many laws and regulations and way more hazards out on the road, it made it a simple decision to join. As soon as I got into school, got into the truck, and started pulling the trailer around I realized I was glad to be there and well worth my money. Whereas, my four-year education, I don't know if I feel the same way. I had a great time in college. I learned a lot and I don't regret having the education because I know I use my business acumen in my daily life, in my networking ability, and more. I know I learned a lot of good things at college and I don't regret it, but as far as the dollar-for-dollar value, I feel like trade school for trucking has definitely been a little better than college for me.
HOW DID MIA SHARE HELP WITH THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
Mia Share really was a blessing. It came in handy quite nicely because, I'm not gonna say I made the decision to go to school hastily because I had been thinking about it for a long time, but financially I hadn't been planning for it for a long time. The timing seemed to work out with everything else going on in my life. But I couldn’t say the same about my finances. I had bought a motorcycle a few months prior. So I was neck deep in payments on that and still making truck payments and rent payments and etc. I scraped together half of the deposit and then the other half was set up to pay through Mia Share. My credit was not in a place where I could really get a loan from anywhere else. It just made a lot of sense, everything aligned, so I just said let’s do this.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE TRADE?
I love seeing the country so that's top of the list for me. But, also I have family and friends around the country, so as I bounce around the country, I get just enough time to meet up with somebody and grab lunch or whatever, as long as I run my schedule right and stick to my route. So it's been nice just catching up with people I haven't seen in a long time. I’ve seen my grandma a couple of times. I hadn't seen her in four years, since COVID. But also just the freedom to make your own schedule and set your own times. You know you have a place you have to be at a certain time, but everything else in between that is your discretion. If you're in a big city and want to explore or go to a restaurant, you've got time to do that. You work on your own schedule and get mini vacations along the way, that’s the quality of life I enjoy having. And the pay is good. Most drivers get paid by cents per mile due to the variability of road trucking. For example, if I do anywhere near 3,000 miles, I get $1,950 that week.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO ATTEND TRADE SCHOOL?
I would say just go for it. You're never gonna regret having a professional skill that most other people don't have. And as far as, bang for your buck, it's worth it to do it if you've got any interest. And you’ve got opportunities like Mia Share that can help you afford it. Go get it done because it is quick and you gain a skill that someone is going to pay you to use for the infinite future. I feel like these days it's almost more guaranteed that you're gonna have steady work with a trade school job than it is with an undergraduate degree. It's really useful for you as far as a marketing tool.