Student Spotlight: Molly Brown
Major: Heating, Ventilation,
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Molly Brown’s father has worked in the HVACR field since she was born.
“This type of career has supported our family and kept us happy and healthy throughout our lives,” she said. “I was having a hard time finding something I was interested in pursuing, so he recommended I sign up for an HVACR class and try it out.”
Brown did that at College of DuPage, and she’s enjoyed every aspect of the HVACR program.
“I ended up doing really well and enjoy it,” she said. “As a woman, it makes me feel very empowered to be succeeding in a mostly male field.
“Every one of the teachers that I’ve had in the program are all very knowledgeable and have such a huge drive to help their students succeed. Plus, the lab that we practice in has all different kinds of technology and different ways to apply yourself. Almost everything in the lab, if not everything, is made by the students in the program.”
While still in the program, Brown was hired as an apprentice on a 46-story building in downtown Chicago. She currently is taking classes at the IUOE Local 399 Union Hall and is planning to complete her final class at COD and earn her Associate in Applied Science degree and certificate.
“All of my teachers have really prepared me well for the challenging situations I have encountered, and I am very excited to get back and take that last class,” she said. “Right now, I don’t just work on HVAC systems but also on many electrical and mechanical systems of all types. I have even done some welding on one of our fire pumps.”
Brown is proud to be in a career that is starting to open up to more women. She encourages other women to try HVACR or another male-dominated field.
“There are so many opportunities for us women in the world these days, so do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone,” she said. “College of DuPage is a perfect place to take chances and try new things. The HVACR program has taught me life skills and has made me so proud of myself for accomplishing the things that I have. The term ‘handy man’ absolutely does not mean that there are only handy males in this world, and we need more women to prove it.
“I would just like to thank all of my great teachers in the HVACR program for all of their support and help they have given to me. I’ve never enjoyed school as much as I do now and I really appreciate everything they have done for not only me but also for the program.”
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