TSTC auto collision grad moves toward career

Rudy Pinon

Rudy Pinon graduated with his Certificate 2 in Auto Collision & Management Technology in December from Texas State Technical College, and he is getting ready to make the move to Corpus Christi and begin his career in February.

The Mission native accepted a job offer — before graduating — with Caliber Collision as a body shop apprentice. He said he is looking forward to pursuing a career he has had a passion for since high school.

“My dad and I have always been into repairing and restoring cars,” said the 19-year-old. “It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school when I first took a class and knew this was the profession for me.”

Pinon added that when he found out TSTC has an auto collision program and he could stay close to home and receive an affordable education, he knew that it was the place for him.

How did TSTC prepare you for your career?

TSTC prepared me very well. I learned so much and came out with more knowledge and skills than I could have ever imagined. It has been an amazing experience, and I am ready to begin my career with confidence.

Who at TSTC had the most influence on your success?

My Auto Collision & Management instructor, Joseph Cantu, has had the most influence on my success. He saw a lot of potential and greatness in me. He always believed I could become a good technician and helped me see that in myself. He pushed me through the program to be my best and to succeed.

What are your future goals?

After several years in the industry, I plan on moving back to the Valley and opening an auto body shop. This has always been a dream of mine and a goal I’ve been working and taking steps toward for a long while now.

What advice do you have for other TSTC students?

Listen to your instructors, stay focused and work hard. Because at the end of it all, the reward is big and everything pays off.