Similar to many other MAT² Apprentices, Trivia Barnes, a current apprentice at ZF, was looking for a new opportunity to earn her degree and gain hands-on experience – all while avoiding the crippling student loan debt. As a female in a very male-dominated industry, Trivia was determined to succeed as a Mechatronics Engineer and inspire young women to consider a career in STEM.

Trivia has been in the workforce for 20+ years, and finally received the unique opportunity to not only go to school, but to work for a company – giving her the best of both worlds, especially as a single parent. She faced a lot of challenges entering the Manufacturing industry, but used those hurdles as motivation, pushing her to go after her goals.

“The biggest benefit of the MAT² Apprenticeship Program, for me, is receiving a debt-free education,” mentioned Trivia. “MAT² also gives me the opportunity to be hands-on with a company while earning my degree.”

The apprenticeship program has not only provided Trivia a debt-free associate degree, but it has also given her the chance to expand her skills and apply her knowledge to the floor. Her best advice to those looking for a career change: take the leap. “If you are already in the field, you may be taking a pay-cut, but the benefits later are much greater than what you are doing now,” said Trivia.

Learn more about becoming a MAT² Apprentice here.