Penn College Collision Repair Alumni Reveal Diverse Career Paths

The five graduates visited current collision repair operations students to talk about their professional successes.

Five Penn College collision repair alumni recently returned to campus to share their career insights with students in the collision repair operations class. Pictured, left to right, are are Patrick McTague, Derek Finkenbinder, Jacob Wood, Chad Zepp and John Brungard. Photo by Lori A. Boos, alumni and career engagement manager.

Five graduates from the 2012 collision repair technology class at Penn College returned to their alma mater to provide current students with valuable career insights during a special session of the collision repair operations class. The alumni discussed their varied career paths since graduation, and how their education at Penn College has been instrumental in their professional development.

John Brungard, Derek Finkenbinder, Patrick McTague, Jacob Wood and Chad Zepp each shared their unique experiences in the auto collision repair industry.

“They have followed varied and interesting paths in the industry. Their current jobs are all different, but they all mentioned that their Penn College education provided a good foundation to build on,” said Eric Pruden, instructor of automotive technology.

Brungard currently works as an estimator at Fairfield Ford Collision Center in Montoursville, PA, while Finkenbinder has taken an entrepreneurial route, owning and operating Subway Auto Body Collision Center in Carlisle, PA. McTague uses his skills as a collision technician at Park Avenue BMW in Rochelle Park, NJ. Wood has transitioned into a role as a technical representative for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes in Columbus, OH, and Zepp manages and estimates at Resuwreckion Auto Body in Spring Grove, PA.

During the session, the alumni addressed questions from students about their work experiences post-graduation, how they determined they were in the right job, and the challenges they face in the industry.

"The students were able to ask questions about their work experiences since leaving Penn College and how they knew they were in the right job with the best fit for them," Pruden said. "The students also asked technical questions, questions about additional training and some of the bad things that happen in every working environment."

The alumni visit not only provided current students with a glimpse into the real-world applications of their studies but also extended well beyond the scheduled class time due to the engaging and informative nature of the discussion.

"It was a great session, and it went well past the allotted time for the class," Pruden added.

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