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McPherson College Produces Workforce Leaders

Jose Angulo ’17McPherson College’s commitment to developing graduates who are career focused and life ready can be seen in businesses, schools and organizations throughout McPherson County. Students with an entrepreneurial mindset like Jose Angulo ’17 can be found living and working in McPherson.

When you ask Angulo what it takes to turn a part-time assembly line job into a management internship that leads to a full-time management position after graduation, he will say, “you just have to put in the time.”

It may sound easy enough, but for this McPherson College business department graduate, “putting in the time” meant many hours at work, in the classroom, and pushing himself to step outside of his comfort zone.

He started working his first year in McPherson for the CertainTeed Corporation, a manufacturer of internal and external building projects including molded vinyl housing siding. His assembly line job helped him pay for his college expenses and the salary enticed him to volunteer for extra shifts and work for others needing time off.

“This job was paying for me to stay at college,” he said. “I felt like I needed to be committed fully to it. I probably missed out on a lot of fun at college, but there’s always time for that.”

When he started thinking about getting an internship as part of his business education, Angulo wanted to stay with CertainTeed but the company had never offered management internships.

“I decided to talk to my manager about it. I figured what was the worst thing that could happen,” he said.

Plant Manager Todd Dearinger was impressed with his pro-active attitude. “He came to us with the proposal and we saw great potential in him.”

The company created an internship and during the summer of 2016, Angulo worked with management supervisors learning about the company’s process and operations.

“It was a really cool opportunity for me,” he said. “I was still working on the assembly line and working with management so I really got to be in the middle of both worlds.”

That experience coupled with his strong work ethic helped land him a management position with the company after graduating. Today he manages two of the four shifts and is in charge of 15 to 20 employees. Angulo hopes to stick with the company and sees opportunity with its plants across the country and around the world.

“We see Jose as someone who can move forward within CertainTeed and our parent company,” Dearinger said. “We employ several graduates of McPherson College and we have seen a good relationship with flexible schedules to meet the needs of both the student and the plant. I think having McPherson College in our community is a benefit to businesses and it could be better utilized in the future to help fulfill our seasonal needs as well as potential candidates for internships and future employees.”

Born in Dallas while his family was visiting the United States, Angulo was from El Salvador and he spent his first 12 years there. He and his family moved to Oceanside, California where he completed middle and high school.

Although he initially was initially unsure about attending a small school like McPherson College, adjusting to the campus and the community turned out to be easy for him. He credits McPherson College for giving him the support he needed to be successful. He specifically points to the attention students, including himself, receive from the faculty.

“The relationships I developed with faculty really helped,” he said. “They take time to know you and give you great advice based on their real-world experience. I feel like I could call up a teacher and go have coffee with them. But even though we had a friendship, they were still brutal with grades!”

The entrepreneurial mindset, career-focused education, and attention to students at McPherson College, turned out to be the right combination for Angulo.