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Student Experience
Richard Tyler
Richard Tyler College of San Mateo, Electronics Technology

"When I was five years old, I took my aunt's television remote control apart," said College of San Mateo alumnus Richard Tyler, recalling when he first became interested in electronics.

Luckily for his aunt, Richard was able to put the device back together. But did it work again? "Yes," Richard, now 29 and employed at worldwide company L-3 Communications Corporation, said with a shy chuckle.

Richard works as a test operator in the San Carlos Electron Devices Division of L-3 Communications, which is a prime defense contractor in areas such as intelligence, surveillance and secure communications, according to the company’s Web site.

He’s been full-time since August of last year but his employment began with L-3 through an internship Richard obtained with the assistance of CSM’s Student Employment services.

"We have a good working relationship with L-3," said Eileen O'Brien, the coordinator of Student Employment, who has placed many students in internships with L-3 and other local companies. "With Richard, it was an easy placement. He impressed me as a capable person who would do a good job."

At the time he visited Student Employment, Richard had already obtained an A.S. degree in Electronics Technology: General Electronics but was taking more electronic courses at CSM.

His experience with CSM’s Electronics Technology program was a good one. Richard was particularly complimentary to Electronics professors Tom Diskin and Roy Brixen, for whom Richard worked as a lab assistant one summer.

"They made the courses both fun and interesting," Richard said. "I found that very important to learning. It helped me focus."

"I like working with my hands, figuring out how things work," he added, "and the classes gave me an opportunity to do that with all the lab work."

Richard said he is pleased that he decided to pursue his life-long interest in electronics at CSM after years of working in retail and is considering seeking a higher degree sometime in the future.

"But, for now, I want to focus on my work and gain as much practical experience as possible," he added, with the comfortable drive of someone who has found his niche.

This feature first appeared in CSM's Fall 2008 Schedule of Classes.