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Tom Satterlund: Education Changed my Life in a Positive Way

Tom Satterlund“CVTC did not just train me. My education allowed me to change my life in a positive way,” 1971 graduate Tom Satterlund says.

While in the U.S. Army, Tom developed a strong interest in computers and computer technology. After his return from a tour of duty in Vietnam and release from the Army, he moved to Eau Claire with his wife to pursue an associate degree in Data Processing at CVTC.
“I needed to obtain the skills that would allow me and my family to survive, and CVTC provided me with such an environment while respecting me as a person,” Tom says, referring to the nationwide war protests and people’s fierce negative attitudes toward Vietnam veterans.

“Attending CVTC was the smartest decision I ever made.”

Tom’s CVTC education encompassed training in data processing operation and multiple languages of systems programming. The experience was much more than just going to classes.

“Many of my classmates had family and dependents, as did I. We shared a common goal of acquiring the skills we needed to provide for our families,” Tom says. “The similarities in our ages and life situation brought us closer together. We became our own internal support group.”

After graduating, Tom worked in multiple business sectors during his 30-year career:
banking (American National Bank), the food industry (General Mills), and the computer industry (Hewlett-Packard). He started at Hewlett-Packard in 1978 as a software engineer, and then held various managerial positions until his retirement in 2001.

“I sincerely believe that CVTC was a substantial factor in achieving my long-term goals.”
“My favorite memories center on my instructors,” Tom recalls. “It is indeed significant when those who teach are not only highly knowledgeable but sincerely interested in the development of their students. I consider myself most fortunate to have known and worked closely with my instructors.”