Skip to main content

From Biologist to Electrician

From Biologist to Electrician

A lot of people struggle to decide what they want to do in their careers, even if they have advanced degrees. After Sylvia Tran graduated from Michigan State University with degree in human biology, she was unsure what career path to follow. Her dad, also a GM employee, suggested she apply for a job at GM to make some money while she thought about her career goals.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I figured I could take a few years, save up some money and see where I wanted to go next,” explained Sylvia, and she accepted a position as an operator at Lansing Grand River.

Accepting her position at LGR was the launching point for Sylvia’s 10-year career with GM. She spent time in various areas of General Assembly in LGR before taking a role as a team leader in Paint at Lansing Delta Township. When testing was available, she signed up, knowing it would open doors to different opportunities. A science test landed her a position in the paint booths, working with trades and engineers where she was testing samples of tanks and adding chemicals as needed.

“That went back to my biology degree. It was something I was used to from my college labs and really made me feel at home at GM.”

Sylvia’s next move was to Romulus for the electrician apprenticeship program in the spring of 2017. Utilizing the tuition assistance program, she was able to access the resources she needed – including textbooks or lab fees – that allowed her to take the next step into a journeyperson electrician.

Where does she see her career going next?

“If you asked me when I started at GM what my goal was, I wouldn’t have said to be an electrician. But I can’t see myself anywhere else,” Sylvia said. “I can’t wait to see what GM comes up with next with electric vehicles and I’m excited to see where that journey takes me. It’s a little unknown, but it’s also exciting.”

GM offers a variety of resources to help employees map their professional journeys. The Growth and Development for Represented Hourly Employees focuses on hourly employees, like Sylvia, who are looking to explore their career options.

Related Articles