Alumni from Ecotech Institute often don't just experience success in their careers, but find that they truly love what they're doing. One such alumni is Brandon Donnelly.
Brandon graduated from Ecotech Institute with a degree in Solar Energy Technology in 2014. After graduation, he went to work for SolarCity, where he worked as a solar installer primarily specializing in residential projects, until recently.
SolarCity promoted Brandon to a commercial installation team and he now travels the southwestern U.S. installing massive solar PVs for businesses.
"I really enjoy all the traveling that this job allows me to do," says Brandon. "I get to see different parts of the Southwest, meet new people and gain a lot of experience that will provide opportunities for me to grow professionally."
SolarCity pays for his flights, hotel, per diem and much more.
"It's been great," he says. "I love my job and I couldn't have done it without Ecotech Institute."
Brandon's first commercial installation was in Chandler, Arizona, where he and his team installed a 365 kw system of 1,428 panels for a local Safeway grocer. Next, they'll install a 1,200-plus solar panel project for another Arizona Safeway.
"Some of the more common problems I face every day are troubleshooting electrical issues," Brandon says. "When we test a system, we can see what string of modules aren't producing properly, and our team has to trace the issue back to its source. I'm able to do this quickly thanks to the practice and hands-on education I got in my electrical and solar classes at Ecotech Institute. With the prior experience, it's been easy to source problems as they arise and get them to produce properly."
His advice for those looking to pursue careers in the solar energy field:
"Absorb all the knowledge you can, stay focused and set challenging career goals. It will take you places!"