Savannah Little enjoys puzzles. It’s a fitting hobby for the soon-to-be Texas State Technical College avionics technology graduate.
“Its really cool to look at something and see it working, and then to crack it open and see why it’s not working,” she said of her avionics tech training. “It’s like solving a puzzle.”
Avionics deals with aircraft electronics, from lights to fuel pumps, said Dane Kunkler, a TSTC avionics instructor at the Waco campus. Graduates finish with a Federal Communications Commission license, a general radio operators license and other industry certifications, he said.
Little, 20, is the only avionics graduate this December, and she completed the program a semester quicker than most.
“Very inquisitive and very talented,” Kunkler said of Little. “She’s the kind of person you want to get into avionics because she’s constantly thinking, ‘What’s the next step?’ ”
Little, a Houston native, credits Kunkler and lead avionics instructor Martin Segraves with her success at TSTC.
“Both the teachers are exceptional at what they do, and you get a lot of good one-on-one time,” she said. “If you have questions, they have no problem answering them.”
Little will put that knowledge to work after graduation. Her own business, Savvy Industries, repairs small parts of airplanes. She is already working a job with Air France.
“Hopefully, when I get home, I’ll have my hands full with stuff,” she said. “If I don’t, I’ll get so bored.”
Little said she was studying technicalities long before she discovered her interest in aircraft.
For 10 years, she excelled in Irish stepdance, a traditional dance with precise foot movements.
“My method of remembering stuff has pretty much stayed the same,” she said. “Writing everything down or writing it down twice. Or sort of doing it several times, or watching other people do it. I guess it did help with your muscle memory, once you exercise that part of your brain. ‘OK, I see this, I understand it,’ and then you can apply it somewhere else.”
Both Kunkler and Segraves say Little has a variety of career options armed with her avionics degree, which she will receive Dec. 9 at TSTC’s winter commencement at Waco Convention Center. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, avionics technician job growth in Texas is expected to increase 15 percent by 2022.
“She’s been an amazing student who picks up things quickly,” Segraves said. “She’s a quick study and versatile.”
Little originally planned to attend a four-year college, but opting for TSTC’s avionics program was a better choice for her, she said.
“I’ve learned so much in just this year and four months that I’ve been here,” she said. “I couldn’t even imagine being anywhere else with any other group of people. I met these people the first week I was here, and we stuck in this group for a whole year. Without them, I don’t know if I would’ve succeeded.”