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A day in the life of a diesel mechanic: Meet Samantha Monroe

The thrill of getting under the hood of a diesel engine and covered in oil is what keeps Samantha Monroe coming back to James Sprunt Community College each and every day. Samantha, a 19-year old from Salemburg, NC is enrolled in the diesel and heavy equipment technology program located at the WestPark Campus in Warsaw, NC.

“I just jump in and work on stuff that needs to be fixed,” said Samantha. “It’s so much fun, it’s like a giant puzzle, I love troubleshooting. There’s never the same solution, every truck has its own personality.”

Samantha first got interested in working on diesels when she volunteered one summer at a car lot in Roseboro, N.C. while she was in high school. She was given the opportunity to work on a Roll Back, a tow truck with a diesel engine that is designed to transport cars and other heavy equipment.

“I discovered it was more spacious,” said Samantha. “I could get more involved on that engine that than with a car…. I knew this is what I wanted to do.”

Upon learning about the diesel and heavy equipment program at James Sprunt, she immediately knew this is where she wanted to go to college. “The program at James Sprunt is hands-on, we get to troubleshoot on real trucks and learn how to work on them,” said Samantha.

Samantha has obtained a part-time job already at a shop in Clinton, NC and hopes to go full-time after she finishes her degree at James Sprunt. “I’ve learned that the hardest part of the job is getting used to the environment. The haste of everything… it is very fast-paced and you have to get the job done right the first time,” Samantha said. “It is my job to get trucks back out on the road.”

As for advice to other women who may be considering a career in diesel and heavy equipment technology, Samantha says, “It doesn’t bother me to be in a male dominated field. I tell people not to let anything stop you from doing what you love. People may put you down, but you just have to keep looking forward and remember to never look back.”

Editor’s note: This perspective was first published by James Sprunt Community College. It has been posted with the author’s permission.

Cheryl Hemric

Cheryl Hemric is the public information officer at Robeson Community College. Hemric has worked in the North Carolina Community College System, promoting student success, for over 20 years. She is a proud graduate of a community college, holding an associates degree in advertising and graphic design, and loves to share the story of how education can changes lives and give people hope. She received her bachelor’s degree from Liberty University and her master’s degree in marketing from Southern New Hampshire University.