A.A.S. in Nuclear Power Technology, Bismarck State College
Equipment Operator Byron Generating Station, Exelon
Tom Corcoran started in security at Exelon in 2010, but knew it was just his first step towards a successful career in nuclear operations. “My intention was always to advance my career, and security was my way to get my foot in the door,” Tom said. He took initiative and began asking around to learn what he would need to do to qualify for a position in the operations department. “I spoke with Steve Gackstetter [former Director of Training at Byron Station], and he suggested the online Nuclear Power Technology (NUPT) program at Bismarck State College.” He had also seen flyers about the program in the security breakroom.
The fact that the program was online appealed to Tom. “I have a family at home, and I was working full time, so the flexibility to access the courses at my convenience was great. Sometimes I was doing schoolwork at 3am,” Tom said. However, what appealed to him even more is the fact that Exelon endorses the program. Tom noted that,“Exelon presents it as a partnership with Bismarck State College, so you feel like they are working together and your NUPT degree is really going to be valued by the company.” Exelon also provides tuition reimbursement, which was another benefit for Tom.
Since earning his Associate of Applied Science in Nuclear Power Technology degree in May of 2015, Tom has advanced into an Equipment Operator position, and is currently in Exelon’s operations training program. He credits the education he gained at Bismarck State as a key factor in securing his new position. Tom said, “What I learned in the [NUPT] program has absolutely prepared me for the training program.” He is such a champion of the program, he has encouraged several others in security interested in advancing their career to look into it as well: “It’s not only a great career boost, it’s a proven path at Exelon that you know works if you’re interested in moving into operations.”