Michael Bard graduated from Seneca High School in Seneca, Mo., in 1997. After completing four semesters at local colleges, he quit school to work full-time as an automobile technician.
“At the time, my career as an automobile technician was the most important to me, but I always felt a longing to complete something I set out on 13 years earlier—my degree,” said Michael.
Michael’s plans soon changed. After getting married and moving to Springfield, an opportunity arose for Michael to go back to school, and with his family’s support, he returned to the classroom. “I felt MSU had ample opportunities to get an education in a new field, something other than what I had chosen as my first career,” said Michael.
Choosing that new direction was at the top of Michael’s to-do list. Through a skills assessment, Michael was directed to the department of technology and construction management and soon decided to major in facility management.
“What I like most about facility management is that in some ways, it parallels what I did as an automobile technician,” explained Michael. “As a facility manager, you have to be familiar with motors, pumps, boiler, HVAC and all the other areas it takes to keep a building running. I still am able to maintain a technical skill that I am used to, but I am excited to venture into new areas, mainly the administrative side.”
Michael’s summer internship at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Springfield, Mo., supported his new career path. Through his internship, Michael learned about the inner workings of how hospitals operate as he worked with facility maintenance managers to keep the building running. “The experience has been extremely valuable in that I am able to see what happens on a daily basis and what it takes to keep the building’s occupants satisfied,” said Michael.
Once Michael had a direction for his education, his next task was finding his place as a student at Missouri State.
“As a ‘return to learn’ student, fitting into MSU can be a daunting task,” said Michael. “I did not let my age, however, discourage me from getting involved and participating in different activities. During my classes in the TCM department, I was exposed to a lot of information regarding all the activities I could be involved in, so I made a decision to get involved no matter what.”
Michael participates in a variety of activities through the technology and construction management department: setting up, cooking and tearing down the TCM tailgating trailer, working the chili cook-off, working on the ACI Competition team and attending Construction Club meetings.
“These experiences have been valuable because I have made them valuable. I made a choice to not let the opportunities pass me by but to jump in heard first and get the most out of everything that comes my way,” said Michael.