HSA Columbus senior becomes school’s first student to get job via engineering pathway program

Heading into his senior year, Mohamed Abdullahi thought the next pitstop in his educational journey would be at a two-year university. He had spent the last four years honing his skill set in Horizon Science Academy Columbus High’s engineering pathway program and was ready to explore his passion for engineering in a college setting.

Then, in the form of a potential full-time job, opportunity came knocking on his door.

HSA’s Engineering Department Head Automation and Robotics Instructor Mustafa Aytekin told Abdullahi he knew of someone looking for a skilled technician and recommended the senior apply for the position. After a few interviews with the company, Abdullahi was hired to be Daifuku Intralogistics’ next Controls Technician, making him the first HSA student to get a full-time job through the engineering pathway program. 

“I am very excited,” Abdullahi said. “I know I have the knowledge (to do the job) and this is going to give me a lot of great experience even if I decide to go to college later on. I just have to thank Mr. Aytekin, who really advocated for me and helped me get this job.” 

Despite being fresh out of high school, Abdullahi has no doubts that he can be successful in this job, which will pay him $30 an hour to go along with a strong benefits package. The engineering pathway not only gave him the knowledge to be an effective technician but also the necessary real-life experience to thrive in a professional environment. 

“The job description was literally everything we did in class,” Abdullahi said. “The PLC programming, the robots and the curriculum we had in class was everything they do in a manufacturing plant. We went on multiple field trips where they showed me what they do at manufacturing plants.

“(With the engineering pathway), you basically do what college kids do. It’s like a four-year college program and there are so many paths you can go down.” 

Abdullahi realizes how big of an opportunity this is not just for the 18 year old but his former classmates as well. According to Abdullahi, Daifuku Intralogistics is open to hiring more students down the line and wants to see how he does with the transition from high school to a full-time job. 

Aytekin believes this is only the beginning for HSA students being able to take what they learned during their four years in the program and transfer them to the workforce. 

“This is going to be a motivational point for our students,” Aytekin said. “Mohamed is not the only one capable of finding a job (out of high school). I believe our other students would have been able to do this job if they were 18. That speaks to the quality of our engineering pathway and skill set that we are teaching our students for four years.” 

Concept Schools offers an array of career-technical education pathways that allow students to explore their vocations. HSA Columbus High currently has several pathways its students can choose from as they prepare for life after high school. 

Horizon Science Academy Columbus High School is a public charter school managed by the award-winning charter management organization Concept Schools
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