Julie Vondra

Julie graduated from Southwest Tech with two certificates in 1976, with the College nearing its 10 year anniversary.

Her first certificate was in Interior Design, a program she chose after looking through the course catalog and one she felt would tie in with her creative side. Julie wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after high school but she thought this would, at minimum, be something she could use in her personal life.

While attending Southwest Tech, she noticed that the program offered next to the Interior Design classroom was Mechanical Drafting. After doing some research Julie found that this was another program that appealed to her creative side and one that her dad told her may land her a job at John Deere in Dubuque, a company he felt very strongly that she should be working for.

While she attended, Julie served as Student Body President and remembers working with students to start the Southwest Tech Alumni Report, otherwise known as STAR. She also recalled the sports teams that were on campus then, wrestling and basketball, and the camaraderie she felt with her college friends. “We were all there together getting our start,” she said. “It was a big milestone in our lives.”

Julie said she looks back fondly at her time at Southwest Tech and she is very proud of the school and the education she received there.

Julie graduated in 1976 with her Mechanical Drafting certificate and was hired by John Deere immediately. While at John Deere, Julie says she’s always been willing to jump in and try new things, which has allowed her to work in various departments and become very well-rounded within the Engineering field at Dubuque.  She has worked in Product Engineering, Module Engineering, Machine Evaluation, and currently Service Parts Engineering.

For the past 41 years, Julie has had an amazing, rewarding career at John Deere Dubuque Works, and it all started with an educational foundation from Southwest Tech.