Southwest Tech Spotlight: Breanna Frazier
As a kid, Breanna would describe herself as very interesting. She was inventive, creative, and loved to doodle. Her mom will tell you that she couldn’t be trusted with a piece of paper and scissors.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. It changed from week to week. Sometimes it was an astronaut. For a while it was a Nascar driver, which I’m not really sure why, and I kind of always wanted to be a vet.”
Breanna would visit her dad’s house on the weekend where she loved getting dirty and playing outside and enjoyed all things creative at her mom’s house during the week. For Breanna, it was the perfect combo.
When the time came to make decisions about the future, Breanna decided to study animation at Milwaukee Area Technical College, the only technical college in the state with an animation program.
“My family has a lot of artists and I love using my creativity. I wanted to make cartoons or video games. Who wouldn’t want to do that?”
Breanna loved the big city life in Milwaukee.
“Coming from the small town of Fennimore, I should have been intimidated, but I was totally enchanted. I love the variety of people in the city and made some really great friends. I also love the artsy atmosphere and that there is so much to do.”
A little more than half way through the animation program, Breanna decided it wasn’t for her.
“I was struggling with 3D animation and realized that wasn’t the path I wanted to take. I also realized that I wouldn’t be able to stay in the Midwest very easily.”
Breanna applied and was offered a job at PetSmart.
“I have always been an animal person and really enjoyed caring for the animals. We were not there to push products, we were there to help the customers. I became the reptile person.”
After about a year, Breanna decided to come home and get back on her feet. The timing just so happen to coincide with a Fast Track event taking place at Southwest Tech.
“I figured I could sit around and try to figure out what to do with my life or I could get a job and make money.”
Breanna attended the Fast Track event and completed all the steps to enter the January start section of the Welding program.
“The program was accelerated, so I could start in January and be done in September. There’s a nice market for welders, so I am pretty much guaranteed a good paying job. The kicker is that I happen to be good at it, too!”
Breanna is looking at jobs where she can combine her artsy side with her trade.
“I like ornamental structures like hand rails, tables, and chairs or maybe I will look into a side business making sculptures and welded art. I don’t want to do the same thing every day. I want to be creative and unique and have fun with stuff.”
Breanna has this piece of advice to other women considering the welding industry.
“Don’t go into it trying to impress anyone but yourself. They may think that you’re weaker and can’t handle the job. Just keep working and they will go away.”
Now that she has completed the program, Breanna will be headed back to Milwaukee with her cat, her bearded dragon, and her fish ready to start an epic journey of creativity in the welding industry.