Southwest Tech Spotlight: Karla Fishnick

Southwest Tech Spotlight: Karla Fishnick

Kyle and Karla Fishnick were living their dream of being dairy farmers while raising a beautiful family. After 33 years, things took a turn and got rough. Karla began working off the farm and after two years the couple made the difficult decision to end their dairy operation.

Karla was working at Piggly Wiggly for minimum wage when she decided to try something different.

“I decided to take the Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) course at Southwest Tech. I enjoy helping and caring for people.”

Soon after completing the course, Karla’s sister called and wondered if she would be interested in working in the food industry.

“They offered me a limited term position in food service at Glenview Commons on the University of Wisconsin – Platteville campus. They were looking for someone who was motivated and could keep up with a fast-paced environment. I was actually hired by Karen Bast, one of the current Culinary program instructors at Southwest Tech.”

Karla enjoyed the new job and realized her passion for the culinary industry.

“I really enjoyed that job and decided that I would like to have more control and responsibility. I weighed out the pros and cons about going to college and the pros outweighed the cons.”

Karla made an appointment to visit Southwest Tech.

“It was a tough decision, but in no time I was a registered student. The process was much easier than I thought it would be.”

Returning to school after raising a family wasn’t as difficult as Karla had thought it would be.

“My biggest fear was learning how to study again. I had a great support system between the staff at Southwest Tech and my family. I always had plenty of help with anything I needed.”

In addition, Karla was working part-time at Blue Boy Bakery while going to school.

“My employer worked with my hours, so I was able to balance work, school, and life. It all worked out really well.”

Karla shares this advice to other adults who are considering going to college.

“Make a list of pros and cons. If you have more pros, the time is now. Attending Southwest Tech was one of the best decisions I have made for myself.”

Karla recently started a new adventure, Karla’s Kitchen, a restaurant and catering business in Lancaster.

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