Phil Finklea, Refrigeration School Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona

My career started in the U.S. Air Force as a Jet Engine Technician from 1982 until 1995. I was stationed all over the country, with a short assignment in the country of Iceland. I decided to end my Air Force career at the end of my enlistment in 1995 and pursue a civilian career. I took a job in a factory making magnets after the Air Force while attending RSI’s EMT program. While working at this facility, I learned that the furnaces used refrigerant and had their own power supply. At the time, this was unique to the industry and fell right into the training I was receiving at RSI. Upon my graduation, I was promoted to the maintenance department and worked for approximately 3 years. I excelled as a result of my training from RSI.

The company was starting to fail in 1998 and layoffs were eminent. During this time, RSI wrote me a letter asking if I would consider teaching. I interviewed and was offered an instructor position, teaching the Commercial Wiring course. While teaching, I was able to expand my abilities and teach the entire electrical course by 1999. I was promoted to Administrative instructor in 1999 and learned the complexities of the faculty supervisor position over the next few years. I completed the AOS degree in 2002 and transferred my credits to the University of Phoenix to complete their Bachelors in Business Management program. After my supervisor’s retirement in 2007, I was promoted to Faculty supervisor. Upon the acquisition of the school in 2009 by Beam Reach Education, my title changed to Director of Training. I found the training at RSI challenging and engaging and have made it my personal goal to ensure students at RSI have the same great experiences available to them that I had while attending.

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