Walter Guertin CF ’20

October 2, 2023
This profile is part of our alumni Wall of Honor for veterans.

Walter Guertin CF ’20

Military Branch: Army
Division/Unit/Company: 203rd MI BN
Rank at Discharge: 1SG
MOS: 35X40 Sr. Intelligence Analyst
NBSS Program: Cabinet & Furniture Making

How did your military service inspire you to attend NBSS?

I was looking at how to utilize Vocational Rehab training and to pursue an area of study that was hands-on learning. I always enjoyed woodworking and building things. The military reinforced discipline and task completion, as well as attention to detail.

How did your military training help you be a successful student at NBSS?

Because of the military, accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of the troops was the driving force and the glue that held it together. What was transferable was the ability to take on a challenge and see it through to completion. If something wasn’t quite right in a project I was working on at NBSS, I could take the time to analyze it and rework it if necessary. The satisfaction was, in knowing, that we can always improve and deliver a near perfect project.

What is your current job?

I am self-employed as a custom furniture maker. I attend the trade shows where I get to show and offer my work for sale as well as take on commissions.

What advice would you give to someone considering NBSS or a career in the trades?

I would suggest that they take all of the business courses they can if looking to go the self-employment route. I would also consider taking related trade courses such as carpentry to expand what a graduate can offer to an employer or a client. Lastly, I would take the time to learn some computer-aided drafting programs early, as it takes time to master the various programs that will be a helpful adjunct to the respective trade.

Anything else you would like to share about your NBSS experience as a veteran?

I felt that NBSS did take time to recognize the Veterans that were in attendance when I was enrolled. The network of veterans was easy to recognize and I found instant rapport with other Veterans in the various programs.