BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College alumnus Justin Icenhour graduated with an Associate of Science in Design Technology in May 2016 and was offered a job in the same month at Eggersman USA, located in Houston, Texas. Icenhour moved to Bloomington from North Carolina in 2013 when his fiancé was accepted into the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. When her career eventually led her to Houston, he was also able to find work in the area with his degree from Ivy Tech. At Eggersman USA, Icenhour is a Technical Designer who produces the technical drawings needed for creating and installing custom cabinetry.
“I have to say, there is no better feeling than to imagine something in your head that no one has ever seen before, and to have the ability to bring it to life in the physical world,” he said. “I get to do that every day of my life thanks to what I learned at Ivy Tech.”
When he and his fiancé first moved to Bloomington, Icenhour sold his graphic design and photography business and worked odd jobs in Bloomington to make ends meet. It was then that he decided to enroll at Ivy Tech because he wanted to start a rewarding career in a design-related field.
“I decided it was time to go back to school to learn a trade that could give me a sense of purpose,” he said. “The Design Technology degree really fit the bill, by bringing together my love for design and its philosophy and the nearly endless career prospects.”
At Eggersman USA, Icenhour is part of a team that designs and creates custom kitchens.
“As a Technical Designer, I work in tandem with the Designer and the client to create several sets of drawings,” he said. “Usually a set of floor plans and elevations for the clients, a set of drawings for the factory in Germany to produce the cabinetry, and a set of mechanical drawings for the builders and installers. I also am in charge of doing on-site measurements, organizing all the drawings, communications, contracts and paperwork, as well as answering questions to ensure a proper and timely installation.”
“The most rewarding thing about my career is being able to envision something and bring it to life, and the fact that what I create is used in people’s everyday lives,” he said.
Icenhour said that he would not have initially chosen a degree in design technology, but is glad that faculty introduced him to that degree which led to his career.
“I wanted to take machining and CNC Programming, but one of the instructors pushed me toward design because I could take all the CNC classes as electives but I would get the 3D design classes as well,” he said. “Vanessa Babcock was the instructor who really pushed me and taught me most of what I use in my day to day job, using AutoCAD software. She was a great inspiration and was always there to help when I needed it.”
Icenhour’s advice to students who are unsure of what degree to earn, is to earn a short-term certificate.
“If you hate it, at least you have proof you’re good at it,” he said. “Then pick something else.”
Icenhour plans to earn a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in the future. He and fiancé are also making plans for their upcoming wedding in July.