Since he was a little boy, Joseph Bassomo has been fascinated by airplanes. He is currently enrolled in LSC’s Aviation Maintenance Technician program and also plans to become a professional pilot. “I was surprised and impressed that LSC offered both aviation programs,” he said. “I believe I will be a better pilot if I understand the mechanics of an airplane first-hand.”
Bassomo is originally from Yaounde, Cameroon where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He is greatly inspired by the memory of his late father who had a doctorate in computer science. “My father wanted to become a pilot but never pursued it. My father believed in me and would be proud, knowing that I am pursuing a career in aviation.”
He admits to being challenged by the many mechanical terms presented in the AMT class the first couple weeks of school. “I was discouraged at first but I knew it was going to be hard. I am ready to fight.” He likes the classroom style of teaching along with the hands-on lab work. “My teacher, Mark Phillips, is very good at explaining mechanics. If you feel uncomfortable, you can ask him and he will go into more detail. He also gives me feedback about my progress. I appreciate that honesty.”
Bassomo studied English as a second language at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and briefly considered a career as an art therapist. “I work on my English all the time. I believe that if I can understand a Minnesota accent, I can understand English all over the country.”
Bassomo credits the academic tutoring he gets from the staff at the LSC’s Tutoring and Learning Center with his English, math, and reading comprehension. “Both Kelli Hallsten Erickson, Kelly Peterson, Delaney Dopps and Jeff Yingling are very important to me. I know I will get help with any problems I have as long as I have their support.”
He plans to stay in the area and work for either Cirrus or AAR to earn money to pursue his professional pilot training. Eventually, he hopes to fly internationally and go back to Cameroon where he has family, including his mom, sisters and a brother.
For other international students, he makes this suggestion. “If you love what you are doing, if you have passion about a career, express that passion because it will provide you with momentum forward. People will sense that drive and support you in pursuing your dreams.”