September 15, 2021

Century College student Hakim Abdilahi is excited about his future. “The solar and renewable energy field is growing.  More opportunities are coming, and there’s no better time to join Century’s solar program,” he says. “I’m so glad to be part of this program.”

Hakim cites two principal reasons for joining the College’s solar program—the invaluable support from Scott Randall, program director, and the affordability of the classes. ”Scott has got great insight about this emerging field, as well as great contacts,” Hakim notes, “He’s on the Minnesota Solar Energy & Industries Board of Directors and has extensive experience in the solar energy field.

“And Century College has the most affordable tuition rate. I was able to take advantage of numerous grants and scholarships.  The application process is not difficult.”

Supportive Learning Environment 

Hakim currently works full-time as the administrator for a transportation business.  Century’s flexible course schedule and combination of online and hybrid courses suited his busy schedule.  It’s not easy to take classes while working, but Hakim keeps his life organized and does well in his courses.  Hakim’s favorite class was the electricity and solar design courses, which was taught online during the pandemic.   Hakim enjoyed the simulation-style learning. 

“They were engaging and very interesting, and Scott taught you everything you needed to know,” Hakim observes. “There’s almost like a family and friends atmosphere in the program. And we all loved working on the solar installations–you break things down and build them up again–it’s a stripped down, switched structure.  Learning how to work on different solar panels is the foundation of it all.”

Scott Randall is Hakim’s favorite college professor.  “Scott is amazing.  He makes the learning process very easy and unstressed.  He shares information about professional opportunities right away, and helps students through the process of getting into this important industry,”  Hakim says. “He’s always giving us great tips for success in navigating the job search.

“For example, Scott had a resume day and helped those who needed assistance with their resumes.   Additionally, he makes sure that everyone thoroughly understands what they are learning in the classes and the labs.”

Future Plans

Hakim will be graduating at the end of 2021 with his third degree in Associate of Applied Science in Solar and Renewable Energy, and plans to transition into the solar field as soon as possible.  He aspires to own his own solar business one day, and he dreams of continuing to give back to others via his new career. Originally from Somalia, Hakim came to Minnesota when he was six years old.  His long-term goal is to use his company and his connections to bring solar and renewable energy to Somalia.

Hakim offers the following advice for those who want to get into Century’s solar program: “Involve yourself and be engaged in classes.  Be sure to pay attention, ask questions, and speak up. These classes are hands-on, so dig in, and be a part of everything.  It’s a great program.

“The potential and need for renewable energy will only increase.  Solar has incredible potential, both as a career and its potential impact on improving our world, and Century College offers one of the few solar programs in the state.”

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