Matt Boblenz Whirlpool is His Emerald City
China, Europe, and back home again. Matt Boblenz has traveled the world on his Marion Technical College education but admits there’s no place like home.
Much like the tale of the yellow brick road in the classic film. The Wizard of Oz, Matt has followed a road that is leading him to faraway lands and up a ladder of success at Whirlpool Corporation.
His story started shortly after high school where he ventured off to college on a football scholarship. His athletic career was cut short due to an injury and he realized that he wasn’t ready for life away from home, so he returned to New Bloomington. He started working at Rice Hardware in Waldo, Ohio. He said the job was a good fit for him because he always liked to tinker. “I even built a rocket out of pop cans once,” he recalls.
The hardware store was a fun gig, but he decided to pick up a second job working second and third shifts at Whirlpool to earn some extra cash. “I had heard that it was a great place to work and I felt like I had extra time, so why not? I’m just a local farm boy – so I’m used to hard work,” he said. He started out in the warehouse driving tow motors and became eligible for an apprenticeship program within the company to learn maintenance. He successfully completed that program and really liked the work – and learning – so he decided to continue his education and enrolled at Marion Technical College.
After a brief stint in the accounting program, he found the course work that he really loved and switched his major to engineering technologies. As he worked through his degree, he was also working his way up the ranks at Whirlpool. “Whirlpool is good about trying employees out in advanced positions and they helped pay my tuition” he said. He became a press room day-to-day engineer and could use this position as his required internship through MTC so his education and his career were complementing each other nicely. He was learning a little, then using that information a lot on the job … PERFECT!
He was promoted again to a Process Engineer and a year later, became a proud alumni of Marion Technical College. He was ready for anything and Whirlpool was ready to continue growing Boblenz within the company. “They asked me, do you want to install a press? I hesitated, I wasn’t sure I was ready. Those were big shoes to fill” he said, “but I filled them!” This experience earned Matt another rung up the ladder. He was now a Project Engineer.
The Project Engineer position earned him a trip to China where he would work jointly with another company to build a new model line in refrigeration. Again, he had reservations, but he knew he had to give it a go, so to East Asia he traveled – that 22-hour flight gave him plenty of time to think. He worried, but by the time he landed, he knew he was ready. He spent six months on a successful project. “We worked non-stop and completed the project ahead of schedule. I learned a lot and it was a great experience, but I was very happy to be home.”
As companies often do, Whirlpool saw innovative opportunities and new ways of doing things and wanted to learn more. Matt was the man for the mission. So they sent him to Italy to learn more about assembling a new drumline system. This time, there were no hesitations. He finally stopped second guessing his abilities. He learned that if Whirlpool continued to believe in him – it was time he believe in himself – and off he went to Europe. He learned a lot and has brought back the knowledge of building bigger, faster, and stronger equipment and they are now in the process of implementing these improvements.
Boblenz is now a Senior Engineer (yet another promotion) and feels like he has finally earned his stripes.” He loves his job, he is grateful for his MTC education and feels like it has prepared him for every new step. “Starting on a tow motor and working my way up has really given me a well-rounded view of Whirlpool. It’s a great place to be!”
His career has been a bit like a tornado by picking him up and taking him to other places, but at the end of the day, it is here in Marion, Ohio that he has gained a fantastic education with a local company that wants to grow employees and keep them. You don’t have to go to Kansas for that.
Find your Emerald City by learning more about the opportunities in Engineering Technologies at mtc.edu/programs.