Academic Excellence Award Commencement

Academic Excellence Award: Kyle Larkin

Kyle Larkin
Automotive Service Technology, ‘18
Cottage Grove, MN

Photo of Kyle LarkinJust because Kyle Larkin’s dad, Bob, teaches in the Automotive Department, doesn’t mean it was inevitable that Kyle was going to enroll at Dunwoody. But certainly, spending time in garages from a young age left an impression.

“Being in the garage as a little kid — I always wanted to be as good as my dad,” Larkin said. “I was always taking things apart and figuring out how they worked and how to put them back together.”

What he developed, though, wasn’t just a love for the hands-on aspects of working for cars. Larkin also saw how fixing things has a direct impact on people.

“I think choosing a technical career stems from a desire to help people,” Larkin said. “To take something that didn’t work well and make it work like it did before, or even better. It’s very rewarding. I think it’s an overlooked thing. People in a service industry — their job is to help people.”

That attitude did not go unnoticed by the Automotive faculty.

“Throughout his time here, he excelled at treating each experience as an opportunity to become better at what he does,” Dean of Automotive Steve Reinarts said.

During high school, Larkin participated in the Northeast Metro 916 High School Automotive Program. He also started working at White Bear Mitsubishi at the age of 16. He’s done well enough there to be promoted to Light Duty Technician at White Bear Subaru. And recently, his employer sent him to a week-long training at Subaru’s corporate training center.

“This particular training is designed for seasoned/skilled technicians who demonstrate the trait to become experts in the field,” Reinarts said.

Larkin believes his Dunwoody education and work experience has more than prepared him for what’s next. For now, he hopes to continue to take on more responsibilities at his current position. Eventually, he’d like to lead a service shop or even open up his own store — especially one that supplies after-market modifications, which is a passion he shares with other auto enthusiasts.