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Faces of CNM: Francisco Vargas

When his original plans for higher education were derailed, Francisco Vargas turned to CNM and found his blueprint to a great career.
Faces of CNM: Francisco Vargas
Francisco Vargas, who graduated from CNM's Architectural/Engineering Drafting Technology program in December 2016 and now works as a Project Engineer at Jaynes Corp., conducts a site inspection on a job site near Sandia National Labs.

Dec 06, 2018

After graduating from high school, Francisco Vargas went straight to a university where he planned to get a bachelor’s degree in architecture.

“In high school, I took drafting classes. And growing up, I was always around the construction field,” says Francisco, an Albuquerque High graduate. “My dad was a carpenter and had his own framing company.”

After pursuing his bachelor’s degree for a couple years, however, the expense of a university education forced him to reconsider his path forward. “I hit a crossroad,” he says.

He decided to transfer to CNM, and started browsing the website to find the program that fit him best. When he came across the Architectural/Engineering Drafting Technology associate degree program, he found his new blueprint.

“I’d always liked drawing buildings and I like technology, so I thought, ‘This sounds pretty cool.’ I went for it, and I got my degree,” he says. “And I never expected to get such a great job out of this. I’ve come a long way, with the help of a lot of people.”

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Francisco Vargas, left, works on construction plans with Darrel Massegee, a Senior Project Superintendent at Jaynes.
Francisco, who graduated from CNM in December 2016, is now a Project Engineer for Jaynes Corporation, a prominent New Mexico construction engineering company that regularly hires CNM grads. He started out as an intern at Jaynes during his last semester at CNM, which he found out about through his CNM faculty members. Following his internship, he was hired full-time by Jaynes as a Building Information Modeling Technician.

“The transition from what I was learning at CNM to applying it at Jaynes was actually very smooth,” the 25-year-old Francisco says. “Pretty much everything they were teaching us at CNM applied here at work in some way. The faculty at CNM really care about the students and they really care about you after you’re done. They want to make sure you get a good job and you’re successful.”

When he started the CNM program, he was expecting that his career options would be limited to architecture firms. “But once I got the job at Jaynes, I realized this drafting technology degree creates lots of opportunities,” he says. “I started asking how else I could help here at Jaynes, and that led to this (Project Engineer) position.”

As a Project Engineer, Francisco is tasked with safeguarding the quality of projects, such as ensuring that drawings are being correctly implemented and that the right materials are being used and installed to the highest standards. One of his current projects is the new National Nuclear Security Administration building adjacent to Sandia National Laboratories, which is currently rising from the ground.

“I love my job,” he says. “There’s something new every day. I go to job sites and make sure everything is going well and I assist our field teams with a lot of project info. I’m often working on multiple projects, so I don’t think this job will ever get boring.”

Francisco found his path to a bright future at CNM, and he wants to encourage others to do the same.

“Don’t give up,” Francisco offers to fellow CNM students. “Whatever career path you decide to go with, keep at it and opportunities will come.”

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CNM graduate Francisco Vargas conducts a site inspection on a job site near Sandia National Labs.