ST. CLOUD -- A longtime Metro Bus planner who went "back to college" after 27 years on the job is WJON's Rush Hour's next "Rookie of the Week".

Tom Cruikshank recently moved from Metro Bus over to St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

He's been their Director of Customized Training since December. Cruikshank says he actually went for a different position at SCTCC, but leadership thought he fit the bill elsewhere. He says things moved quickly from there.

"So a coffee meeting on a Friday morning leads to an opportunity, and lo and behold a few weeks later, here we go."

In his position, Cruikshank handles mainly the "big ideas" and big-picture work in his department. He says his staff is great, and usually operates at a high level, saying he's there mainly for direction, and to get them what they need.

"We have a terrific staff that runs the day to day business. I'm really there to provide direction and leadership to them, get them what they need, we have a staff of about ten in our department."

Cruikshank says the biggest goal he and the college in general has is to start making their programs self-sufficient.

"The goal throughout the colleges in Minnesota is to have these programs be self-sufficient. Most of them are not, they require an allocation through Minnesota State to provide these kinds of programs."

He has some simple advice for anyone getting into a field like his.

"Create a great network. Surround yourself with great people. Find a mentor, find people who can give you advice, then take that advice very seriously."

He says he's spent a lot of his short tenure at the college so far rebuilding and expanding the relationships his department and the college rely on. From businesses to emergency services like fire departments.

Do you have someone you'd like to nominate for Rush Hour's "Rookie of the Week?" If so, email Chrissy Gaetke, chrissy@wjon.com or Richard Leguil, richard@wjon.com.

"Rookie of the Week" airs weekly on Rush Hour, weeknights from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. only on AM 1240 WJON.