Hahnville senior signs with virtual reality gaming company

Ian Fischer smiled broadly as he spoke about the unique opportunity before him.

“It’s awesome – I’m enjoying every minute of it and I’m excited about everything that’s to come,” Fischer said.

Last week, St. Charles Parish Public Schools held a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Letter of Intent Signing Ceremony that saw 10 of the school district’s top students accept apprenticeship-type positions with various companies.

Fischer, a senior at Hahnville High School, signed with Striker VR, a virtual reality gaming company under the umbrella of HapTech Inc., a company founded by Hahnville High School alum Kyle Monti. HapTech is centered around haptics, the technology that gives real world sensations to virtual reality experiences. HapTech innovates military training weapons. Its training weapons are unique because they use magnets to create hard-hitting recoil that’s more realistic, less expensive and easier to maintain than the traditional training weapon technology that was developed in the 1970s.

Fischer has been working on the Striker side of things for the past several weeks. The signing day made official what he had been offered a few days earlier – a paid two-month internship position with the company, where decision-makers saw potential worth exploring in the student from the work he had done with the company already in a learning capacity.

“When they told me ‘we want you to stay,’ it was really a ‘let’s go!’ type of moment,” Fischer said. “It was a goal I had – not necessarily expected though. I wanted to go there to learn about the industry and see if it is something I’d like to continue to pursue. I’m very excited to be able to continue there.”

Fischer, a top member of Hahnville’s robotics team, said his interest in computers and software spurred him to explore an opportunity he came across a few years ago.

“In the COVID year, I’d done a bunch of credits already and learned about a program, Project SPARK in New Orleans,” said Fischer. “I figured, sure, I’m already interested in these things … I took an intro level class and really kind of fell in love with it. I started researching and learning more on my own, invested my time in it and learned what I wanted to do.”

Monti said Fischer has a unique skillset that HapTech is happy to bring aboard and work with.

“You could see when he was up there, when one of the students asked why is he so interested in this, Ian’s eyes lit up,” Monti said. He’s been working on software interface that other companies with can take and integrate into their game.

We’re so grateful for programs like this to exist to connect us with such talented individuals. We’ve signed the paperwork and Ian’s coming on for a summer internship.”

Fischer said working with the robotics team at Hahnville has helped with the transition into what he’s doing now.

“Really with teamwork, mainly,” Fischer said. “You learn you’re not always going to be able to do it your way. And coming into this kind of industry, it’s not going to be based on what you want to do – it’s what is best for the company. Maybe I am working on a project but I have a chance to send out 50 blasters – I’m going to pause on what I’m doing, send those out and make money for the company that it’ll be able to use for bigger projects in the future.”

Sure, it’s technically work – but it doesn’t really feel like it to Fischer, at least not yet.

“It’s just everything – I can’t pinpoint one thing, I’m enjoying it all,” Fischer said. “There’s always a point of a job where, OK, maybe this or that is getting tedious. But everything comes with such a sense of accomplishment and I’m so excited to show up every day for it.

It’s a different pressure level. What I was doing before was hobby-based, things need to get done here in a timely manner. But it’s been great.”

Fischer will continue to enjoy his internship adventure until the fall, when he will continue his academic pursuits at the University of Louisiana.

There was a full house at the Satellite Center, with proud parents, teachers and fellow students on hand to support the signees.

Other signees from St. Charles Parish include: Gnots Reserve, Inc. signee Kameron Thomas (DHS)

Performance Contractors Signee Jean-Paul Matherne (HHS); St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office signees Carmyn Forte (HHS) ,Gabrielle Knight (DHS), Shelby Percle (HHS) and Emilie Rodriguez (HHS); Triad Electric and Controls signees Chase Bodden (DHS) and Cijay Irons (HHS); and Watco signees Leetrell Hart (DHS) and Sailor Pilotte (HHS).


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