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Starting down the path of success in the welding industry – Testimony of Neil Cox Welding process specialist

Starting down the path of success in the welding industry – Testimony of Neil Cox Welding process specialist

Neil shares his experience as an aspiring AWS Future leader, and how participating in the various events is helping him grow exponentially.

Endless opportunities

My first year as an AWS Future Leader has been an incredible experience. When I was first selected as a representative, I thought I had an idea of what may be in store for me, but the reality of this position is even better than expected. With the trips to AWS World Headquarters for board meetings and the Leadership Symposium, combined with FABTECH and opportunities to get involved around every corner, the experience has been rewarding in more ways than I can count. 

As the new kid on the block, I was a touch apprehensive about sitting at the table for the first time. However, everyone was so welcoming and helpful that my apprehension was quickly dismissed. Governance and strategic planning were subjects that I had little experience with, but with the help and support of AWS, these are now tools I can use in my professional life and within the Society. During meetings and breakout sessions, I felt that my voice was important and people wanted to listen. 

On topics such as student involvement, staying current with technology, and early career development, my thoughts and experiences are fresh and new. On the other hand, I found myself listening to and learning from others on topics I wasn’t familiar with. 

Feeling the difference

Being a part of AWS brings people from different industries around the country under one neutral roof to make a positive difference, and that’s something I might not have experienced otherwise. Each event and encounter stood out in different ways. However, my small group discussions and individual conversations with former AWS President Dennis Eck stood out to me the most. 

Learning from the best

Everyone knew he was incredibly busy and balancing many projects and trips. When he would sit down to chat, you instantly knew that you had 100% of his attention and he genuinely valued your thoughts and opinions. It was amazing for me to feel so heard and valued by someone with such an impressive background and a busy schedule. I learned a great deal of humility from him, and our encounter will be one of the things I will miss the most next year. There are many lessons I’ve learned so far, but if I had to pick just one, I would say it is to use my resources. There are so many great people and groups out there who are overflowing with knowledge and experience.

 I quickly learned that making progress is most efficiently done by utilizing a well-constructed team. I will be serving as a Future Leader again in 2024. My first year involved a lot of learning and training to get caught up to speed. Now that I have a year of experience in this position, I am looking forward to using a higher percentage of my time toward active engagement and meaningful contributions. 

If I had to give a piece of advice to those wanting to get involved or start their careers, I would say take opportunities that come your way. It’s hard to achieve your highest potential without taking a chance and pushing your limits. AWS offers opportunities at every level, so it’s up to you to get involved.

Original article From https://www.aws.org/