Siemens taught me a lot this summer but one of the things that has really stuck with me is that you can be successful without a 4-, 6-, or 8- year degree. At Siemens, my eyes were opened to hundreds of different job opportunities, from people of varying educational backgrounds. Majority of the people working on the floor, crafting the multi-million dollar products, have Associate’s degrees and trade school experience. Through conversations with those men and women, I came to understand that we are unintentionally teaching our students that if they don’t go to college that they cannot be successful and that just isn’t true. I learned that there are tons of job opportunities out there where you earn more than decent living by going to trade school and inquiring skills needed for a specific job.
In addition, my eyes were really opened to modern day manufacturing. Manufacturing today is a lot different than it was decades ago. It used to be when you heard the word manufacturing, you thought of dingy, hot buildings without air-conditioning where men are sweaty, dirty, and working themselves to death. Manufacturing today is a different world. The men and women working these manufacturing jobs are working in a climate-controlled building that is cleaner and more organized than my house.
Lastly, I realized just how many varying jobs it takes to make a company as large as Siemens go round. For example, there aren’t just several engineers. There are several engineers that are focused on one part of a gas turbine, out of hundreds of parts. I don’t think I realized just how many opportunities are out there. It makes me excited for my students, knowing that one day they could be taking over these jobs.