Why Kirkwood and Welding?: I received money after my grandmother’s death. When deciding what to do with it, I debated whether I should stay in a job I hated or go to school. I met with an academic advisor who explained the high-demand jobs and degrees that would prepare me for those jobs. I have a friend who is a welder and so I decided to try it. I wanted to change my life and a big reason was because I have three children, ages 7, 4, and 18 months.
His Experience at Kirkwood: The challenges are the highlights. Sometimes I’ve felt overwhelmed by learning a new weld but, once I’ve mastered it, its very gratifying. But it has not always been easy. There were times when I was struggling and wanted to quit. In these moments, two of my instructors and my advisor were the key to my success. I like how the professors are flexible with you. If you’re around to do the work, they will help you out.
Another great thing is that I am a recipient of the Kirkwood Laptop Program and the Last Dollar Scholarship. These opportunities led to my decision to complete the A.A.S. degree instead of stopping at a diploma. The more experience I have before going to work, the better.
What’s Next?: There’s no shortage of welding jobs around Cedar Rapids. I am interested in general welding work and hope to become involved in repair work, art projects, and independent ventures in the future. I didn’t realize how huge welding could be.