Powerful Words: Real Talk from Real Pros

By Arkansas Next on Thursday, September 15, 2022

Read advice from a few of this issue's featured pros as they discuss the paths to their professions!

CNC Machinist, Lockheed Martin

“College was not really for me. I do better when I can put my hands on it to get a feel for how it works and see with my own eyes what the results will be.”

– Jimmy, on choosing to skip traditional college

Welder, Independent Contractor

“I love that my job challenges me every day to learn and grow my skills. Welding never feels monotonous or boring, as I am always improving my skills or learning a new process.”

– Anna, on loving her job

CAD/CAM Drafter, Entech Consulting Engineers

“My overall goals are to make my parents proud, be a role model for my siblings and to inspire those who look like me that they can achieve great things, if they put in the work and time.”

– Shamard, on being a role model

Forester, Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division

“I like that every day is different. It keeps things fresh, and it keeps me interested. One day, I might be out on a wildfire, the next, I might be marking trees for a thinning plan.”

– Nikki, on staying engaged at work

Service Technician on Agricultural Equipment, Greenway Equipment 

“Hands-on learning is very important... Since most people that go into this career are visual learners, this grants the opportunity to physically see in person how the machine works.”

– Jase, on what it takes for the job

Automotive Technician, Gregg Orr Toyota

“Being a female technician is not as hard as many make it out to be. Yes, there is a bit of heavy lifting, but not anything too strenuous.”

– Judea, on being female in her field

Skilled A Maintenance, Riceland

“I was able to get much more involved in the field and gained quite a bit of working knowledge at a much earlier age.”

– Terry, on fast-tracking to the workforce

Journeyman Plumbers, Jerry’s Plumbing & Backhoe

“I was able to start a career before completing school, rather than waiting to get a degree [and] then looking for a job.”

– Tony, on why this was the right path for him

“The job can be very tedious and, at times, challenging. So it’s important [to] have great problem-solving skills.”

– Heather, on how to have success in this field

Electrician Superintendent, Kimbel Mechanical

“I matured rapidly because I honed in on what I wanted in the future. I am about to buy a house at 23-years-old with my trade license.”

– Pedro, on perks of the profession