Maker Month - Karen


 

How did you get into the profession / what inspired you?

I started as a graphic artist/technical illustrator and worked my way up to drafting, where I was introduced to CAD (computer aided design). I began drafting and designing electromechanical parts and assemblies, increasing my CAD knowledge as the industry itself grew. My love for drawing and creating inspired me in my career.


Video courtesy of Innovation Generation. To learn more about Drafting and Design careers, click here.

Why would you recommend a career in skilled trades?

Trades today offer many different avenues to use your talents and interests to develop a highly satisfying and well-paying career. Additive manufacturing, CNC machining, and tool and die makers are all great jobs that are always looking for candidates. I never had the chance to take any trades in high school because it wasn’t yet allowed for girls, but I have since taken a few in adult education. Explore your interests as you never know where it will lead.

“Explore your interests as you never know where it will lead.”

What advice do you have for students or individuals who may be considering pursuing skilled trades?

Don’t let anyone tell you that a college education is the only way to go! Skilled professionals can make as much money as a college grad. There are so many opportunities and avenues for advancement in so many different fields. If your town has a robotics team, join it, as it will expose you to many different aspects of engineering and manufacturing, and encourages both self-development and teamwork.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that a college education is the only way to go! Skilled professionals can make as much money as a college grad.”

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were looking into career opportunities?

Women can do anything they put their mind to today. When I started out, it was not that way. Do not hesitate to reach for your dreams.

 

What’s your biggest career accomplishment to date?

I have four patents to my name; three are co-authored and on one, I am the sole inventor.

 

What’s one misperception that people have about your job?

That I draw pictures all day. Although it is a part of my job, designing parts, making samples, testing concepts and working as a team with others is a more accurate description of what I do.

 

What are your future aspirations?

Long term, I’d like to expand my knowledge of additive manufacturing and increase its use in both engineering and production.

 

Why are you #MakerProud?

There is always something special about seeing your product in everyday life, especially when it is making people’s lives a bit easier. So anytime I walk through one of our doors at a store or a medical facility, I can’t help but be proud. At Stanley Access Technologies, “we make the world accessible.”