5 Goals for Manufacturing Students in 2014

5 Goals for Manufacturing Students in 20142013 was a pretty exciting year for us here at NeMAC.

Between starting up our social media efforts, launching our new website, getting new members, and just educating the public about manufacturing in Nebraska here on our blog, there’s been a lot for us to do this year.

But our efforts here aren’t just about us–they’re about you, our readers, and making sure that you have the resources you need to start and succeed in a career in manufacturing right here in Nebraska.

And with that in mind, we want to look forward to 2014, which we think should be another very exciting year for NeMAC, and for manufacturing in general.

Here a 5 goals we’d like to share that we hope every young reader of ours can accomplish in 2014:

  1. Join a STEM-related club in school: Most high schools today have STEM- or IT-related clubs that students can join to get a taste for gadgets, tech, and manufacturing outside of the classroom. If your school happens to have a club like this, join it! And if there are no such organizations for you to join? Don’t sweat it, but put some serious thought into trying to start up your own.
  2. Land a manufacturing internship: Internships in manufacturing are becoming more and more common each year, and are a critical step in the career decision process for students who think they may be interested in manufacturing. Many internships happen over the summer, so there’s no excuse for not getting one now that you have 5 or more months to plan. See our “4 Steps to an Internship in Manufacturing” post for some good advice on how to get started.
  3. Complete 5 maker projects: Maker projects (many of which are organized by MAKE magazine) are another good way to get hands-on with manufacturing outside of the classroom. With detailed instructions, supplies you can usually get at any hardware store, and help from a few friends, you can make anything from a super simple FM transmitter to a light-up birthday present. Maker projects can help you learn STEM, and we recommend completing a handful of maker projects next year.
  4. Find a mentor: Especially in manufacturing, where you may not know too many people in the industry first-hand, having a proper mentor is invaluable. A mentor in manufacturing can help you make career choices, show you around different equipment, and overall, just give you first-hand experience into what it means to work in manufacturing today. If you don’t know where to start with finding a mentor, don’t worry–our page for contacting a manufacturer or educator is a great start.
  5. Educate a friend or family member about manufacturing: One final goal we have for manufacturing students in 2014 is simple enough: educate a friend or family member about manufacturing. Too many people today still associate manufacturing with dusty old factories and heavy lifting, and as we hope you know by now from reading this blog, today, manufacturing is very different. Telling a friend or family member what you know about manufacturing today is a good way to spread the word, and you never know–you could end up inspiring someone to take their own path into manufacturing!

Some of these goals are easy, and some could certainly be difficult, but all are organized with one thing in mind: helping students who are interested in manufacturing succeed in finding a rewarding career path after high school or college. Maker projects help you hone your STEM skills, having a mentor helps you make career choices, and getting a manufacturing internship helps you see for yourself just how great manufacturing can be.

Although we won’t say that completing these 5 goals in 2014 will absolutely land you a job by the end of the year, we can say with certainty that these 5 goals are a great place to start. If you do everything correctly, you’ll have a much better chance both of knowing what you want to do in manufacturing and how to go about doing it, all by the end of 2014.

So get out there and get started! There are still a few weeks left in 2013, and a little head start never hurt anyone!

photo credit: RobotSkirts via photopin cc