Penn College NOW

Erin Beaver

  • Alumni
  • Welding & Metal Fabrication

Thanks to her Penn College NOW courses, Erin started her first semester with 16 credits and a head start on her welding training. As a student, she was awarded eight different scholarships. Earned several metals in SkillsUSA competitions. And received the Penn College Welding Faculty Award for her academic excellence. Today, she continues to perfect her craft and pursue her passion as a Weld Engineer at Harley-Davidson.

Erin Beaver
TAKING THE LEAD

Q&A with Erin

WHY WELDING & FABRICATION ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY?

I really like to work with my hands. I like that you can take pieces of metal and create anything you can imagine as long as you have the materials, the creative mind, and the engineering knowledge.

There are so many different aspects of welding. I think that's what really got me into it - that you can do so many different things with what you’ve learned. There's something that's always changing, some new technology that's making things better. So you constantly have the opportunity to further your learning. After you have your degree, you're still going to run into opportunities where you can learn. You never stop. I think that's the main thing that I like about this field, all the opportunities to grow.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO FIND A COLLEGE THAT WILL CHALLENGE YOU AND INSPIRE YOU TO GROW?

I would say that you can do anything you put your mind to. Again, it's the attitude and whether or not you have the drive or the inspiration to do it. I feel like when people have an interest in doing something that they're not comfortable with doing or not used to doing, that scares them away from it. But, if it's something that you have an interest in, you should learn about it and give it a try.

DID YOU FEEL PREPARED WHEN ENTERING THE WORKFORCE? WHY?

Like starting any new position, there is a lot to learn. And when first entering the workforce it seems like there is even more. When I first started with Harley-Davidson the amount of things to learn and get used to was a little overwhelming. But it was just a matter of getting used to the manufacturing environment, which I had little exposure to previously, and getting caught up on everything that had happened before I started. But when it came down to my knowledge and skill with welding and other related processes, I felt well prepared.

HOW DID TAKING PENN COLLEGE NOW COURSES HELP WITH YOUR CAREER DECISION?

I signed up to take Penn College NOW courses even before I knew whether or not I wanted to continue my education at the college level. Since it was free for me to enroll, I knew it could not negatively impact me in any way. And it would only benefit me if I decided to continue on to college.

After completing the program, I realized that there was so much more that could be learned and that earning a degree could help open up more doors and put me on a path leading to greater opportunities in the field.

HOW DID PENN COLLEGE NOW PREPARE YOU FOR COLLEGE?

Penn College NOW definitely put me ahead in my curriculum and enabled me to graduate a semester earlier, which I believe helped me to find and secure a job that I liked. However, it was all a matter of timing. I happened to be in the right place at the right time when the job opportunity I got came about, but had I not been graduating a semester earlier than planned, that opportunity may not have still been available.

ANY ADVICE FOR A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT CONSIDERING A CAREER IN WELDING?

I highly recommend learning as much about welding and the related career fields as you can. If you enjoy welding and are considering a career in welding, that’s awesome. Make sure you look into all of the possible career paths out there before you set your mind to welding (in the most narrowing form of the word) as a career. There is more to a career in welding than just striking an arc, but in order to see that you have to first make yourself aware of the possibilities available, and then you have to have the drive and determination to achieve the ones you want.

Featured Videos

Sculpting success for SkillsUSA

Follow along as Erin crafts an amazing entry for the 2019 SkillsUSA welding sculpture competition. From her tentative first steps in October to June's award ceremony, Erin's determination and tomorrow-maker spirit propelled her to the finish. 

Pursuing their passions

Produced by SkillsUSA, this video features the state champion all-female Penn College welding team. Watch to learn how they are helping to change America’s outdated ideas on what manufacturing is and what kind of person who can find success, security, and satisfaction in a manufacturing-related career.

Real-World Ready

"Penn College NOW definitely put me ahead in my curriculum and enabled me to graduate a semester early, which I believe helped me find and secure a job that I like."

Erin Beaver

Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology, '19

Real-World Ready
Her path to Penn College

Her path to Penn College

Hometown: Winfield, PA
Career & Technical Center: SUN Area Technical Institute
Penn College NOW Courses: WEL114, WEL116, WEL120, WEL123, WEL124, WEL129, WEL210, WEL214
Penn College Major: Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology 
Employer: Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
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Welding & Metal Fabrication

Forward-thinking and industry-driven, our welding and metal fabrication programs will take you where you want to go.

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