• May 6, 2024

Welding Dreams Ignite

Welding Dreams Ignite

Pedro Rojas sparks plans for a future engineering career

South Texas College student and soon-to-be graduate Pedro Rojas talks about the “chain reaction” that is launching him into the welding profession and possibly beyond into a future engineering career.

It all began with a little inspiration from family, he said.

Rojas said his earliest memories involved watching his father, who worked in architecture and carpentry, on the job. He would tag along with his father at various job sites. While there, Rojas said he would meet electricians, builders and laborers who used teamwork to complete the job.

He also shadowed members of his extended family including cousins who are welders and pipefitters who take jobs across the state, he said.

Just being exposed to the industry allowed him to foster personal interests in construction, demolition, aerospace and finally the welding trade, which would inspire his future career choice.

“My family has always motivated me as I prepared to enter this career. Of course, I have always known this field to be labor-intensive, but I don’t mind,” Rojas said. “Whether it was showing me videos about what welding is like on the job or just different techniques they used, my family has shown that welding is honest work and they provided me with the incentive to do the best job I could do. I couldn’t see myself in a cubicle working eight or nine hours a day, not that there’s anything wrong that. I prefer to be in a job where I can create and put my knowledge and skills to the best use.”

Rojas said he earned certifications in National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) as well as in Pneumatics through the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) program as a dual credit student at Veterans Memorial High School. He also earned a certificate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a junior.

Looking to make the most of his skillset, Rojas said he opted to attend STC after high school due to the strength of its Welding program.

Now, with graduation around the corner, Rojas says he wants to use the skills he has learned at STC to gain job experience while eyeing a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.

As a student, he said he chose to get involved on campus and is currently a historian for the Student Government Association at STC’s Technology Campus.

Rojas will be among the more than 3,000 graduates who will receive their degrees in five ceremonies May 3 and 4 at the Bert Ogden Arena.

“Walking around the campus, just meeting new people and getting introduced to all the clubs like student government was a new experience for me that allowed me to take in all the different perspectives and backgrounds and it made my time here so much better,” Rojas said. “Entering the Welding Technology program at STC has opened even more opportunities for me and I am looking at a future in engineering and then maybe, if I’m lucky, go into the aerospace field. Either way, STC has given me something to build on.”

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