Here is the story of one of our “Chapeau Les Filles” trailblazing candidates, Ms. Amy Ovans (Welding student). The following is her submission to this year’s Chapeau Les Filles competition, which recognizes women studying in non-traditional fields. Hats off to you Amy for all the hard work you’ve done and good luck. We will know the winners in June 2015 and are crossing our fingers for you Amy!
This is her story in her own words.
“In my academic life, I have always had challenges and struggled to achieve good grades in school due to being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Difficult, but not impossible, with hard work, remedial help and determination, I was able to achieve good marks in my Secondary schooling. When I started my Welding & Fitting program, I was one of several girls in the department, but the only girl in my group of 24 students. Being petite in stature, only 5 feet tall and 102 lbs, I had to work extra hard to earn the respect of some of the male students. The practical part of the course came easy to me, It was the theory part that I had to struggle with again due to my ADD. Coming in early and staying later for remedial helped me learn theory content. Travelling almost an hour to school in each direction was not always easy on the country roads, especially during the cold winter months, not to mention the financial burden. During the last semester of my Welding & Fitting course, I had the opportunity to enrol and complete the Pipe Welding program at the same time during the evening. This made for some very long days (class was from 8:30 am to 10 pm) but reduced my training by 3 months to complete the two programs.
You know that feeling you have when you think, “Yes! This is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life!” Welding gave me the passion to keep pushing and wanting to learn more information and tricks that could be applied to the trade of welding. Welding has no limits as to the possibilities or direction I could pursue, maybe that’s why I love it so much! I could go anywhere and find work that I am passionate about. If someone doesn’t love what they are doing, they couldn’t excel at the job. Attending school during my DEP didn’t feel like it did when I was completing my high school. I enjoyed going to school and looked forward to what new challenges the day might bring, and how I would overcome them. Welding gave me the confidence that I needed. It was not enough for me to just finish the programs, I needed to finish them with excellent marks and quality of work. Not only did I complete everything that was expected of me during the course, I went above and beyond by completing extra enrichment projects that I was able to take part in. At the end of my Pipe Welding program, I was able to register with Emploi Quebec to challenge and attain my High Pressure welding certificate for the province of Quebec. I am now a certified high pressure welder, in all positions.
Now that I have obtained my diploma in Welding & Fitting, as well as High Pressure Pipe Welding, I am searching for a job where I can use my welding talents and all the passion that I have for it. My next goal is to obtain my Canadian Welding Certification (CWB) for all position welding with the Shielded Metal Arc Welding and Flux Core Arc welding processes. This will give me much to offer an employer. I am considering two possible courses to take in the future. Welding has many branches and sometimes is not always manual. Having a background on my welds would be something that interests me. I would like to pursue my level 1 & 2 welding inspectors certificate in an effort to see what the future will hold for me. Since I have been traveling I have always had a fascination for what lies under the sea. My second option is to pursue an “Under water specialty course”. I had amazing teachers while taking my DEP and ASP courses. They were always there when I needed assistance and always had a smile on their faces, even when things got rough. You never know, I might consider passing on my passion and skills to others by becoming an instructor in the discipline of welding. One thing is for sure; when you are doing something that you love, you never wake up to go to work!”
Editor’s note: Ms Ovans has now already secured employment in the welding field.