I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Cardin who competed in the 2015 world skills competition in Brazil and brought home 5th place for the USA.
Just to put things in perspective, there is only one welder chosen to represent USA.
And it was Andrew Cardin who won that honor.
So Andrew tell us what you have been up to for the last couple of years.
Actually, its been an 8 year journey. I was first introduced to welding by my high school instructor Dan Rivera. And thats when I learned about skills USA.
Dan is not only my instructor but is now my best friend... and has more passion and energy for teaching welding students than anyone I know.
He volunteered a lot of his personal time to help me get better.
How do you go from striking your first arc ..to representing USA in the 2015 World Skills welding competition?
Gods Sovereignty! that's the only way I can explain it.
I couldn't have done it myself.
I trained for 7 months in a makeshift area in my basement and I was competing against other welders who had much better training facilities.
But that kept me hustling...and I won the honor to represent my country at worldskills 2015.
Whats the best piece of advise you ever got?
Some once told me, even before I got involved with welding that I needed to "learn how to learn".
I didnt even understand what that meant at first but that bit of advice served me well once I understood it and learned to apply it.
I learned how to apply knowledge, how to manage my time, how to manage anxiety during competitions, and just how I learned best.
It got me thinking about the process of learning and how I learn and when you focus on something, really good things can happen.
I know for myself, I am almost 58 years old and I am still learning how to learn.
I am very much a tactile learner...meaning I need hands on learning.
I cant just read about something and learn it...I have to get my hands on it.
Another big thing I have learned bout learning something new is that I just need to start. I just need to get started before things begin to take shape.
Someone once told me, you dont have to be great to start...
But you do need to start in order to be great.
Boom! fist bump
If you are a student and would like to learn more about SkillsUSA, just go to http://www.skillsusa.org/
if you are not up to speed on what I am including a video below of me
interviewing welding instructor Matt Hayden about Skills USA