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28 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2022 valuable employee, you enrich the wider indus- try because you equip yourself with skills and knowledge that can be shared with others. 3 Networking gave me more confidence in my abilities. Before I entered college, I was incredibly shy and reserved. As I advanced through the years, this anxiety began to fade, but I still felt insecure when talking about technical subjects with my professors and peers. I felt like my opinion on technical topics did not and could not matter. But when I attended my first net- working event at IPC APEX EXPO, I learned just how valuable my voice was to the industry. I met with the I-Connect007 team, for exam- ple, and learned that established industry pro- fessionals need to hear the voices of the next generation. e I-Connect007 team invited me to write this column so that the industry could hear about the struggles and pursuits impact- ing today's young professionals. is platform has really built my confidence. It has taught me that I can present my ideas to my peers and show them just how important this industry is to our future. Further Thoughts Although networking can be the overall key to success for many professionals, some indi- viduals believe that networking is too much work or that it's just self-serving. ese are common misconceptions that can hold pro- fessionals back from advancing their careers. Sometimes, it can feel like you are putting so much work into networking and not getting results. When this happens, consider whether you might be putting too little effort into the network that you already have. A network can't grow unless both parties remain in contact and equally engaged. For those who believe networking is a self- serving activity, try thinking about how net- working might allow an individual to give back to their industry community. Network- ing involves the interchange of ideas, with taught me that this industry consists of pas- sionate people who are determined to create meaningful change in the world. Seeing such passion kindled my own interest in and ded- ication to this field. Not only did networking help my career path feel more meaningful, I gained a better sense of potential careers as I learned about the many opportunities avail- able in this field. 2 Networking introduced me to a world of new ideas. ose who enter this industry are yearn- ing to change the world, but the drive to cre- ate change is not enough; we need everyone to bring together their specialized skill sets if we want to start a revolution. Creating solutions means uniting the expertise of all the sectors in this industry, from solder mask to design. Net- working is the key to making the manufactur- ing process as efficient and successful as pos- sible. At IPC APEX EXPO, industry experts share their newly discovered specialized knowledge through professional development courses, committee meetings, and even networking socials. Industry professionals can build rela- tionships and educate themselves on subjects that may be unfamiliar to them. Attending and participating in these activities gave me the information I need to stay on top of today's hot industry topics. Networking with experts in the technical realm has opened doors to pos- sible joint ventures. Remember that by grow- ing your network, you not only become a more Networking is the key to making the manufacturing process as efficient and successful as possible.

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