“It is important for students in the electrical industry to have access to some of the most knowledgeable individuals of the electrical code in order to have a resource to ask even the basic questions,” says Dave Williams, electrical inspector in Delta Township, Lansing, Michigan. He goes on to say that “as an IAEI member you realize quickly the resources at your fingertips to address questions and solve issues; extending this resource to our student members is important to IAEI and will quickly be realized by students when they start participating in the organization.”
At the onset of their career, many students may feel somewhat intimidated by electrical inspectors or feel that they are not approachable. Others may misunderstand the role of electrical inspectors and their mission to ensure safe electrical installations. This is further from the truth. Students should not feel intimidated by inspectors; that’s why, membership in IAEI has been established for students—to bring them closer together.
What does a student get by joining IAEI?
- Learn from the electrical experts through direct contact
- Education at both local and national levels
- Access to technical information not usually available in classrooms
- Career opportunities and a better understanding of their field
- Meeting and networking with industry professionals: contractors, inspectors, manufacturers, certification agency officials, and code-making panel representatives
- New ideas for performing their jobs
- Access to most current industry practices
- Understanding of local inspection policies and requirements
- Better understanding of how the electrical code is developed and how and when it is applied
- A competitive edge from the articles in IAEI magazine and online resources
- Discount on IAEI publications and training seminars
- Membership at a low cost
According to Tim Monea, building official, “This student membership provides a means for the student to interact directly with electrical inspectors and NEC code panel members to understand the NEC and begin to build a solid relationship with the inspection community to work together to accomplish the same goal: a safe and reliable electrical system for the user.”
What better way is there for them to become involved in their profession, to increase their value to prospective employers by expanding their skill set, and to build a network of business contacts? By introducing them to the IAEI, we can take this as an opportunity to be a mentor. We show them how membership in IAEI provides unlimited opportunities such as learning from recognized experts in the electrical industry and becoming active in the organization by attending and participating in local section, chapter and division meetings.
By engaging students in IAEI membership, both the students and mentors greatly benefit. The student member can bring us ideas with a youthful perspective and creative thinking that will add energy to IAEI meetings.
We now have so many ways to represent, create, and present content; to ask questions; to analyze research data; and a myriad of other interactive learning opportunities. New technology—especially social technology such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, Flicker and apps—is becoming more mainstream and is being used more as a communication tool. Habits are hard to break, especially technology habits. For instance, email took some time for widespread adoption, but now we tend to use it for almost everything. Likewise, the uses of these other social media are becoming more prevalent, and it is a certainty that the student member would be more than willing to teach us how to use it!
Embracing the student member will also keep IAEI aware of the wants and needs of the next generation of professionals and will develop a legacy of well-trained, highly motivated members.
If you are an instructor, inspector, contractor, or engineer, we are asking you to encourage your students or apprentices to take advantage of what IAEI can offer them as members.
On page 102 of this issue, there is a student member application which you may copy and hand out to your students; or visithttp://www.iaei.org/pdf/student.pdfto download a copy of the application. You may copy and hand it out to your students, and provide copies to your local university, college, or apprenticeship training center to show them the value IAEI has to offer.
Together, we can bridge that gap and help provide the tools to help that student succeed in the electrical industry. Today’s students are IAEI’s future.
Compiled by Membership Committee
Tim McClintock – Chairman, Western Section
Richard Jendzo – Eastern Section
Tom Griffith – Southwestern Section
Leonard Devine – Southern Section
Tom Arbanas – Canadian Section
Layne Western– Northwestern Section
Dave Hill – Executive Committee Liaison
David Clements – Ex Officio (voting member)