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Catching Up With: Nick Sweeney, PLM Applications Engineer at InFlow: Part 2

Catching Up With: Nick Sweeney, PLM Applications Engineer at InFlow Technology

Recently, we had a chance to sit down and have a catch up with Nick Sweeney. Nick is a PLM Applications Engineer at InFlow Technology.

Nick was also on placement with DriveWorks in the UK whilst completing his university studies.

It was great to have someone like Nick share his story of his time at The Ohio State University, his current role at Inflow Technology and of course, hear some of his fond memories of working at DriveWorks!

If you missed it, you can catch Part One here.

In this second part, we speak with Nick about the importance of certifications, attending virtual networking events and more about his time at DriveWorks.

Let’s chat about Certifications. Nick, as a young professional in the industry – how important is it to become certified?

In my opinion, having certifications shows both passion as well as competence.

During my time at 3DVision, I quickly studied and achieved my Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) and then moved onto take the Professional (CSWP).

Once I had those, I set my goal to achieve the Expert level certification (CSWE) and started taking the associated tutorials and exams to ready myself for this.

The CSWE test was really hard, and it took me more than once to achieve. As a matter of fact, I retook the CSWE exam while I was in the UK after spending some time working through the areas that I had struggled with in previous exams.

Additionally, I have worked through the DriveWorksXpress Training to become a Certified DriveWorksXpress Associate. I also took the DriveWorks Pro training to become a Certified DriveWorks Professional.

Since taking these, I believe there is a DriveWorks Solo training that I may take as well – it’s great to have these trainings as we also gain a good perspective on what our customers are learning too.

My advice to anyone would be to take advantage of all of the free certifications that are available.

If anyone doesn’t have at least their CSWA, it’s a great thing to have. It may get a foot in the door for a job interview – it could also help set you apart from other candidates.

If you’re trying to find a job or simply improve your skillset, why not take them and better yourself?

Nick, as you know DriveWorks is a strong advocate around certifications as well as supporting the engineering community. We launched the DriveWorks SWUGN Sponsorship Program over 5 years ago and have watched this community grow and evolve over the years.

As the SWUGN grows and looks to the future, I think getting a perspective from a young adult in industry is valuable.

How do you think SOLIDWORKS user groups can engage with younger people/students?

I think that you need to do all you can to keep telling students that the user groups exist and create as much awareness as possible. From experience, I can tell you that many students don’t know they exist – they also don’t know enough about certifications.

Very often, an engineering professor is focused on teaching the course content and not necessarily on connecting the dots that would complement the teaching (i.e., getting certified or the user group community). The professors themselves may not be aware of the groups.

For group leaders, I would say get the word out to as many students as possible and promote the idea that it’s a great free networking (and job searching) opportunity!

The virtual tools that have been leveraged over the course of the last year may appeal to students as a way to attend meetings. Student schedules may vary and not allow time to attend evening meetings.

If there continues to be use of the virtual meeting tools, a student could remotely connect to a meeting and also be working on homework or otherwise. (Nick of course knows students want to do two things at once!)

Nick, as a ‘younger’ member of the SOLIDWORKS Community, how many SOLIDWORKS World/3DEXPERIENCE World events have you attended?

As both a guest and attendee I would have to say I attended somewhere between 15 and 20 events. Remember, my father was working in industry and I had a chance to travel with my family to these events.

As a matter of fact, I attended my first SOLIDWORKS World in 1999, Palm Springs (he was two years old!). I have early memories of being in the pool at the resort with my parents. Over the years, I attended world events until I went off to college. Then of course as a professional in the industry now I have attended a few.

In March you attended our user networking event, DriveWorks Drivers – what did you think?

DriveWorks Drivers was a great event and I’m pleased that I was able to attend. One of the things I really liked was the customer presentations that were shared.

Stories of people using the software are always inspiring. Oh, and the quiz! I almost won a prize during the quiz but wasn’t quite fast enough – next time!

Nick, earlier in our chat we talked about the work you did at DriveWorks – share with us some of the fun memories of your time spent with the team and in England!

While in the UK, I got to run quite a bit. I lived in Latchford and learned it was only about three miles from the DriveWorks offices.

At the time I was training for a marathon so this would give me some miles every day. I planned to run to and from work during the week.

It was really nice to run in the area and take in the scenery, it also gave me time before and after work to have some peaceful time to myself. One morning as I arrived at the offices (which are located on a farm), I was greeted by two little ponies that came up to see me – it was a sweet moment.

I did have a chance to do the Park Run for a few weeks, I was recovering from my ankle sprain and didn’t run as fast as I had wanted to. Having 400 people show up for a free run on a Saturday morning was amazing. Honestly most paid races back home in Ohio didn’t have that many people!

Oh – and I loved the Pub Quiz! We would go to a pub in Stockton Heath on Sunday nights for Pub Quiz – it was great to sit with the team, drink beers and have some fun together! I have fond memories of drinking Guinness with Tom Stone and being asked if I knew the answer for all of the “American” questions.

Honestly, that is probably one of my fondest memories of my time in the UK – spending time with the people I worked with – they became part of my family. Being so far from home, I had to find my own family in the UK, and my colleagues became that for me.

Since leaving, I’ve kept in touch and I’ve established good friendships with many of the folks at DriveWorks

It was a pleasure speaking with Nick to learn more about his education, his current role at Inflow Technology and of course, hearing his fond memories of working at DriveWorks!

Want to pursue a career at DriveWorks?

We’re always on the lookout for talented people to join our team.

Visit our Careers Page to learn more about the opportunities available at DriveWorks!

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