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Apex Student Spotlight: Garrett Hansen

We sat down with Apex Technical School graduate Garrett Hansen to ask him about his experience in the Combination Welding Technology program. Originally from Brewster, New York, Garrett currently lives in Brooklyn. Before pursuing a welding job, Garrett was a manager at a daycare for dogs.

Working Part-Time While Attending Classes

For Garrett, it was important to enroll in a trade program with class times during the day. Apex offers both day and evening classes.

“I came to Apex for my classes from 8 am–2 pm,” he said. “Then I worked at my part-time job from 3 pm–8 pm. It was tough but worth it.”

Garrett’s goal was to complete his courses as soon as possible, so he could graduate and start working in the welding field. Unlike traditional four-year universities and two-year community colleges, Apex’s programs can be completed in as little as 7 months.

“I moved through the welding program at my own pace and graduated in June 2022,” he said.

Hands-On Motivation

Several elements about trade school kept Garrett motivated in the welding program. Most importantly, pursuing a trade gave Garrett the opportunity to be hands-on in the shop.

“I can’t sit behind a desk,” he said. “I need to be moving around.”

Garret knew that Apex offers an established welding program that could put him in a position to open doors to new opportunities.

“What led me to Apex was the welding program,” he said. “Welding is a good, stable career, and it’s something I enjoy doing. I also had a friend who graduated from Apex who got a job welding.”


Rewarding Experiences

Garrett had a positive experience at Apex—from interacting with instructors and staff to learning alongside other welding students.

“Instructors are helpful and the staff is great,” he said. “I feel the welding program is set up for us to be successful. I learned the skills required to become a great welder. I asked constant welding questions and got constant help. I had a good experience because welding is both challenging and rewarding. It is what you make of it.”

Tools of the Trade

Students like Garrett get to practice with real tools of the trade in a shop setting to get them ready for what it’s like to enter the field after completing their program.

“I felt supported by always having a place to learn with the resources I needed to succeed in welding,” he said. “I enjoyed learning the welding lingo during theory, then I got into the shop and we would do what we talked about.”

When asked about his favorite welding processes and equipment, Garrett didn’t hesitate.

“My favorite process is stick welding,” he said. “There’s something about the flux and feeding rod that makes me happy. My favorite piece of equipment is the cutting torch. It blasts through metal—that makes me excited. It’s thrilling!”

Related: MIG Welding and Other Common Welding Types

Challenges and Achievements

Sometimes students face milestones they never could have imagined. Looking back on his time in the welding program, Garrett remembers important moments.

“My biggest challenge was learning to be patient and understand that I’m learning,” he said. “I had to learn that I can’t get everything perfect on the first try. I’m most proud of coming to Apex every day and getting everything done at a good pace.”

Garrett also learned that his sense of satisfaction wasn’t achieved alone.

“One of my greatest achievements was being able to teach other students how to do things,” he said. “It gave me reassurance that I was learning it myself.”

Garrett also balanced coursework by not allowing himself to fall behind.

“I did everything right so I could quickly move on the next project,” he said. “For example, the night before a quiz, I made sure I studied.”


Apex Technical School Admissions Process

Looking back on his experience in the welding program, Garrett thinks it was the right path for him. He has simple advice for students considering enrolling at Apex: don’t be intimidated by the Apex Technical School admissions process.

“The admissions process was easy and quick,” he said. “It took one day, and I was signed up with a start date.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Combination Welding Technology program or another program at Apex Technical School, explore our programs page. Classes are starting soon. Contact our admissions team online to get answers to your Apex enrollment or program questions. We’re excited to talk to you!

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.