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apprentice adventures | part 2

Completed Apprenticeship in June 2018.
Current Project: Overlake Medical Center Project FutureCare

If you have doubts about a complete change in career path, Elie’s story will inspire you. After graduating with a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University, and starting her graduate coursework and professional career in various research labs, it didn’t take long for Elie to realize that her true passion lay elsewhere—as did a bigger paycheck! Good with her hands and compatible with nearly everyone, a friend suggested carpentry. As scary as it seemed to set aside 4+ years of hard work getting to where she was, she found the courage to apply for the Carpenter Apprenticeship program.

Elie admits she had no idea what she was getting herself into; but once she had on-the-job experience under her belt, she became fascinated by the sheer amount of skills, knowledge, planning, and coordination required to raise a building.

She gives much of the credit for her success to the helpful, encouraging, and patient Journeymen who showed her the ropes. Craftspeople take pride in passing on their skills, and she appreciated that they allowed her to learn from her mistakes.

“Sometimes when I questioned a method or approach, they would say, ‘Okay Elie. Let’s try it your way.’ That gave me a valuable opportunity to fully understand exactly why we don’t do it that way!” she says.

elie egan

Now a Carpenter Foreman, Elie is a valuable member of the GLY Layout Team. She has her sights set on a Superintendent role one day, but for now, she enjoys waking up each day looking forward to going to work and learning as much as she can.

If you are thinking about applying for the program, Elie will be the first to encourage you to give it a try. She says that “the only thing that will limit your success is how much work you are willing to put into it.” Her last bit of advice is key: “Keep in mind that going into the trades doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll labor in the hot or cold for the rest of your life!”

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