Alumni Week at IPC APEX EXPO 2020


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When you see friends and colleagues just once a year, you would think there would be a lot of catching up to do. Will you recognize them, and vice versa? Maybe they have changed quite a bit. Are they still in electronics? Gosh, are you still friends?

That’s not the case at IPC APEX EXPO. Greeting friends and colleagues is always like picking up a conversation you had with them yesterday. Everyone looks the same, acts the same (we age well and lightly!), and we talk about the same things with just slight modification— like a daily conversation would evolve.

Why is that? Is it like Brigadoon, where the residents wake up for a single day every 100 years (okay, we’re not talking that long) and carry on as usual? Sometimes, it feels that way. We catch up on jobs, family, and the like. However, what I am talking about is fitting right into the group, conversation, and meetings.

Having said all that, it wasn’t the same old, same old meetings. There was more energy, as well as an upbeat feeling. People were animated and bustling about. The subcommittees and task groups were busy as members discussed the issues involved. Technical paper sessions were overflowing, as were some of the professional development classes (Vern Solberg’s was standing room only). The committee luncheons were full (usually a good indication of the level of work going on). Further evidence could be found at the luncheon awards, where IPC recognized roughly 300 (wow!) committee worker bees for completed documents and other achievements.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Volunteer and get involved! Working on the committee of your choice on a specification or standard that means something to you and your company is the best way ever to learn and make those ever-important networking contacts. Speak up, make your point, and then raise your hand and say, “I’ll do it.” You’ll have to do some work, but it will be well worth it. Plus, those contacts can be invaluable when you are back at your job and need advice, help, or anything else.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the 2020 issue of Real Time with... IPC Show & Tell Magazine, click here.

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