Women’s History Month – Shannon Koepke

O’Neal Manufacturing Services, Cedar Falls

What drew you to work at O’Neal Manufacturing Services? 

What drew me to Iowa laser was how many people I knew that worked here. The environment felt welcoming and for being a girl who would be the only one on the shop floor that meant a lot.

What woman has most influenced you in your life and/or career? 

For women in my life I’ve had many, but I’ve also had many men in my life who were a huge influence in my life and the career path I’ve chosen. The woman who stood out the most and still to this day is my sister she passed away 13 years ago due to cancer. But I remember her and live by her smiling everyday and making it the best it can be no matter what. It’s gotten me through some pretty tough time in my life. 

What advice would you give to a woman wishing to start their career in the industry? 

My best advice is to decide what you truly want in life. I didn’t pick my career based on the pay, the fact it was a male dominated industry, or the opportunities. I picked it cause it’s truly what I love doing. If you can find that in your career the rest will fall into place. 

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud that I’ve gotten as far as I have in my career in such a short time. There were many times and people telling me I either shouldn’t or couldn’t be a welder for one reason or another. I went through college top of my class and I’m now thriving in my work place and learning more than I could of imagined with not only welding, but also the other departments in the shop.

Thank you Shannon for your hard work and dedication to OMS!