From The Desk Of...Jacob Rahdarian 453

From The Desk Of...Jacob Rahdarian


In his January 2023 From the Desk... column, SME Member Council Representative Jacob Rahdarian shares his thoughts on paying it forward as an SME member and how it adds more value to your network.

ec874d39afd5ad0dca8bb39f42209bc3-huge-jaGreetings, and welcome to 2023!

As I conduct my personal annual review, one of the questions I ask myself is "When did I feel the most powerful?" This thought is often followed by "What was the origin of that power?"

It came as no surprise to find that SME activities were at the forefront of my list. You might be thinking "Jacob, how on earth could you feel empowered by anything SME related?"

My first feeling of power through SME occurred on Aug. 8, 2016, after passing the Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) exam.
  • It feels powerful to present engineering students with scholarships.
  • I felt powerful when our team in Houston was elevated from silver to platinum chapter status.
  • I felt powerful when hundreds of students, teachers and industry practitioners provided feedback that they enjoyed our events.
  • It felt powerful receiving a “Resolution of Appreciation" for being part of the Emerging Professional and Chapter Enhancement Committees from 2022 SME President Dianne Chong.
And after eight years of being an SME member, I feel power in continuing to serve the organization by joining the SME Member Council.

As you can tell, my journey with SME has been extremely rewarding (not including the 30 Under 30 Award or other commendations), so today I am paying it forward to help you get the most from your SME membership. 

So here’s a little secret... Not all membership experiences are created equal. VALUE is the differentiator.

And the key difference between someone who gets great value from their membership and someone who does not is simple — being involved in your local chapter! In my first four years of joining, I met less than a dozen people through SME, and in the four years to follow, I've met hundreds; I've not just met many people, but have helped many people.

So what changed?

The catalyst was registering for my first SME Houston chapter event in 2018. After attending and feeling the unrivaled thrill of learning new things, building meaningful relationships and seeing the latest cutting-edge technologies, I knew my journey with SME would be forever changed.

Apart from becoming involved with my local chapter, I’ve also found great satisfaction and success in paying it forward. Paying it forward is the best way to add more value to your network than you extract, which will help build your proverbial "board of trustees," so that you can begin getting the most from SME.

You might wonder, "How can I pay it forward Jacob?”

My response to that question would be:
  1. Have you shared your experiences?
  2. Volunteered at a chapter event?
  3. Hosted a plant tour?
  4. Given someone a great reputation to live up to by nominating them for an Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award?
Altruism aside, let’s talk about your personal development and how to start accelerating your growth. Have you...
  1. Pursued a Certification?
  2. Started or participated in a discussion forum?
  3. Made an introduction on SME Connect?
  4. Taken your one free Tooling U-SME e-learning course?
  5. Attended a trade show?
If you didn’t answer yes to any of these questions, then you're leaving IMMENSE value on the table!

Speaking of trade shows, HOUSTEX is just around the corner from Feb. 21-23 here in Texas. Come join us down in Houston for panel discussions with industry experts, advanced manufacturing, over 100+ vendors and a Member Reception for Chapter 29 and guests. 

In concluding each of the dozen events our chapter hosted last year, I always ended by saying, “If you are in a manufacturing-related role and are not involved with're missing out!”

Congrats to you for not missing out, and thank you for being a valued member of SME.

Jacob Rahdarian, CMfgE 
Manufacturing Engineer
Precision Urethane & Machine Inc. 
SME Member Since 2015
Blog SME Connect Blog 01/31/2023 1:07pm EST