Born in Montana, Aaron Wens attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. Graduating with an accredited degree in Marine Engineering Systems and a minor in Shipyard Management, Aaron Wens received a commission in the US Navy as an officer.
Aaron has currently reached the highest level of license available for a United States Coast Guard which allows him to be the Unlimited Chief Engineer of all vessel types.
Aaron Wens currently resides on the East Coast of the United States, working in the defense, maritime, and oil and gas industries for over 16 years. During his career, Aaron has had the opportunity to travel to over 30 countries around the world.
- What do you love most about the industry you are in?
There is so much to love about the industry. I love the autonomy, creativity, challenging jobs, the opportunity to travel, and being able to see all of my projects through from start to finish. I find that every project provides me with the opportunity to improve my relationships with both our team, our clients, and our sponsors, as well as create personal growth. Every day is a challenge, but I always work hard to step up and deliver the expected results. I love creating a plan and watching it be executed to perfection.
- What does a typical day consist of for you?
Every day is different for me. Depending on my current projects I communicate with colleagues around the world to plan. Our team of engineers keeps an open agenda so that we can always see the status of our progress and if we are on pace to complete the project by the due date. We work with each other to solve our problems to complete the work in a timely manner. Depending on our projects, the job can change daily or weekly. It is always a challenge, but we work together to achieve a common goal.
- What keeps you motivated?
I have always been motivated by a desire to meet all the deadlines that I face. Setting and then reaching deadlines gives me a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. I find that by creating an organized schedule broken up into little parts, I am able to ensure that I complete my jobs on time. Completing each minor task motivates me to work harder and ensure that everything runs smoothly, and our customers are always happy.
In addition, I remain motivated by the fact that I love that my job has me travel all over the world, as I have now been to over 30 countries.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from spending time with more experienced engineers, demanding and creative customers, and motivated entrepreneurs. Working with customers who have a goal in mind or entrepreneurs who have their own ideas always provides me with plenty of inspiration. I have high expectations of myself and these opportunities provide me with the ability to continue learning and improving at my job. My inspiration comes from not only wanting to grow as an engineer but as a human being. There are endless possibilities and skillsets that you can work towards if you put your mind to it.
- How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I am able to maintain a solid work life balance by ensuring that I can find time to unwind and work on hobbies that are outside of my line of work. I have recently taken up sky diving as well as guitar lessons to broaden my horizons. Both are challenging and rewarding in very different ways.
- What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
I believe that the two key traits that I possess that make a successful leader are honesty, and communication.
When you are responsible for a team of people, it is important to provide clear, honest communication. Your company and employees reflect yourself and represent your values. If you make honest, ethical behavior and clear communication as your primary values, your team will work hard to achieve those as well. I always remind myself to lead by example on every project.
Good communication is important when establishing work expectations and providing feedback. The better the communication, the less potential there is for mistakes to occur and jobs will be completed in an efficient and timely manner.
7. What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
My advice for someone starting in the industry is to be prepared to put in a lot of effort and be ready to learn. There is always something changing and new opportunities to grow in the industry, but it requires hard work and determination. Be positive and humble in your work but always ask questions so that you can learn new techniques when working with others.
8. What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
One piece of advice that I have never forgotten is that you should strive to always learn and improve yourself. You only have one life so ensure that you aim to be the best you that you can be.