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Guidance required......

Guidance required......

Guidance required......

I just got my undergrad. Aeronautical Eng. degree.....and i am a bit bewildered as to where to go now ? , what kinda jobs to apply to ? .....i chose this major out of passion for Aircrafts...some advice me to go for a B1 AML (aircraft maintenance Licenses) course and get a job at an airport which makes me wonder that if i had to do that then why the hell did i go for the undergrad. course in the first place. i would really appreciate some help from anyone having personal experiences in this field ? just want someone to show me the way...pretty good at walking up to it by myself.......Thanks

RE: Guidance required......

Well, seems to me that you should have been talking to your counselor before graduation?  What happened at the on-campus interviews?

Are you looking to design aircraft?  Then you should be looking for aircraft companies, no?

This license thing sounds like being a mechanic, so...


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RE: Guidance required......

what do you enjoy most about aero. eng ? ... designing things, analyzing them, fixing them, structures, systems, aerodynamics; though i expect you'll possibly answer "i don't know, all of it", that would've been my answer just after grad. i got a job, then another and pretty soon 30 years later i'd say things turned out alright though at the beginning i won't have said "stress analysis" as the answer to the original question.

how can you get into the business ? what large, medium, small companies are around you ? how far would you travel ?  it sounds trite but big companies (eg Boeing) do big things, so you'll likely become a very small cog in a very large machine (but you will be a part of "big" projects).  small companies ("mod/chop shops") do small things, but this'll show you much more of the business.

if it turns your crank, become a mechanic (though your probably over qualified already).  that means getting a licence (AME for example,) which will probably mean more school time.

good luck with whatever you decide.   

RE: Guidance required......

Who did you want to be when you grew up?

RE: Guidance required......

I get the initial impression that you prefer theoretical, analytical aspects of aircraft more that crawlinging around inside a wingbox holding a rivet buckbar or whatever, but you do not know exactly what disciplin you want to go into.

If that's the case, I would try to get into one of the bigger aerospace firms.  Some have graduate programs lasting for a couple of years which cycle you around different departments every six months or so, so you can get a feel for where you might slot it.  Even without this, if you find yourself working on something that doesn't interest you, in a bigger company it is easier to move sideways into a new area if your current one does not suit you.

These graduate programs can be good, but usually the people on them have show initiative and push to get into the departments that they are interested in, otherwise the programs just let them drift.  You hear about mentors and coaching and and things like that, but from what I've seen it is really up to the the individuals involved to get the most out of the programs that they can.  At the end of it, you should have a good idea of what projects and disciplins you like, and you've been paid to find out.

Previous commnets about being a small cog in a big wheel at these places are true.  That's not necessarily bad because it might also mean that you have a lot of support from your colleagues and are given time to learn new techniques & practices.  Maybe after a few years experience and confidence-building, you might want to think about moving to a smaller company or contracting, where remuneration is sometimes higher (and job stability is always much lower).  A general trend, although not always true, is that staff at these big firms spend more and more of their time writing requirements and reviewing suppliers' work, and less and less time actually doing the analyses themselves.  Maybe that appeals to you, maybe not.

Whatever happens, good luck, and young recruits that show a lot of initiative & enthusiasm and who go for it are the ones that get noticed.  Do not be afraid to make the occasional mistake in the process of pushing yourself forward as this is not usually seen as totally awful, at least not at a larger firm.  Nobody should be expecting a recent graduate to get everything right all the time by themselves.  How you fix a mistake is usally more important.  Work hard to overcome errors and you will be seen as someone who drives to get the job done and can be trusted to cope with the inevetable hiccups on the way.

RE: Guidance required......

I work designing repairs for an MRO.  Sometimes this is called a Liason Engineer.  If the part can be removed from the aircraft and shipped to us we can probably fix it.  For us this means mostly commercial jet nacelle structures like inlet cowls or thrust reversers and the occasional flight control like flaps or spoilers.  I really enjoy it and I get to put my hands on good sized chunks of aircraft.  

I would like to get into design, but I'm not big at moving at the moment and I'll wait for when the market improves, and maybe get a masters degree before puting myself back on the market.

I guess I am just suggesting one decent job for a fledgling engineer.  Apply to every airline and look around for non-airline repair shops.  Check out anyone who builds any kind of aircraft.  The specifics of that first job may not be as important as having a job to start gaining the experience, figuring out in the many possible jobs which you want and getting that every needed X# of years experience so that your resume will be taken seriously.


Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

RE: Guidance required......

In the final analysis it is not what you know, but what you can do, that interests and motivates companies to hire you.
 The more varied your skill sets are, the more employable you are.The fact that you have graduated with a degree, indicates to a prospective employer that you have a basic skill set, and can be trained further.
    The graduate programs Fast Mouse mentioned are good if you can get on one. If not several jobs, at different companies, when the market improves will be the way to develop your skill sets. The AMT route in this current job market is a tough way to go. You can learn on the job then get your certificates or go to school to get them.
 Either way do not expect to earn a lot of money pulling wrenches until you have at least 5 years of experience.
Repair stations with engineering departments are a good bet for a lateral transfer to be able to use your engineering degree.

RE: Guidance required......

My aero experience was probably the best, technically. However, It was heartburn all the way dealing with prima donnas, and SOB's, and USAF contracts.

Later facility management in the chem industry was more rewarding for me, an experienced PE. I handled various jobs incl middle mgt. Purchasing, model shop and maint reported to me. I had the dubious honor of dealing with union. One tough SOB was shouting and hollering in my office, and I kicked him out for disturbing the peace.

My stint with a tech magazine was very rewarding, but it had a lot of travel. Membership in Toastmasters was the experience that got me in the door. Did well in journalism even as an engineer. The journalists claim that they are best qualified in tech magazines; they are wrong.

Probably my worst experience was working in the subfactional gearmotor business. It provided some creative opportunities, but the environment was the worst for graduate engineers. The sales dept lorded it over engineering. They even had a premium insurance program, and we had HMO. Sorry to admit, but it was my longest employment.

The message is: get your PE, MME, and good luck.

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