Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Anxiously Waiting

February 13, 2008

In December 2004 when I was finishing up my psychology degree at UMass Lowell, all I knew was that I needed a job. I had bills, wanted to move out of my parents’ house, and I wanted a better car. As most college graduates do, I formatted my resume and posted it on monster.com for the hiring world to see. Not long after that, I received a call from AMETEK Aerospace & Defense to interview for an entry-level job working in their Contracts/Customer Service area. I interviewed both via telephone and in person and was hired for the position.

On my first day there, I was skeptical. I knew virtually nothing about the aerospace industry and had only ever been in a plane once. I did not see myself in the position for longer than a year, at which point I assumed that I would move on to bigger and better things. After all, why would a woman with a B.A. in psychology and zero engineering knowledge want a long-term position in the aerospace industry?

After about three months at AMETEK, I found myself in a pleasant state of surprise. What I found was that though I knew virtually nothing about what I was doing when I started in January 2005, I was hungry to learn as much as I could. I did research on what thermocouples, flowmeters, and pyrometers do. When I heard the name of an airplane that I hadn’t heard before, I tried to find out as much as I could about it. Driven by the adages that our department goes by–“know thy customer” and “know thy product”–I continually tried to learn as much as I could with each new issue that came up. When a new term that I didn't recognize was used in a meeting, I jotted it down and asked an engineer when the meeting was over. I became fascinated with how things worked on airplanes, and I engaged in the process of learning about how the industry works.

When one year had passed and I looked back over the time I spent at AMETEK, I realized something: I love my job. I love almost everything about it. I love that there is so much to learn about the history of the industry, and I love how much the industry is growing. I was assigned to teams for new development projects and began to learn more about our customers and the aircraft that they were developing. I find myself continually amazed at all the different kinds of aircraft that exist–both commercial and military–and I am excited when I can identify them when I see them flying overhead. Working in the Contracts/Customer Service department at AMETEK, I often find that I not only enjoy what I’m doing, but I can see myself paving a career path in the aerospace world.

Last summer I had the opportunity to visit one of our customers in Wichita, Kansas. I toured the factory where their aircraft are made and saw where AMETEK’s parts are placed on the planes. Back in my hotel room that night, I thought about the day and where aerospace fits into the bigger picture of the world. I concluded that by working for a company in the aerospace industry, my small role is one in a much bigger machine that contributes to the culture of our nation and the world. Commercial airlines get people to and from vacations, family reunions, business meetings, and all sorts of other things that keep us connected to each other. Military aircraft defend our nations and are tools that help to give people freedom. Med-Evac helicopters and Air-Cranes that drop water on wildfires help save the lives of our friends and loved ones.

The reason I can see myself paving a career in this industry isn’t because I love taking orders and entering them in the computer, and it’s not because I enjoy chasing expedites and finding out why a customer’s order is delayed. I can see myself in this field because I know that on a higher level, I am helping people. I want to pursue my M.B.A. in this field because I want to continue to learn, strive to grow, move forward, and continue to use my abilities and talents to contribute to the growth of the industry.

And now I sit, anxiously waiting for that letter telling me whether or not I am worthy enough to pursue my MBA with an Aviation Profession focus.

Dear DWC, please advise status of application. Love, Danielle xoxoxox


Kat said...

What a great post. Glad to hear that you enjoy and love your job and that you're striving to improve and learn as much as possible. It made me look differently on my job.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Doug said...

I couldn't understand where you are coming from more! Like you, I graduated from Ulowell with my BS in Business: Marketing...I needed a job, so i called in a favor and got a job as a recruiter. For three years I spent every day miserable at that job, not because it was a bad job, but because I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I didn't want to be a recruiter forever. ..and then it hit me. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. All of my family friends own their own businesses and that is what I want to do. I wanted to join the "family business" in printing and graphic arts..I found my career path, and now I am working towards it. I have a new job in sales, I've been the #1 salesman since I started here, and on the side I finally have my printing brokerage going! I have made 6 sales so far, and I am learning so much..

It is so comforting to know that you are not just waffling around, but actually found your career!

I am happy you have found it!

silverneurotic said...

I hope I get as lucky as you in terms of finding a job that I end up loving...and wanting to pursue it well beyond what's expected.

Good luck getting accepting into the program. Personally, after reading this...they would be completely nutters not to accept you. :)