Ryan Gibbons

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Ryan Gibbons
B.S. AE '15

Next Adventure: In February, I will report to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida to begin flight school. That will give me broad training on flying military jets. After 2 years, I will be sent to squadron where I will get trained on a specific vehicle. In my case, that's an FA-18.

Previous co-op, internship, or research experience?
Because I knew I wanted to pursue flight school, I attended summer programs sponsored by the Navy.  

Most looking forward to...
That's easy: I've been dying to fly jets since I was a little guy. And, now, the government will pay for me to learn. It's a dream come true.

How did your educational experience at GT-AE help?
The classes I've taken in AE are more in-depth than what they will teach us in flight school, because, there, they'll have to explain aerodynamics to history majors. That will help me, some. But what really helps is the fact that Georgia Tech really taught me how to study and how to work hard. Work ethic will take me a long way.

Advice
Don't get discouraged. Work hard. Do what it takes. When I came to Georgia Tech I thought I was pretty smart, but the difficulty of the material took me by surprise. My first semester I did pretty poorly. So I got tutors, worked harder, and spent more time on the material. Over time, the school changed my entire mindset. I started out taking everything at face value, and no further. I did the homework, learned the equations, and memorized what was in front of me. But over time, I started questioning what I saw. I wanted to try different numbers, test different equations, and to use what I'd learned to come up with new solutions. I started thinking like an engineer. That's the best way to put it. And it didn't come over night.