Harshini Sivakumar

B.S.A.E. 2021

What is your next adventure?

 am headed to Washington D.C. to start working at Boeing as a spacecraft operations engineer. Before I start there, I’m headed back home to Michigan to enjoy a break and take a formal French baking class, which I’ve always wanted to do.

What about your next adventure are you most looking forward to?

I'm looking forward to being a professional and going to work full-time. I’ve done several internships so I know a little bit about what the world of working looks like, but it'll be interesting to have that type of work as my full-time job. I’m also looking forward to creating a work-life balance now that I won’t be a full-time student.

Did you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?

I interned virtually at Boeing last summer in their Commercial Aircraft Division and before that I interned with HAECO Cabin Solutions in their manufacturing department where I worked on aircraft interiors.  

At Boeing I worked on their flight performance and early conceptual design groups so our job and final project was to take the next generation of a 737 aircraft and give recommendations on how it could be improved. We did a lot of conceptual design testing through software-based work as well gained a better understanding of the aircraft performance.

How did your educational experience at Georgia Tech help you to achieve your goals?

Georgia Tech helped prepare me both inside and outside of the class. The classes really helped me understand more of what aerospace is and what I want to do within the field. I think there's a misconception that aerospace is a niche field, but there's actually so much that goes on inside of it that I had no idea existed. Learning that definitely helped me on the professional and personal side. I think it's interrelated in that a lot of the leadership opportunities that I’ve been fortunate enough to have really helped me out in terms of understanding that I want to be a leader as part of my professional goals. During my time at Tech I was the president of the School of Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Council (SAESAC), a Yang Aero Maker Space mentor, Georgia Tech Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics board member, and a Sigma Gamma Tau peer mentor. Through these leadership opportunities I became a more vocal person, to speak up for what I want, what I need, and stand up for what I think is right. I definitely needed that coming into college versus leaving without it.

What advice would you give to an underclassman who would like to follow the same path?

Don't be afraid to get out there and see what's available to you. Georgia tech has so many things that you can get involved in and it's really easy to hold yourself back if you think 'I'm not qualified for this' or 'I couldn't possibly do that', but all of the opportunities exists for you to try it out. Get out there, show them what you've got, and I guarantee it will lead to you finding whatever it is that you really want to do.