What is your next adventure?
A week after graduation, I am getting married. Then we are moving to Orlando where I will start a job with Northrop Grumman.
Did you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
I did several rotations. I did research in acoustics under the direction of [research engineer] David Scarborough in the Combustion Lab. I interned at Gulfstream as a simulation modeling engineer and I worked as a systems integration engineer in lab operations at Northrop Grumman. For the last year I’ve done research with Dr. Ahuja in the Aerospace Transportation Advanced Systems Lab.
What about your next adventure are you most looking forward to?
I’m really excited to finally be in the aerospace industry so I can actually work as an engineer. I’ve wanted to be an engineer for as long as I can remember. My father is a [corporate] airplane pilot, so I grew up around flying. And I loved it. Sometimes, when there was an open seat in the cockpit, he’d check me out of school so I could fly with him.
How did your educational experience at Georgia Tech help you to achieve your goal?
Definitely, the value of the curriculum and the research opportunities is unmatched. The research I was able to do seems small, but it contributed to a larger project that matters. And just having the experience doing research gave me a leg up. I did some research with Dr. Clarke that was very theoretical, so it was hard for me to see where it would ultimately be applied, but the confidence, the leadership I gained was great. I brought it to work with my peers, when we worked on projects. I was able to make design decisions with them, have confidence in my work, and back it up because I’ve seen it modeled by Dr. Clarke and Dr. Ahuja.
What advice would you give to an underclassman who would like to follow the same path?
When you come to Tech, know that you deserve to be here. They didn’t make a mistake. Everyone gets the first wave of tests back and they are not the same as in high school. It’s terrifying. I was terrified because I’d never gotten a ‘C’ before. But that’s part of the process. From there, you learn to work really hard to see learning as more than a grade. And you work really hard even in subjects you hate because it disciplines you. What also worked for me was taking more classes [not fewer] because it forced me to stay on top of things and to push myself farther than I would have.