Work Experience: 9+ Years
Software / Engineering Experience: 1.5+ Years
After my freshman year, I was fortunate enough to have landed a job at General Electric Aviation. From the summer of 2014 onward, I have worked there full-time during the summer, and part-time (15 hours / week) during school terms. The majority of my time is spent developing Visual Basic scripts to test a piece of software for military and civilian aircraft called the Flight Management System - it's easier to think of it as an auto-pilot though. Looking back, I can say without a doubt I'm a better person because of the experience. I'm a better leader, communicator, teammate, teacher, problem solver, and listener. Above all else though, GE has taught me the value of hard work. Working until your desk is as empty as it can be is a liberating feeling. Knowing you have given your all to push your project and teammates forward brings more fulfillment and purpose to my life.
This marks the time at GE for me when I really began to shine in my engineering career. I had learned how to code to industry standards, I knew when to seek help from leadership, I had a good idea of when delegating responsibilities was important, and I had developed a knowledge of various soft skills. It was at this time, that my boss chose me to train intern and full-time employees new to the company. All in all, I probably helped train 10-15 people. I helped them learn our coding processes, problem analysis and resolution tips, and generally become up to speed in our system. It's from experiences like these that I've learned teaching is like learning again. It is the beginning of your mastery of a material, and I greatly enjoy it! While doing this, I was also working on one of the hardest jobs at the office, learning how to perform military airdrops from cargo planes without any guidance or previous experience. Yes, you understood correctly. The Visual Basic Test Scripts we were trying to write involved having a deep understanding of something we had never experienced firsthand or even heard of 3 months ago. We finished that project though, and now I can undoubtedly say, being thrown into situations with little instruction are difficult, but I can find a way to succeed.
After I finished my C-130J Formal Results testing, I was put on a small and intelligent team working on a new airplane - the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. Our job was to make sure Flight Management Computer Data Busses were working as requirements stated they should. Specifically, we worked with aircraft enemy identification busses. This was one of the most challenging projects I worked on at GE. The deadline was too tight, and we did not receive the help we needed from subject matter experts. We knew from the beginning the project was not going to meet the deadline. We ran into more busses failing than were working correctly. This is where my debugging and problem analysis took an exponential leap. However, the deadline was far out of reach for us, and we had to re-plan metrics. Looking back, this taught me to always plan for more time than you will actually need! The reasoning is that if you run into problems, now you have a buffer to fix them. After all, I've never been on a project where everything goes exactly as planned. The good news about is that if everything goes right, you finish ahead of schedule and your bosses love you!
After I just finished my training at GE, I was thrown into my first project. Things were moving quickly, and I had to adapt at a very fast pace to keep up. This time was critical for my growth as an engineer. I learned what it's like to feel all alone on a project. It takes some grit to problem solve like this, but now I know when the right time is to ask for help. Later on, I took it upon myself to lead the peer review team. Our job was to make sure test scripts being written to cover requirements were up to GE standard. After a few weeks, I started to notice a problem with the way our reviews were taking place. People were constantly being moved around to review, but no one stayed for too long. Often, they were told to read extremely vague work instructions to become properly trained. I believed these sets of instructions made people more confused than before they started. So I took it upon myself to develop a quick method of training people on reviews. I determined information that was critical, put it into a quick list, and then gave new reviewers a person they could contact for quick questions to be answered. Overall, the process worked outstanding. We were able to finish the reviews in a timeframe that I believe would not have been possible if I had not changed the way we conduct training of new reviewers.
You may think that refereeing is an easy job or that it's not relevant work experience. But I think you would reconsider if you thought about the skills that have to be developed to make decisions very quickly under high pressure. When both coaches are lobbying, parents are screaming, the championship is on the line, and you've got to make the call that will determine if a whole team's hard work for a year is over at that second. Yes, I hope you reconsider that being a soccer referee is not worthwhile experience.
+ In depth experience leading 3 man referee teams
+ Opportunity to teach soccer and sportsmanship to community
+ Ability to speak confidently to convey information effectively
+ Capacity to judge and make decisions very quickly under high pressure
+ Active learning environment where rules change and adapting is critical
+ Officiated competitive championship matches for age groups up to 18 years old