In this series, recent grads share their journey to landing that first job out of college. After years of studying and working toward a degree, these Panthers’ hard work paid off. Now they’re paying it forward by letting you know how they did it.
Name: Ahmed Elsayed
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Degree/major: Doctor of philosophy in electrical and computer engineering
Where are you working? Title? I work for Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T) in Huntsville, Alabama. I am an electrical and electronics design engineer.
What does a day on the job look like? Every day, I do what I love to do. Part of my job is to perform modeling and simulations for the different components of the electric power system on an airplane. I work with other Boeing researchers to improve the design and performance of these components.
How did you get your job? Boeing is the largest aerospace company in the world and develops cutting-edge technologies. When I found the job posting on Boeing Careers, I felt that it would be a good fit for me. During the interview process, we discussed my experience and several of my university research projects. I had the opportunity to share some of my design ideas for aerospace. We also discussed the types of projects I would be working on, which gave me good insight into the job.
What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it? Before starting at Boeing, I knew I would be designing airplane systems with a high-level of complexity. To prepare for my new career, I read articles and watched documentaries to learn more about aerospace. After I started, I spent extra time researching airplane designs.
What surprised you the most about your first job? For airplane systems, we must account for every detail – that includes a rigorous quality control process in design and manufacturing. Before starting my job, I didn’t realize Boeing used so many different software programs and modeling and simulation design tools. In a short amount of time, I had to learn how to use these tools and programs.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Read, understand and digest all the details in every job description. It is critical to align your knowledge with the position requirements. If you don’t know about something, but really want that specific job, learn what you don’t know.
How does your job connect back to your coursework? During my doctoral studies and dissertation work, I used different simulation software packages on a research project funded by the Office of Naval Research. These are also used in modeling and simulation of electric power systems on airplanes. Through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering within FIU’s College of Engineering & Computing, I was also exposed to real energy storage and electric devices. The hands-on experience is a major asset in my current role.
How has your transition been from school to work? How do you balance your time? This part was challenging especially since I love spending time with my family. I had to be organized and focused on my priorities. I always create a to-do list and plan ahead. It’s important to balance work and personal life. When I first started at Boeing, my new teammates and manager helped make it a smooth transition. They explained many of the tools and software programs that I would be using every day. Since I was moving from South Florida to Alabama, they also gave me good advice on places to live and neighborhoods for my family.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? I think the coolest thing about my job is seeing how an airplane comes together from design to production. Before, when I boarded a Boeing airplane, I had many questions. Now, I know how it all works!