Name: Rami Ghazzara
Hometown: Miami, FL
Degree/Major: Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering
Where are you working? Title? I work for Boeing at their Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS), located in China Lake, California, as a flight test engineer.
How did you get your job? I got my job doing an interview at the 2018 SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professionals Engineers) Conference, an annual STEM conference that allows students and its members to have the opportunity to meet and learn about industry leading companies and see what they have to offer. It’s also a great place to seek job opportunities. I was able to land interviews with several companies, including Boeing for the position I have today.
What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it? My greatest fear was joining a large company that leads the aerospace industry, immediately after I graduated from college. I overcame this fear by sticking with the guidance of my mentor, while being open to new challenges and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
What surprised you the most about your first job? What surprised me the most about my job here at Boeing is the amount of sensitivity people have about their work and the level of confidentiality.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Step out of your comfort zone. Become as involved as possible within your university’s organizations, career fairs and job fairs. Also, involve yourself with community outreach and research opportunities.
What does a day on the job look like? A day on the job normally consists of morning meetings to discuss current projects, everyone’s progress and meeting with team leads. We can either choose to work alone or with our team to complete tasks and achieve customer acceptance. Also, being a flight test engineer allows for variations of the task at hand. Our job includes tasks such as installing specified systems to make the aircraft flight ready and ground testing systems for proper functionality in order to pass system testing during a flight. Once the tests are completed, we analyze the data for proper performance so the aircraft is ready to be delivered to the customer.
How does your job connect back to your coursework? My job connects back to my coursework through teamwork, data analysis and critical thinking. I was very involved with student organizations that worked within the aerospace field, which has helped me build my knowledge in my field and gave me exposure to the leading companies in this industry. For example, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace Engineering Club at FIU helped me learn about the design, manufacturing, aircraft performance and testing processes. But, most importantly, my coursework has taught me how to be able to take on a task with its own challenges and take leadership initiative on projects.
How was your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time? It was pretty hard leaving my hometown because I was leaving behind all my friends and family, but making the decision to relocate was easy and the transition was smooth. The excitement of working for a position in my dream career at my dream company is what made this decision very easy to make. So, I took full advantage of all the opportunities that presented themselves and the acceptance of my new coworkers helped me a lot with the process. My team was very welcoming, and I felt like I was a part of the team from the very start. And although at first there was a lot of adjustments to be made, I now have the option to create my own weekly schedule so management between work and personal time has been great.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? The coolest thing about my job is that I get to be involved in interesting and challenging projects. Currently, I am working on an active military base dealing with flight and weapons testing.
Mechanical engineer Rami Ghazzara works at Boeing's Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS).