“Long story short, I fly planes and hope to continue flying planes till I am forced to retire. I am an aerospace administration operation with the professional pilot concentration. [I have not known that I wanted that be my field] for very long actually. I first became interested in it probably about two years ago. I was in high school and did not know what I wanted to do. I knew that no matter what I decided to do I would make the best of it but there was nothing that really called out my name and I ended up going to lunch with a friend who was a little bit older than me and in-flight school, at a different school, and she was telling me about how much she loved it and it kind of lit the spark. She kept talking about it and I just had more and more questions, I hadn’t really been interested in something like this in a long time, so I took it as a good sign. She told me to go do a discovery flight and I did one and being in the pane as we took off I had never done anything like it and I was immediately hooked. My favorite part about being a pilot is still to this day taking off, there is no feeling like it. I also get pretty cool looks when I tell people that I am a pilot. They go, “Oh, that’s badass! That’s so cool that you are a girl pilot.” So, I get a little bit of an ego boost from that too. As of right now, women make up about 7% of the aviation industry, on the pilot side, I believe. So there is a big push right now to get more women involved in aviation, especially on the pilot side. I am really happy to be a part of that. There is an organization on campus called “Women in Aviation” and it is just one chapter of many. It is an International Organization and they focus a lot on empowering girls and providing them with resources and scholarships to become pilots and pursue careers in aviation. There are some really excellent resources that I have been exposed to since joining. It’s definitely a community that is needed.”
Claire Reader, aerospace administration operation freshman.