Please tell us about yourself
Mayank Kumar is a graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in 2011 and currently works as a Reliability Engineer for Kuwait Airways.
What has been your career path since graduation from Embry-Riddle?
After graduating from Embry-Riddle at the end of 2011, I returned to Kuwait and embarked upon the well-known ‘job hunting’ endeavor. While looking for a challenging first job in aviation, I worked as an administrative assistant in a school. Finally, in 2013, I gained the opportunity to join Kuwait Airways at their Reliability Unit in the Engineering department. I have since been a part of Kuwait Airways, as a Reliability Technical Officer from 2013 until 2015, and as a Reliability Engineer since 2015.
What does your current role with your company entail?
Kuwait Airways is an international airline, focused on providing quality air travel to its customers, and my role as a Reliability Engineer is to work towards ensuring that the airline’s fleet of aircraft performs at the highest possible level of technical reliability. Therefore, my activities in the job role typically concern with monitoring & analyzing technical performance of in-service aircraft, and coordinating with other members of Kuwait Airways Engineering to evaluate & implement identified means of improving reliability of aircraft systems & components.
Since December 2013, I have also been Kuwait Airways’ nominated Aircraft Programs Coordinator – this is a program management-related role, in which I act as one of the primary points of communication and coordination (both internally & externally) in order to define, configure, inspect & deliver newly purchased or leased aircraft, followed by supporting smooth Entry-Into-Service of the delivered aircraft.
What has been the secret to your success?
Dedication, patience and a positive attitude have, I believe, been most influential in my success in endeavors so far in the industry. As stated earlier, I didn’t get a job right away after graduation, which resulted in some difficult times. Nevertheless, dedicating myself to the goal of finding not just a job in aviation, but a job relevant to what I’d learnt, whilst having patience and positivity as supporting characteristics, finally got me to a satisfactory stand. Furthermore, having these values, in addition to my ability to learn things quickly & efficiently, helped me become an appreciated member of the Kuwait Airways Engineering workforce.
It’s important to state that the foundation for all the great qualities that helped (and continue to help) me succeed was built during my time as a student at Embry-Riddle.
What advice do you have for current students to be successful in the job market?
Make sure you know what you want out of a job in terms of experience & expertise, and try to focus on applying for all opportunities that fit what you’d like.
Utilize the Career Services Office as much as you can to understand about the industry job market, good practices, etc. In my experience, they have a wealth of good knowledge, and are always happy & ready to help ERAU students and alumni.
DO NOT lose heart if getting a job takes longer than anticipated. It usually does, particularly if you’re a fresh graduate. Persistence and a positive attitude will eventually yield results.
Build your network as early as possible, and maintain good communication within your network – the aviation & aerospace industry is a tight-knit community, and connecting with more people that are part of this community definitely helps. If nothing, you could get a good understanding of the industry and its nuances from different regions & perspectives.
Be wary of what you share on social media platforms – your background and character are incredibly important, and you want to avoid self-creating any reason that would negatively affect you.