Discuss your current position at Embraer.
My current position at Embraer is a Product Development Engineer. When I first began at Embraer, I was placed to do some weight analysis on the Legacy 650, a large mid-size jet that Embraer produces based on the ERJ-145 platform. That position lasted just a few weeks as I was placed in a new project. Because of my Brazilian background (fluent in the language and Brazilian passport) my supervisor believed that I would be a good fit for the Legacy 500 installation drawing team that was being trained at Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. I was sent to Brazil to spend three months in order to train and start some work with the team down in Brazil. After five weeks I returned home because the work I was accomplishing could also be accomplished from our engineering center in Melbourne, Florida. After a couple of months being the only one working in the project, management believed that some of the work could be expanded into a group of seven other engineers along with myself. Because of the time I had been working on the project, I was tasked in helping and teaching the group to do the tasks like I had been doing. To this day I continue to work on the project but I also act as a focal point between USA and Brazil in order to help the team in Melbourne with any questions that may arise. The past year I have traveled to Brazil twice in order to either be trained on the project or to help the team in Brazil as well when they are being pushed with tight deadlines.
What skills and experiences did you gain at ERAU that have helped to make you successful?
My line of work isn’t too technical to the point that something I learned during my Fluid Dynamics class would help me, but what Embry-Riddle taught me through the years was the critical thinking. Basically, the thought process that I used in order to solve a complicated Structures 1 problem and/or a Flight Dynamics class problem, was what I truly appreciate learning at Riddle. Having a difficult task and finding paths in order to get to the solution is what being an engineer is all about, so Riddle taught me the essence of being an engineer. Another skill that Riddle taught me was how to work in a group. In my opinion, classes since the very beginning of the college education should already start with group activities. Sure tests and quizzes are part of the everyday engineering student’s life, but in my opinion, group working is one of the core activities that any engineer should really learn and Riddle truly taught me that.
What are your future plans?
I am currently working on my MS in Engineering Management and am on track to graduate December 2017. My future plans are to use this degree in order to further Embraer’s future and complete a long and hard-worked career for Embraer. Being a Brazilian, I am proud to work for a successful Brazilian company, so my wish is to work for Embraer for the long haul and grow within the company; should that be in a higher engineer level and/or managerial positions as well.
Can you give a few tips for success for other ERAU students/alumni?
The best advice I can give to ERAU students and alumni is to set up a network of friends that can benefit you in your career. Sure we all have some friends that aren’t in the same field as we are, but for those friends that are, use the appropriate social media to stay in contact. The best example is LinkedIn. I have many friends that obtained amazing engineering positions because of this source, and I am glad to say that I am another user that obtained my position because of this website. Keep the website updated; use the website to search for companies and start looking for someone that might benefit you in the future. LinkedIn is an extremely powerful professional tool, use it.