WordPress Survival Guide

16_the_wasteland_survival_guide

This is the survival guide for navigating my WordPress website for PTE 401 @ South Seattle Community College.

1.

How to Write an APA Paper for My Students to Reference

2.

Supporting Student Goals for Success

3.

What Goes Around Comes Around

4.

The Strength of Self-Confidence

5.

Landing a job in Aerospace

6.

My Flight into Training

7.

Planning Your Next Step

8.

Aerospace Manufacturing

 

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Aerospace Manufacturing

Flight didn’t just revolutionize the way we travel, it changed the world. The ability to transport people and goods faster and cheaper than cars, trains, and boats made the impossible possible.

Do you have what it takes to build one of mankind’s greatest achievements?

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Are you up to the challenge? Then come apply at Boeing to become an aircraft assembly mechanic.

When you arrive at one of Boeing you will be placed in a training program at the Skills Process Center in Everett, WA or Renton WA. It is here you will learn the skills needed to assemble the worlds greatest airplanes. You will learn everything from basic physics like Bernoulli’s Principle to drilling quality holes by hand measured to the fourth decimal. Your training plan will be tailored to the program you are assigned but whether it’s the giant 747-8 or the 787 that’s redefining the way the way we fly,  you will be a part of a proud and unique culture that has been building airplanes for over 100 years.

But why stop there?

  • Engineering
  • Leadership
  • Design
  • Research and Development
  • Functional Test
  • Sales
  • Parts
  • Space programs
  • Military programs

These are some examples of other career possibilities within aerospace.

At Boeing, the Sky Is The Limit. Your Sky. Your Limit.

Planning Your Next Step

Planning for your next quarter can be difficult if you neglect it for too long. Planning for your next quarter can be tedious, especially if you work full time while also going to school. I like to use smart goals for planning for my next quarter. It’s organized and in a simple format. It’s also something you can put together is a short amount of time and review quickly at anytime to make sure you are still on track or make an easy change to if needed.

smart-goals

My next quarter smart goals are:

  • Specific: Turn in all assignment on time or early, work ahead whenever possible.
  • Measurable: I can easily measure if I am on track or not and make corrections to my schedule as needed.
  • Attainable: Very attainable as long as I stay disciplined.
  • Relevant: This directly affects my grades and my stress level. Keeping my stress levels low while working and going to school is very relevant to my personal health and success.
  • Time Based: It’s quarterly and reusable.

I look at my school work like I look at my house. If I neglect my house it’s easy to get behind on laundry, dishes, yard work, making repairs, keeping rooms clean. But if I make sure I spend a little time each day maintaining my house it never becomes a stressful chore, it’s simply a quick task I can maintain.

Homework works much the same way and house hold responsibilities. If I neglect my homework I get stressed out and usually become lethargic and unmotivated. If I chip away at it little by little each day though big projects are easily managed.

I could make more SMART goals but this is the one that is most relevant to me. You could make SMART goals for each class or just for a class you struggled with last quarter. Reviewing your previous quarter and identifying things that did and did not work for you is critical to your future success. Learn from your mistakes by acknowledging them and then do not make that mistake again.

My Flight into Training

I was working for a restaurant called Claim Jumpers in Tukwila when I started my path towards a career with Boeing. I heard from my friends parents that Boeing was looking to hire it’s next generation workforce so I did some digging and found some jobs I could apply for on the Boeing website. I was contacted a couple weeks after turning in my resume and started my pre-employment training(P.E.T). What is P.E.T was a full time job on top of my full time job. I had to travel 100 miles round trip to work in an off-site Boeing building for eight hours a day, five days a week, for a month.

I would wake up at 0300 and drive up to Everett to start my training which started at 0530 that ended at 1400, Monday through Friday. When I was finished I would sit in an hour or two of traffic on my way to Tukwila where I would close the restaurant at 2300. Some days I was up for over 24 hours straight and I did this for a whole month but it got my foot in the door. Things have changed since then but this is what I had to do to get into Boeing.

longhours

Once I was in my career was a roller coaster of long hours and different shifts. I worked 10 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week for months in a row. After two years as an assembly mechanic I finally got my opportunity to be a team leader where I worked even more. After two years of being a team leader I started applying for management and landing a position as a Manufacturing Manager on the 747-8. I thought I worked a lot as a mechanic…

long-hours

I didn’t think I could work any more hours but I found a way to in management and with no overtime pay. I took a huge hourly pay-cut with the hours I was required to work under my manager but it was what I wanted to do. I like to think I put in the effort and a good fight after having more than 365 consecutive work days but in the end it turned out management just wasn’t for me. I was a manager for almost three years and I loved it but after awhile it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

I stepped down out of management and transferred from Everett to Renton where I made an impression as a good mechanic on my new  crew. Working in Renton was like Disneyland to me. After seven years working in Everett I had never once worked a 40 hour work week. That all changed in Renton and working a straight 40 hour work week felt more magical than Disneyland.

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With my work history my manager recommended me to our training group as a mechanic that would make a good Subject Matter Expert to help train a large group of mechanics coming in. It was in training where I found my passion again. I made a good impression on training and when they had a position open up they contacted me and gave me an opportunity to interview for the position.

Nailed it!

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Landing a job in Aerospace

 

Please buckle up and remain seated.

Getting into aerospace manufacturing is not nearly as hard as people may think it is. Almost everyone I talk with assumes that  getting into Boeing or aerospace manufacturing in general is difficult, and they would be right to assume so right? Wrong.

The aerospace manufacturing world is a wonderfully diverse place to work. When people think aerospace manufacturing they often think of Boeing or Airbus. What I find people overlook the most is all the other aspects of a company that make aerospace function. What about NASA and the space program? What about the Defense Program – like missiles, helicopters, or fighter jets? What about the R&D side – like going to the consumer electronic show looking for the next big thing to put into tomorrows aircraft? Or what about sales – selling aircraft to customers around the world?! There are tons of ways to get into aerospace manufacturing it just depends on what you are willing to do to get into it. You could apply with no work experience or you can go to a vocational school for basic training or even get an Air-Frame and Power-Plant (A&P) license.

You don’t have to start out as a mechanic or engineer though to get into aerospace. One of my good friends started his aerospace career as a janitor with no prior work experience. Janitorial experts are one of the most valuable aspects of our business but not often shown the respect or appreciation they deserve. Manufacturing is a fast paced highly competitive industry and one of the biggest cost savings is keeping people working on the airplane. Whether they are engineers or mechanics on the shop floor our bathrooms are strategically placed to be close to the work area. Our custodial side of the business runs a tight schedule and even stricter budget to make sure that people don’t have to travel too far from their work to use the restroom. It might sound silly but when you employ roughly 160,000 people across the United States, 70,000 people in Washington alone that time adds up, especially when you occasionally have to travel 10+ minutes one way walking just to find an open restroom.

So, when someone asks me what is the easiest way into manufacturing? My first thought is janitorial via the IAM751 union, but that is just me. It is a position with a high attrition rate, and while it is not the most glorious job in aerospace it is an important one. Some people choose to start and finish their careers there, or there are those like my friend Joe who just got his foot in the door with his sights set higher. I personally would do almost anything to get into a job I want while others may find the thought of being a janitor absurd. However, once you are in the union you can attend off-hours training, and after your first year if you finished all of the required off-hours training you can move into other positions such as an assembly mechanic, a quality instructor, or even a crane operator. Another possibility is to go to school to get into management or getting a degree for something completely unrelated.

I have a good example for you that involves my own older brother. My brother is eight years older than me and is a mason by trade. Masonry is hard work and I know this because I used to be a hod carried for my brother. He is a hard working individual, but this work isn’t for everyone. He was hired as a structures mechanic which is a very difficult job with lots of overtime required. He made it seven days as a Boeing employee before quitting. Even though if you tough it out for a year you can go just about anywhere, but it wasn’t worth it for him.

My personal journey with Boeing has been very well-rounded. I hired in as a 303 assembly mechanic with my sights set on management. I spent years working every hour I could making a name for myself as a dependable mechanic and also did training on the side in case management wasn’t the job for me. I completed all the required training to be an in-tank hydraulic mechanic within my first year but turned down that position to become a team leader. After a couple years of team leader experience I applied and  accomplished my goal of being a manufacturing manager. I oversaw 35 F.A.I.T (fuselage assembly integration team) structures mechanics who assembled the 46/48 section of the 747-8. Sometimes dreams aren’t meant to be and the position ended up not being what I thought it would be. Whether I was a bad manager or if the position just wasn’t for me I still haven’t figured out, but I stepped down after almost three years, transferred to a location closer to my friends and family and got a job teaching mechanical assembly skills to new hires, transfers, rehires, and the occasional high school tours.

Here are a couple of the planes I was personally a part of completing.

 

So what is the easiest way to get into aerospace manufacturing you ask? That, my friend, depends on what you consider “easy” and where you want to land. If you want to work in the aerospace industry my recommendation is to find a destination you want to go, buy a ticket, and take the ride.

The Strength of Self-Confidence

In a world where it seems like everyone focus’s on peoples weaknesses I like to focus on people’s strengths. I spend one-on-one time with each one of my students as they demonstrate the skill I am trying to teach them and focus on everything they are doing well. I find that by verbally communicating everything they are doing well helps them to relax and their weaknesses work themselves out. I have a lot of students who at first can’t shoot a good rivet and all they can focus on is everything they are doing wrong. When I come around and observe them and only point out everything they are doing good most of the time they suddenly start shooting perfect rivets. I like to call this “The butterfly effect” because everyone gets butterflies in their stomach when they are learning something new and being graded on it. Granted this doesn’t always work and sometimes I do have to spend time working on people weaknesses. The main reason I try to focus on people’s strengths is to build confidence in the person. One of my biggest frustrations working in a manufacturing environment is that a majority of new people coming in lack the confidence in themselves to make a decision on their own. I think one of the biggest costs today is that too many people need to be working in pairs in order to get anything done because they can’t make decision without the consent/comfort of another person.

So far I have had really great results with this method and while I also encourage teamwork, I find that building a strong foundation of self-confidence is the recipe for student success.

strengths

What Goes Around Comes Around

The most recent experience I have with accommodation is between myself and a peer. My coworker’s mother-in-law passed away and he had to leave suddenly for over a week so he could fly with his wife to support her and be with their family. He was noticeably low-spirited compared to his normal self and since he was working opposite of the schedule most of regularly work I knew he was stressed about having to leave work too with the schedule of upcoming students. I told him not to worry about anything and volunteered to accommodate his schedule and all of his students while he was away. I worked out a schedule with my other peers so that my classes were covered and I could accommodate our mourning coworker.

What goes around comes around. About a month later my wife’s mother passed away and there were a several days over the course of month that I needed to take off so that I could be there for my wife and support the family. With school, work, and supporting the family I was under a HUGE amount of stress. Worrying about making sure someone was there to cover for me so that my students wouldn’t have to reschedule and I could take care of my family with the added stress of falling behind at work was just another item on my list of things to work about. Thankfully, my coworker did the same for me and told me not to worry about it. He said he would take care of everything at work and to not worry about anything but taking care of my family. It’s a big relief to know that I have a team that is willing to sacrifice or disrupt their own agendas to help support the success of our team and students.