For most, a plane taking flight holds little significance, but for Katie Ziegler, each takeoff and landing represents a successful job done by her team. Katie works as a Manufacturing Engineer for GKN Aerospace, a company with over 18,000 employees across 50+ global manufacturing locations.
Business is booming for GKN Aerospace giving Katie a bustling schedule as she works to keep consistent, real-time communication flowing between her manufacturing facilities and clients. Katie embraces her career in the fast-paced aerospace industry and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Early Love For STEM
As a student in high school, Katie knew she wanted to pursue a career in STEM because of her love for chemistry and math. She went on to get a degree in Chemical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute with its unique educational structure.
Rather than your traditional fall and spring semesters, Katie’s curriculum was broken into quarterly sections where the majority of classwork is project-based with additional opportunities to get practical skills abroad. This educational structure allowed Katie to acquire real-world experience while studying in Massachusetts, Northern California, and Switzerland.
"Succeeding in an environment where your grade depends on your project outcome is a great confidence boost and prep for the real world."
Up, Up, and Away
After graduating, Katie decided to journey away from chemical engineering by accepting a job offer from GKN Aerospace that would allow her to work as part of a rotational program in Southern California, England, and Japan. Katie gets to work directly in the field solving a diverse range of challenges in an environment that has far more excitement than your typical desk job.
Katie is looking forward to developing further in her exciting position as an Aerospace Manufacturing Engineer but she also has a few personal long-term goals.
“Eventually I want to run my own business and have a family.”
It's NOT Rocket Science
Katie would also like to see more students get a chance to participate in STEM programs at a younger age.
“Having more interactive and hands-on programs for kids can help make STEM careers seem less impossible. These jobs often have the ‘rocket science’ stigma when in reality they’re very attainable.”
In reflection on her own journey towards working in the aerospace industry, Katie suggests that clear communication, project management, and presentation skills are crucial in her trade. Encouraging the practice of these skills at the collegiate level is a great way to establish a foundation for breaking into any industry and starting careers.
The Xena Difference
Katie really appreciates that Xena Workwear offers a unique and quality product that cannot be found anywhere else. She came to this realization after spending countless hours scouring the internet for her pair of work shoes.
There are plenty of workwear options for women that are safe but do not go with office wear. Xena steel-toe shoes let you experience both style and safety. It might not be noticeable to outsiders, but when Katie wears Xenas to work, she feels that she can put her best foot forward.
See the other stories of inspiring women in our blog!