“What Do You Do?” Week: Jen, Fly Girl

This week, we’re spending a little time learning all about you and the awesome and unexpectedly cool jobs you do. Each one of these profiles was culled from you, dear Frisky readers, and we’re amazed by the incredible jobs you have. This is our attempt to learn more about what you do for a living.

After the jump, read all about Frisky reader Jen’s job as as an aircraft engineer. Jen, 28, Aircraft Systems Engineer

Location: San Francisco Bay Area

An Average Day: There is no average day. It’s always different, which is one of the reasons why I love it. I answer calls from our repair stations to answer technical questions. I look at broken parts and investigate causes of failures. I crawl around inside the guts of planes to figure out how some of this stuff works. I look at new FAA laws and determine how we will comply with them. I review data about delays and cancellations to see where we can make improvements to our systems, then I have to present this to the bigwigs in the company. I write new repair procedures and improve existing ones. I participate in any safety or legal investigations related to my systems. I work on improvement projects–and on and on and on!

The Best Part Of Your Job: Going on test flights! There is nothing more exhilarating than sitting in the cockpit of a 777 and seeing the San Francisco Bay on a beautiful day from the best viewing spot in the world! Not to mention I get to fly for free …

The Worst Part Of Your Job: Frantic calls from ten people about ten different things and they all expect an answer at once. And oh yeah, you also have a presentation in an hour too, and your email inbox is growing and growing. Basically, we are understaffed.

The Most Surprising Thing: How cool engineers actually are (yes, I said cool and engineer in one sentence!). They are almost all guys and most are my dad’s age or older. NONE of them question my abilities or make any mention of the fact that I am a woman (when it comes to work anyways). They answer my questions and are excited to help … even though I will admit being a reasonably attractive girl may help with that.

Anything Crazy Ever Happen On The Job? Engineers are not very crazy (at least at work … because I go a little crazy on the weekends, and I know some of the others do too), but we do go out and have beers regularly and send funny cat pictures to each other’s emails.

If You Weren’t Doing This Job, What Other Path Might You Pursue? I LOVE to cook, so maybe a personal chef or something? Because stressful cooking in a hot restaurant kitchen does not seem appealing. I am also VERY interested in bioengineering. I’m considering going back to school to study it.

Does What You Went To School For Have Any Relationship To What You Now Do? I am one of those few people that actually uses their degree–a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering–and I am going back for a master’s … someday!

What Advice Would You Give To Someone Interested In Getting Into Your Field? Any sort of hands-on mechanical experience will help A LOT! I worked as a maintenance technician for a semiconductor company while putting myself through school. Actually, my boss told me that getting my hands dirty was what got me hired over the others. Another boss told me parts are parts are parts. If you can learn how one type of machine works, you have the skills to work on almost any machine.