AFAM continues celebrating spring with our women Gadz'arts. Please meet Mathilde Deveraux (Bo 211), our Shasta Mentor, passionate about aviation, living and working in the US since 2014. Mathilde will tell us more about her life and work in the US and her enthusiasm for traveling.
- Tell us about your career path and area of expertise today. How did it come about?
I have always been passionate about aviation and understand the dynamics of a plane and the flight operations. I did my internships at Air France, and then at Airbus to gain the airframer experience. I started working in flight tests for the A320 Neo. That gave me more insights on how planes were tested. I then wanted to understand the maintenance operations and moved to Zodiac Services and to the USA. The aftermarket branch of the company. There I started as a Market and Program Analyst. I discovered the American market and understood how different it can be from the European one. I then moved to manage long term programs with American customers and understood with first-hand experience the complexity of the USA. I just recently took over the Boeing account and I am still discovering new things on aircraft maintenance and the supplier/customer relationship.
- What do you do every day at work? How does being a Gadz’Arts help you in your everyday tasks and team management?
My work is a mix of project management, customer relationship and technical expertise. I work in a multidisciplinary environment, from airline mechanics to VP of Sales. Being a Gadzart helped me adapt my language to my audience and explain the situation with either technical or commercial words. The technical background allowed gaining the confidence of the shop and the project management the respect of the management team. I learned to be adaptive, innovative, flexible, and to learn fast.
Finally, the most important is to understand you cannot do anything alone and you need to be a team player and understand each player skills to bring the team to the top. This is not only true when you are a Gadzart, it is true for your whole career.
- How did you come to the US- why and when? How is your work life different than in France?
I first came to the USA to do a double diploma with the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta in 2013. I graduated in 2015, went back to France for work and missed the work environment of the USA so I came back a year later with a VIE. I felt I had more freedom and more possibilities to grow in the USA. In France, I was perceived as a Gadzart so I had to do mechanics. In the USA, if you can prove you can do it then you have the job, they care less about your studies and believe more in you.
- What is the best advice someone ever gave you? Why?
“Believe in yourself. Never think you are not good enough, never stop trying”. We are setting our own limits and thus we need to believe in ourselves to go to where we want to be. I got scared when I was told I had a $5 million contract to manage but I grew to understand that if you want you can do anything. I am now managing the Boeing Program and starting to negotiate contracts with them while I feel I am still a young kid on the school bench. If you want to grow, don’t think that you are too young, too inexperienced, too anything for that position, just give it a try.
- What is one favorite way to spend your free time (hobbies, weekend activities)?
I enjoy traveling, hiking, discovering new places and meeting different people. Being in Atlanta, the biggest airport in the world, I can travel anywhere. My goal is to visit all 52 states before I leave the USA. I am currently at 48, with 2 planned in the coming months. The diversity in the USA makes almost every city unique.
Thank you, Mathilde, for sharing with us and for supporting AFAM!