Sunday, October 21, 2012

Funny How Life Works Out

I've debated about telling this story but I think the time has come because I have realized how things have worked out to make my charmed life possible.

In February of 2009, I interviewed for a scholarship for my multiengine and/or instrument rating.  The policies of the organization allow a candidate to apply for two scholarships only.  When in the interview, I was asked which other scholarship I had applied for.  I replied that I had selected one for a seaplane rating.  The response was, "Why did you pick that?"

"Because it is something that looks like fun that I have always wanted to do, and it would be a new experience," was my response.

This sharp reply answered: "Why would you bother doing that?  You'll get the rating and no one will ever rent you a seaplane so it's worthless."

I didn't know it at the time, but it was a catalyzing moment for me.  Never before had I felt like everything I was doing in aviation was so wrong.  I have always been of the opinion that we each have our niches and desires to explore.  It just so happens that my niche does not include a Boeing 737 or Learjet.  It is partly because of this interview that I have come to terms with my status as a puddlejumper.  I've embraced the title and revel in all that it means.  It is who I am, and I have recognized over time that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Fast forward 2.5 years later.  I was personally contacted by the renowned world leader in aircraft float manufacturing (which also has world-class services like maintenance, paint, interior, and avionics) to apply for a position as marketing manager.  After much hemming and hawing over where I would work after graduation, I accepted the position.  In January, I began interning to get a handle on things.  In May, I started full-time under the tutelage of the outgoing marketing manager.  In September, I assumed full responsibility for the company's marketing department, including two employees.

Let's think about that for a minute.

I was called by a market leader to apply for a job they wanted me for.  I secured full-time employment well before graduating and moved straight into a fabulous job.  At 23, I now manage other people and oversee the marketing department of a world-recognized company.

The most satisfying part?

My boss informed me that "it is part of your job to know how to fly floatplanes."

That's right.  It's part of my JOB to get my seaplane rating.

It turns out following the beat of your own drum has a funny way of working itself out.  I feel so incredibly lucky that some days it is hard to believe it's all real.  Of course, there are still plenty of challenges and frustrations, but then I sit back and think about all the people--respected professors and industry professionals--that told me I'd never get a job doing what I was interested in.  Now I get to smile and say "I DID IT!!!!!"  No matter where things go from here, I have proven to myself that I am perfectly ok just the way I am.  It's ok that I don't want to fly for an airline.  It's ok that I will always prefer little fabric-covered airplanes with the little wheel in the back.  It is what makes me who I am, and no one can take that beautiful fact away from me.

I owe immeasurable thanks to the many people that encouraged me along the way, gave advice, lent a sympathetic ear, and prodded me along.  I can't say enough about the amazing experience I have had in aviation and I am thrilled to be able to work in this industry and help others discover just how awesome it really is.

Thanks for all the support and friendship--I hope I have made all of those friends and mentors at least a little bit proud!

A very lucky girl,



  1. Amy
    Congrats on following your dream. Someone once asked me when I was learning to fly where did I see myself in ten years. I said I didn't really know but it would be flying even if it was just a little Cessna 150. Turn out that the people that have a passion for flying always seem to do well. A lot of people thing the the airlines is the only way to make a living in aviation. I must disagree. There are lots o great job out there. You, and Steve Krig are just two great examples. Always follow your dreams. They will take you where you want to go. Mine have. See you at LHV next year. Bring a cub on floats. And tell that float company you are working for the J3/PA11 guys need a nice light weight amphibians option.

    Also come join us at

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