Technical Training Manager,
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THE AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE INDUSTRY?
My first job upon immigrating from India to the U.S. in 2009 was with a marine propulsion manufacturer based in Houston, TX. We manufactured sustainable Dynamic Positioning (DP) thrusters for U.S. Navy and Coast Guard in addition to offshore drilling vessels. As a young electronics engineer at that time, it was fascinating to be in meetings with military personnel discussing the “secret” requirements for those vessels for mission preparedness. After a few years, I left that role to pursue an MBA degree. Having gained a diverse work experience in Home Automation and the Offshore industry thereafter, joining Cubic in 2019 was homecoming for me, bringing me back into the Aerospace and Defense industry.
DESCRIBE YOUR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AT YOUR COMPANY:
My current role at Cubic Corporation is to manage Cubic’s technical training team with an emphasis on creation, delivery and implementation of technical training strategies exclusively for the internal workforce. The events in the last few months have made remote working the new normal. More than ever, my team is responsible for ensuring that we stay up to date and impart meaningful trainings to our workforce. This not only allows us to increase efficiencies and output but also ensures a smooth and quick induction of new employees to the desired levels at Cubic.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB?
I have been in the technical training domain for the past 6 years and the most rewarding aspect of my job is to see our learners getting trained and excelling in their roles. An employee is as good as the training he/she receives. Like in active service, mission readiness is critical and is achieved by vigorous and periodic training. My job is to make sure that our employees are trained on all systems and applications they will be using to get their job done. As the saying goes – “it is not always the equipment that matters, it is the operator of that equipment.” Technology is changing very quickly and resistance to change is well entrenched in the human psyche. Therefore we target our trainings for smooth transitions that lead to easier acceptance of the changes. The recent example that I can share is about the COVID-led need to transition from office to remote work while at the same time needing to ensure that efficiency of our workforce doesn’t get adversely affected from this change. Achieving this recently was both satisfying and rewarding.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
A lot of people ask me that after my Electrical Engineering and MBA degrees, why am I not working in core engineering? It is because I found, and continue to find, my inspiration from all the teachers and professors who dedicate their lives teaching and mentoring the next generation to enter the professional world. I believe that good mentorship and training are the pillars of a long and fruitful professional career. In today’s world where technology changes with the blink of an eye, it is paramount for all professionals to update their skills and be up to speed about new developments in their fields. Knowledge is power and learning must never stop. To facilitate that in someone’s professional career and seeing the results is both inspiring and rewarding.
WHY IS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MEANINGFUL TO YOU?
In today’s connected world, sometimes referred to as “Global Village,” countries and their economies are inter-related and inter-dependent, with multinational organizations in different regions of the globe staffing a multilingual and multicultural workforce. That makes it all the more important to understand and respect diversity – language, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and so on. Such understanding will not only promote professional growth, but more importantly, it will develop a person into a better human being.
WHAT ADVICE TO YOU HAVE FOR STUDENTS CONSIDERING A CAREER IN AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE?
The performance on the job in any industry demands knowledge, hard work, result-oriented focus and precision, teamwork and error-free output. However, the stakes are much higher in the Aerospace and Defense industry as the outputs (equipment and software) that we deliver are crucial for the successful outcome of a mission. It is our collective responsibility to not let soldiers down in high pressure situations where our success and failure can affect their lives.
We have a huge responsibility while we work on such projects – they bring a sense of fulfillment and belonging as well as a proud feeling of serving the nation (even if our efforts happen behind the scenes).