January 24, 2022
By University Relations Student Journalist Josie Kidder
During her career path journey, Vincennes University Aviation Maintenance Technician major Emily Reed had no concrete idea of what she wanted to do. That was until she started working as an aircraft cleaner for FedEx in Indianapolis and realized she had the potential to do great things in the aviation field.
"I never thought I would major in aviation," she said. "I've always liked flying and had thought about being a flight attendant, but that’s all. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I was working as an aircraft cleaner for FedEx, that I decided to go to school to become an aviation maintenance technician. I knew quite a few of the AMTs because I was a supervisor, so I communicated with them for work. They encouraged me to look into going to school to do what they do. I wanted to make a change in my life but didn’t have anything set in stone. I am very grateful that I picked the career I did."
Demand for aviation maintenance technicians is strong, according to Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook (2021-2040). The aviation industry needs 626,000 new maintenance technicians over the next two decades.
Reed saw the small-class sizes and flexible schedules VU's Indianapolis Aviation Technology Center (ATC) offers and decided it was the place that was going to help her grow in her career field and get more employment opportunities when she graduates in the fall of 2022.
"For what I wanted to major in, there weren't many options where I could go to school in my area. VU had a smaller class setting, the hours were flexible to fit my schedule, the tuition costs were low, and the classes I would take were all beneficial to me. My main goal at this time is to complete school and get a job as an AMT, and possibly continue and get my bachelor's in science, and I think VU can help me get there."
Not only is she juggling the tireless responsibility that her school and work demands, but the Perryville, Ohio native is also responsible for taking care of her 11-year-old daughter, Amirah.
“I would definitely be lying if I said it was easy, and as much as I would love it to be, it’s not. Before I came to VU, I spent a vast amount of my time working in the aviation field and spending time with my daughter. Going off of 10 hours of work directly into six hours of in-class time doesn’t leave much time for anything else. My family helps a lot with my daughter between school sports and everyday life. It is hard at times just being away from her for long periods of time, but I do know it will all be worth it once I finish school.”
Although being a mother can be hard work, Reed enjoys every blissful moment she gets to spend with her daughter.
"She is a pretty laid-back person like me. She enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and spending time with her cousins. I love watching her grow up and seeing everything she is achieving at her age. She is a very caring individual and loves helping others."
Even with a jam-packed schedule, Reed still finds some free time to advocate and support domestic violence survivors in her community. She is also writing a book about her life journey growing up in the foster care system and the mental and physical abuse she has experienced in past years.
"I love helping out in the community and mentoring survivors of domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking. I’m a pianist at my church and love music. I also write poetry, and I am currently working on a book.”
Reed is helping others complete their dreams of soaring in the sky by starting on the ground to resolve any aircraft mechanical issues and getting it ready to take flight, all the while being a loving mother and a supportive shoulder to lean on for her community.
VU’s Aviation Maintenance Program prepares students for Federal Aviation Administration certification and in-demand employment in one of the nation’s most exciting industries.
Explore VU's Aviation Flight and Maintenance programs HERE.