Career in Aviation: Akeem Garrett
In his position, he was able to work on the sub-frame for the F35 Fighter Jet, as well as the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. Akeem stated, “With that job, the people there gave me the confidence to work on a multi-million dollar aircraft, and it's a great job to have on your resume.”
Fighter Jets, Unmanned Helicopters, and Multi-Million Dollar Aircrafts
After studying aviation at Coastal Alabama Community College (CACC), Akeem landed a job with Northrop Grumman, which is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.
SPARKING A DREAM
Akeem graduated from Talladega High School in 2010 and moved on to study Aviation at Coastal Alabama Community College. Akeem has always “had a thing” for planes from a young age. Further inspiring his interest in the field of aviation, he worked for Honeywell, a company that made aftermarket models for certain parts of different planes. After working there a while, he knew he wanted to do more than just work with parts. He wanted to work on the whole plane.
CHOOSING A SCHOOL
As a result of his interest in Aviation, he considered Coastal Alabama Community College and shared some insight into his experience there. He didn’t feel like he missed out on opportunities by attending a community college, but instead was able to learn the material and advance his knowledge on different tools. He said he was able to learn new things hands-on and learned about more than just aviation, “I learned that what you learn here, you can also take that knowledge to just about any job out there.”
Akeem identified the difference between studying at a community college versus a traditional university. That difference is the tuition, which was also his favorite aspect of attending Coastal, along with the fast responses to his questions and the focus on one subject at a time instead of five. When asked if there are misconceptions about going into aviation or going to a community college that he’d like to address, Akeem responded with, “Going to a community college is a waste of time may have been the biggest misconception I’ve ever heard, even before I started attending. The community college is definitely helpful whether it be tuition, your schedule, etc. Depending on your trade, you can DEFINITELY make more than the average university grad. So if I had to give anybody advice, don’t rush into university. Make sure you’re doing something that YOU wanna do. The community college helps you narrow your choices down.”
LANDING THE JOB
Akeem found the posting on Indeed. Prior to that, he remembers the instructors highly praising Northrop Grumman as a top premier company in aviation. Akeem recalled, “I saw the posting and took a shot at it, twice. The first time, I had no sheet-metal knowledge because I hadn’t taken the class yet in school. The 2nd interview, I had taken sheet-metal and I breezed through the questions which got me hired.” In his position, he was able to work on the sub-frame for the F35 Fighter Jet, as well as the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. Akeem stated, “With that job, the people there gave me the confidence to work on a multi-million dollar aircraft, and it’s a great job to have on your resume.”
Learn more about the opportunities in aviation and education through the Alabama Community College System.