My name is Mariee. I am an Engineer at L3Harris and also the WE3 Phoenix Chapter Lead. WE3 is an L3Harris Employee Resource Group dedicated to Women that Strive for Empowering, Enhancing and Encouraging other women. As as a female engineer in a traditionally male-dominated industry, I’d like to share my career story as part of Women in Aviation month.
My job as an Engineering Project Lead at L3Harris is to motivate, coordinate, and manage multidisciplinary teams of engineers to complete developmental projects on our Aviation Surveillance and Communications products – we take huge pride in great engineering designs.
I’ve been in aerospace for the majority of my career and worked on projects across design, manufacturing, quality, process improvement and control systems for turbine engines and avionics for Fortune 500 companies.
As the daughter of a pilot and with military and commercial pilots in my family, working in Commercial Aviation Solutions for L3Harris feels like home for me. I get a genuine thrill from the products and am passionate about providing advanced, state-of-the-art solutions to our customers that mean the skies above are safer and more efficient for all of us.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced in my career was when I left corporate America to pursue a passion project and run my own health and wellness business - I wanted to heal the world! I thought my business and engineering ethos would bring immediate success; that top tier product quality was all I needed to succeed. Now, top tier product quality is fundamental, but what I learned was marketing, clearly defined metrics and operating systems are all essential to bottom-line success. Investing in people, your customers and staff and striving to make their interactions more effective and enjoyable is an equally important factor. Knowing your customers is also key. Knowing their wants, needs and motivations before they do is crucial to success.
I don’t regret the decision to start my own business, I’m proud I did it and much of what I learned benefits my career now, but it’s safe to say the experience changed my outlook on corporate America. It’s made me more appreciative of the bigger picture now that I’m back working for a multi-national company.
Having said that, as much as I enjoy my job L3Harris the aerospace industry can get intense, but what keeps me going during those times is another advantage of working for a big company – my colleagues, the people that I can laugh with in times of stress. Where possible I try to focus on the lessons I’ve learned over the years and bring that experience into my projects. I really enjoy the teamwork and partnerships among employees in large companies and I truly believe it’s another unconscious element of success.
Aviation is a great industry to work in. There are always new areas of development, new innovations, ever increasing ways to utilize software and data to create products in the future that we haven’t even thought of yet! Technical advancement has and always will be at the forefront of aviation and the potential for ambitious individuals joining the industry is limitless. After all, we aren’t going to stop learning, innovating and exploring the skies, they will always be very much part of our lives.