Bronco Spotlight: Kevin Stolarski

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Bachelor of Science in aviation technical operations, 2017

Current Job Title:

Aircraft Technician 

Current Employer:

SkyWest Airlines 

Describe your current job:

My current position as an aircraft technician deals with the maintenance and the up keeping of regional commercial airplanes based at O'Hare International airport. My duties include troubleshooting, servicing and fixing airplanes that come into our base while also maintaining them with inspection programs initiated by our maintenance department. I am responsible for signing the release of the airplanes after they are fixed or inspected and returning them to service to carry passengers. I have to understand all the aspects of the airplane including structural, electronic, hydraulic and interior. I also have to understand the regulations behind fixing and maintaining the airplanes too. The FAA has standards set for technicians that we have to follow in order to properly fix and maintain the airplanes. 

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that when I fix an airplane and return it to service on time I just made someone’s travel experience better, because there won't be a delay due to maintenance issues, and they will make it to their destination on time and safely. The most challenging part of my job though is the expanding technology and application of maintenance to our airplanes. It is constantly changing and it keeps me on my toes because nothing ever stays the same. There will always be new technology for our planes to make them better and there will always be new ways to maintain our planes more effective. 

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career? 

Some of the best resources are your professors and classmates. You never know what connections they will have or experiences they have had that will help guide you to where you want to go with your career. Many of my professors had prior experience in their fields before teaching and told us many tips and tricks to finding the right job and how to get there. When they say they have been around the block, they really mean it. When I was going through my program, there were many tips and tricks to fixing airplanes that I would have never known how to do unless it was for my professors that had the prior experience. Use them to your benefit, they are your most valuable resource that you essentially pay for. Don't just write them off as another professor that will bore you to death with information. They specifically designed the course to help you understand what you are going into, and what works and what doesn't. Always ask questions and don't ever be afraid to ask one because they want to help. Use them wisely and it might even get you a job somewhere you'd never expect. 

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college? 

For other aviation maintenance technology students pursuing their degree and A&P license, I have just one piece of advice. Once you get your degree and you pass all of your test and receive your A&P license and get the job you want in the field, you have to understand the seriousness behind this field. Your actions can cause a trickling effect that can cause serious injury or even fatalities which can come back to you because of how the FAA traces everything. This field is rewarding and very scary at the same time because you have the lives of thousands of people flying every day. If you do what you are supposed to do and have all the right documentation present, then you will never have an issue. But start straying away from the regulations and start becoming complacent, and it will come back to haunt you. So hear me now, don't take this field lightly but also don't be afraid to have fun at the same time. Work will never be the same every single day, and you will build everlasting friends with the fellow mechanics you work with. So don't forget to remember how serious this job it, but also go out and enjoy turning wrenches because if you enjoy it, you will never work a day in your life. 

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