Khyati Mahavadia is intrigued by the mystery of flight.
“To fly, you have to out-smart nature,” she said. “Since childhood, I’ve always looked at airplanes and it just fascinates me. I see my whole life working with airplanes.”
She chose Wichita State University as the place to start her career in aviation and is a stress intern at Airbus working on the A380 and A320 Wing while working on her master’s degree.
Mahavadia, from Ahmedabad, India, moved to Dallas in 2015. She considered a university in Texas before deciding Wichita State’s reputation and the applied learning opportunities connected with Wichita’s industry offered her the best position.
“That’s what grabbed me here,” she said. “I had read a lot about Wichita State University. I thought, with aviation being my passion, this would be the perfect place for me to do my master’s degree in aerospace engineering. You can always apply for internships and full-time jobs, which is very convenient.”
How have the Wichita State’s applied learning programs and your internship at Airbus provided real-world experience?
“My specialization is structures. In my internship, I worked on multiple projects which gave me a broader perspective and clear understanding in Stress, Design, Fatigue and damage tolerance, and Finite Element Analysis.
Airbus has been such a great turning point in my career. My professors and the subjects were very good material, very helpful. Also, people at work were very supportive and encouraging, which let me balance my academics and internship.
After your degree, when you go outside in real world, it’s very important to understand how things work in industry and your contribution towards the success of industry. I learn the concepts in the classroom, then I get to apply it at work. That played a very important role in my career, giving me an exceptional experience which prepares me to leap towards my journey after graduation.”
Wichita State graduate student
How does your internship help with soft skills needed for a career?
“Airbus also teaches leadership qualities, interpersonal and public skills, time management—all soft skills I believe every student should actively learn apart from the academic knowledge.
Airbus has taught me how to deal with people and situations that are critical and come out with a great solution. In teamwork, where you discuss things and you brainstorm, you have to come out with solutions, and not just one perspective is crucial. Everyone’s point of view and ideas are important.”
You work with Airbus Mentors at Maize High School, where they built an Aircraft RV-12 from scratch. How has the experience helped your career?
“While mentoring, we are also learning how to build from scratch, including electrical systems, building the whole structure, fuselage, wings, putting an engine in. It enhances your leadership qualities and you deal with a lot of different kinds of people.”
Have your applied learning experiences at Wichita State provided career options?
“It has opened up a lot of paths for me. Before starting at Airbus, I was quite constrained and did not know what all options were being offered. I always wanted to work in a global company like Airbus. You get to see the business, you get to see the work going on globally, not just at one place.”