More and more women are counting themselves lucky to have encouragement from an early age to pursue STEM-related careers. Others may not have that support and they get where they are going through sheer determination. That is Natalie Petrick’s story.
Natalie is an Engineer in the structural integrity department and is part of the Denali development team. She discovered Structural Engineering during an internship rotation at Textron’s Bell Helicopter, while pursuing an Aerospace Engineering degree at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). She knew that was the path she wanted to follow and like many other choices she’s made in life, she applied her own determination and self-reliance to go for it.
Her father is a Polish immigrant and a Mechanic from whom she found an affinity for things mechanical. Her work ethic in school led to an academic scholarship to a community college in Illinois, a soccer career in high school and college and a jump into a field that was not a first choice, but one that was a bit more attractive to her.
“I originally thought I’d be a math teacher,” Natalie said. “I didn’t have the typical aerospace story, but the products are really cool and there’s always a challenge.”
Aside from a short time while at UT, she had no support or mentors as a woman pursuing a career in a traditionally male field. At UT, she was involved with a campus group looking at how to attract and retain a more diverse workforce in Engineering. Otherwise, she relied on books and her own desire for inspiration.
“I think it is so important to have diversity in the workplace where people bring different ideas and perspectives,” Natalie said. “It’s important for young girls to see other women in the field.”
Like many others, Natalie sees the progress within the Engineering industry and is proud of the diversity and support established at Textron Aviation.
“If it’s something you’re interested in, do it,” Natalie said. “It may not be easy but don’t let anyone stand in your way. I’m hopeful for the future.”
Join Natalie and other legendary employees by exploring opportunities at Textron Aviation careers.