Get to Know: Aerospace Engineer Wilson Tadena
Aerospace Engineering major Wilson Tadena (’22) turned an internship at The Boeing Company into a job as a Flight Test Engineer after graduation.
Aerospace Engineering major Wilson Tadena (’22) just graduated from Embry-Riddle with a job at The Boeing Company already lined up. He met with representatives of the aerospace giant at the annual Career Fair during his junior year and secured an internship with them.
After completing the internship, he was offered a full-time position as a Flight Test Engineer in China Lake, California, working on Boeing’s F/A-18 and EA-18 program.
We spent some time with Tadena getting to know more about him and his experience at Embry-Riddle.
Why did you choose Embry-Riddle?
In middle school, I originally wanted to be a pilot. I found out in seventh grade that I was color blind, which meant that my goal to become an airline pilot was gone. During that time, I was involved in my school’s robotics team which I really enjoyed. I had a conversation about my career goals with one of my teachers, and I expressed my disappointment at not becoming a pilot. She informed me that one of her good friends attended a school called “Embry-Riddle,” majored in Aerospace Engineering and was now at Boeing, working every day with airplanes. After hearing her story, I made it my goal to major in Aerospace Engineering and someday work for Boeing.
What do you think makes Embry-Riddle stand out from other universities?
Passion. I can vividly see it in the eyes of every student here on campus. I know they all made the choice to come here because they wanted to get a good education and use those skills in their future careers. Whenever you get a chance to be on campus, look at the students around you when an airplane flies over. Nearly every student will look up and then discuss with their friends what type of plane it was.
You are an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). How has that impacted your college experience?
SHPE helped me feel like I really belonged on campus. In the organization, we have this idea of “familia,” where we are there for each other and support each other. I’ve learned a lot of professional development skills which I could transfer into my career.
Tell us about your senior capstone project.
For my project, I worked with six other students to design a medium-altitude, high endurance, fire mapping aircraft. The aircraft is capable of sending live data to firefighters on the ground to assist with firefighting efforts and provide situational awareness. I enjoyed being able to apply all the skills I learned from my classes and designing an aircraft that can help other people.
How has Embry-Riddle prepared you for the future?
Embry-Riddle has prepared me for the future by giving me all the skills I need to start my career successfully. Beyond just academics, I’ve learned how to overcome challenges and think critically when problems arise.