Susan (DiLella) Herbert graduated from Embry-Riddle in 2002 with an Associate of Science in Aircraft Maintenance Technology. As a student, Susan worked in the overhaul shop at Embry-Riddle during the last six months of her program. She took a job after graduation with Atlantic Southeast Airlines (Delta Connection, now known as ExpressJet), where she was a Line Maintenance Mechanic for a year and half before being promoted to Lead Mechanic in charge of a group of six mechanics. In September 2006, after four years at ASA, Susan left to join GE Aviation in Durham, NC where she has been for the past five and a half years. Today, Susan is an Assembly and Test Technician, assembling the CFM-56 – 5B/7B engines.
What made you decide to pursue a career in aviation maintenance?
When I was a kid, we got to fly a lot; I always loved to fly on airplanes, as it was just so much fun. I also loved to take things apart and put them back together. So when I was deciding what I wanted to do for a career in my junior year of high school, I came to Embry-Riddle and took a tour of the maintenance department, and I knew right away that this was what I wanted to do. I knew I would be good at it, and I would enjoy doing it.
What do you do in your role as an Assembly and Test Technician for GE Aviation?
In my role as an assembly and test technician, I build the CFM-56 5B/7B engine, which entails everything from building the sub assemblies or piece parts of the engine to taking all the piece parts and putting them together to form a core assembly or the entire engine. I have also taken on the responsibility of work station owner; I am responsible for the maintenance of a grind machine, which we use to cut our shroud sub assembly to meet a specific dimension.
Do you have any advice for candidates who are seeking work in the field of aviation maintenance?
My advice to candidates seeking a job in maintenance would be, do not limit yourself to just looking near the area where you live as there are so many opportunities out there that you might not know about. Keep in touch with your fellow alumni; aviation is a small industry, and you will find that networking is also a great way find out about job opportunities.
How has your Embry-Riddle degree helped you in the course of your career?
Embry-Riddle has helped me because employers find it impressive that I went to this amazing school. They know that I received a great education. I have also run into many people in this industry who went to Embry-Riddle, and we enjoy reminiscing about when we were attending there and what teachers we had. Because of that I have been able to network with my fellow alumni.
What are your long-term goals for the future?
My long term goals are to get my bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management and to continue to grow my career here at GE Aviation.