Victoria Coverstone

Victoria Coverstone

Prof. and Associate Head of Aerospace Engineering
University of Illinois
Victoria Coverstone
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Answers by Dr. Victoria Coverstone

Learning any profession most likely has frustrating experiences during the training period. I found aerospace engineering to be no different. The math and physic knowledge that one needs to be a good aerospace engineer is broad so start taking these types of classes as soon as you feel prepared. The frustration felt during the learning period eventually leads to understanding and eventually to confidence in your technical skills. Aerospace engineering is an exciting and challenging career that I believe is well worth enduring the frustration along the way.
All my best to you in pursuing your dreams.


Dear Nathalie, Congratulations on doing well in the challenging aerospace engineering curriculum. You should be proud of your accomplishments and have confidence in your abilities. I recommend that you consider an internship during the summer after your sophomore year. This way, you will have completed some technical coursework and this is a good time to begin considering what you would like to do after you complete your BS degree. Start looking into companies this fall, since many of them will hire in the fall for the coming summer. Also, this leaves you the spring to continue to look, if you can not locate the internship in the fall. Not all internships require programming, so explore multiple opportunities in the traditional aerospace companies, NASA and government laboratories. I wish you the best of luck.

Dear Nerissa, The willingness to work hard and to be a team player is every bit as important in the engineering industry as having a mastery of engineering fundamentals. If you want to be an engineer, then I encourage you to go for it! You can always learn outside of the traditional classrooms and catch-up on any background material that you think you might be missing. The skills and talents that you bring to our profession are needed. And yes I had similar feelings as an undergraduate but most of those feelings were unfounded in the long-run because I did land my dream job. Good luck in the coming academic year!