Hi there, please tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you? What do you like to do for fun?
Hi! My name is Michelle Tran and I have turned my skills from my family's in house IT professional to a full time career! I have over 3.5 years of professional experience in the tech industry and am currently a Software Engineer at The Boeing Company. Outside of work, I enjoy working out, going to music festivals, and playing with my French bulldog, Otis!
Can you tell us what you do as a Software Engineer at the The Boeing Company for those who are unfamiliar?
My title is Software Engineer, with coding only being about 10% of my job. I am mostly involved with completing system builds which entails of building up hardware, configuring networks, creating virtual machines, deploying software, and ensuring that we deliver fully functioning and high quality software program and systems for our customers. For my role, I am also troubleshooting and solving complex issues allowing me the opportunity to really build up my knowledge and skill sets.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career? What pivotal moments pushed you to where you are now?
As part of the stereotypical Asian-American experience, my parents have always tried to push me toward a career in the medical field. I blindly followed their direction and majored in Nursing until one day I realized that there are other career paths where I could excel that did not involve medicine. After researching different avenues for my future, I had my eureka moment -- I have always been fascinated by technology and business. By changing my major to Management Information Systems, I could pursue my passion for technology and my interest for delivering business solutions leading me to where I am today.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
During my college career, I held 3 internship positions in IT support, computer hardware, and IT audit consulting. With my internship experience, I was able to develop relevant professional experience while pursuing my degree. I highly emphasize the value of pursuing internships as it allows you to gain industry experience while really setting you apart from other candidates. As a result of the hiring manager being impressed with one of the projects I was involved in as an intern, I was able to secure my current position. My advice for someone starting out would be to really work on creating an effective resume, utilizing whatever resources may be available to you such as reaching out within clubs or organizations, and to create a LinkedIn profile to network and advance your job searching strategy.
One resource that I highly recommend is called O'Reilly Media, an online learning platform with hundreds of books, videos, and training for subjects in technology and business. I often reference this site for certification training resources or to learn more about different software or applications.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
Curiosity, Ambition, and Creativity
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
I find the most fulfilling part of my job are assignments where I am traveling to customer sites where I am able to see our products from the end user perspective. I love to serve as a subject matter expert where I can build relationships with our customers based on trust and advocating for building innovative solutions for them. The most difficult aspect of my job is I frequently am challenged to resolve problems that are outside of my scope of knowledge. I relish in these situations because they are opportunities for me to grow as a Software Engineer and allow me to work across our teams to come up with a solution. Being challenged in life or work is inevitable, being defeated is optional. Knowledge and growth only come through continuous effort and overcoming challenges.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
You will never have all of the answers but if you keep working hard, you will find the right path. Nothing worth having comes easy!
Best advice you've received/heard?
Like most young professionals, I had caught a serious case of Imposter Syndrome when I started out. I still find myself in that mindset from time to time but I have to remember that no matter how easy it is to doubt yourself and your abilities you cannot let that get in the way of your success. It's important to reflect on what makes you unique, talented, and qualified. You deserve to be where you are no matter how much you doubt yourself. Always be confident in yourself instead of allowing fear to keep you from accomplishing your goals.