Alumni Feature: Rachel Emerson
Monday, August 24, 2020
Rachel Emerson graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's in aerospace administration and operations, with a professional pilot option. She has already become a Boeing 757/767 first officer for United Airlines.
Describe your work as a Boeing 757/767 First Officer.
I am second-in-command of 200+ passenger jets. Primary routes consisted of transatlantic crossings from New York to Europe. My responsibilities include managing the safety and efficiency of an airline carrier operation. I utilize safety management systems and crew resource management techniques while working in a multi-crew environment. I engage customers in a positive manner to create personal connections and lasting impressions, while caring for passengers on their journey and prioritizing safety.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
My favorite part is the opportunity to travel and see the world (pre-coronavirus). Throughout the past year and a half at United, I was able to see places and meet people I never thought I would have the opportunity to. I have been incredibly blessed to have the job I do, and much of the path that got me here was laid by my instructors and teachers at OSU.
How did the aviation program prepare you for life after college?
My professors and flight instructors at OSU prepared me well for the leap into the real world following graduation. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn, connect and explore the world of aviation. The aviation program at Oklahoma State was more than just my education. I made connections that paved the way for my future career and met my lifelong friends.
What was the highlight of your college career?
Definitely Flight Team competitions! I was awarded the Top Female Pilot at the Region VI NIFA competition in 2015 and placed on a national level at NIFA 2016 competition.
What advice would you give to current students in the OSU aviation program?
I would encourage anyone in the aviation program to get involved as much as they can and connect with as many people as possible. By competing on the Flight Team and going to Nationals, I made connections that led to an internship with United Airlines. That opportunity ultimately brought me to my current position with Lufthansa Aviation Training.