This month's featured #bloomgirl is Michelle Tillotson, an Aerospace Engineer, and a total #girlboss! We are so inspired by Michelle's passion and energy! Keep reading to learn more about Michelle!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am an Aerospace Engineer and I live in Huntsville, Alabama! I'm married with 2 dogs. I've always loved math and science. In college, I majored in Structural Engineering (think bridges and buildings). I've always loved the idea of building huge structures and changing the skyline of a city. But after grad school, I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. After some soul-searching, I decided that aerospace engineering would be an exciting field! This industry is always at the cutting edge of innovation, and frankly, the thought of launching things into space seemed really cool!
If you could talk to yourself 5 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
You actually can do everything. You are more capable than what you give yourself credit for.
What are some key experiences that have helped shape you?
After a misunderstanding, I had a professor during freshmen year of college tell me in front of the entire class that I would not be successful in life. He also made other comments that I found offensive toward women. After class, I approached him and told him that I did not appreciate his offensive comments and that he has no determination of my future. From that day forward, I think I was the only student in the class who he knew by name, and he always congratulated me when I would do well on quizzes and homework. This interaction not only helped fuel my determination to do well in school, but It also showed me how important it is to stick up for yourself.
What are your favorite parts in being an Aerospace Engineer?
I love talking to students about my job, and encouraging them to pursue a career in a STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field. Last year, I was the technology teacher and I taught 3rd-8th grade. Every Wednesday afternoon I would teach students about robotics and how to code. I would plan activities in class that we’re interactive, and hands on. My goal was to give them the technological tools to empower them!
I spent 45 days in the US Virgin Islands support hurricane relief efforts. I helped survivors get the resources they needed to rebuild their lives. It was a very humbling and rewarding experience! The people of the Virgin Island are some of the most grateful people I’ve ever met. Definitely a life-changing experience.
What is it like working in a male-dominated field?
I’ve always identified myself as an engineer. During my professional career, I’ve never once felt singled out or felt that I was treated differently because I was a woman. I've had some amazing male role models and mentors, who have been extremely supportive or my career aspirations. More importantly, I’m confident in my skills as an engineer, teammate, and leader, and because of this, I’ve never wondered if my gender was a deciding factor in any of the opportunities I've been offered. I've worked hard for my successes.
What are your favorite bloom products, and why?
The Vintage Floral Daily Planner; I love it! Before this planner, my desk was covered with post-it notes that I would loose or accidentally throw away. It's a lifesaver!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Michelle! Do you have a #girlboss story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be our next featured bloom girl!
the bloom team