January 2016 Spotlight

Lalitya Dhavala joined Mclarens Aviation in January 2015. She is the Secretary for the RAeS UAE Branch and runs young members’ activities locally. She attended Amrita Vihwa Vidyapeetham University and completed her Bachelor of Technology degree in Aerospace Engineering followed by MSc in Aviation Safety at Coventry University/Emirates University.

Here Lalitya tells us how joining the RAeS has helped her career and gives advice on how to make the most of your membership. “In my experience, today’s employers want to see that you are investing more into your career than just studies. Being involved in a reputable professional institution shows that you have the dedication and commitment towards your career and are willing to put in effort into advancing it. Personally, volunteering for the Society has opened up the immense potential for networking and put me in direct contact with many professionals.

At the beginning, I only attended Society events; now I am the Branch Secretary for the UAE and also run young members’ activities locally. As secretary, I help run the Professional Development Program for the branch, which has put me in direct contact with senior professionals and other personnel; including, managers, consultants, senior management and technical personnel. I met my present employer during such an event, which directly helped me in getting started with the company. The most important and clichéd advice for people just entering the industry is to network, network, network! Remember to give before you ask, and don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help with your coursework. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, get professional help and establish a relationship with the person you’re meeting. Also, try and expand your professional footprint by volunteering.

It demonstrates that you are willing to put your free time to good use, without expectations of benefits. As a new member of a professional institution, I would recommend getting in touch with the relevant organising committee, helping them in any way you can - this can be as simple as running a social media campaign for them. This can help you maintain a regular presence in activities where you can meet other professionals. Make the most out of the networking opportunities that you get!”