An aeronautics lover in the USA

Jerry Coggio, an ECAM engineer from the class of 2018, has always had his eyes on the sky. Working in the aeronautics field was thus an obvious choice. Doing it in the United States has been a wonderful opportunity for this young marketing manager who hopes to go much further during the rest of his career.

An engineering degree to work in aeronautics

I’ve always had a passion for airplanes. When I was 16 years old, I obtained my first pilot’s license and at 17, my ultralight license to be able to do the Tour de France in a microlight. At 18 years of age, having earned my private pilot’s license, I could fly throughout Europe. So it was an easy choice for me to select an aeronautics company to do my apprenticeship as part of the ECAM Industrial and Mechanical Engineering program.

At Sunaero, I began as an engineering in the design department, then moved on to a position as technical project manager. My job involved designing aeronautics maintenance equipment, all the way to industrial production. I also worked on overhauling the company’s metrology system. The aim was to bring down costs and prepare the company to comply with the ISO 17025 standard by performing a complete assessment of risks to equipment and setting up a process that met the requirements of the standard. I had to be flexible and do many different things in this job.

Specialization in marketing

During my studies at ECAM Lyon, I chose the Business Engineering specialization in order to take marketing, sales and negotiation classes. This is what drove me to continue in this area and to continue with a Master’s in BtoB Marketing and Sales at IAE Lyon, once again while doing an apprenticeship at Sunaero.

An International Work Experience (VIE) in the United States

In 2019, I was given the opportunity to work at Sunaero’s US branch office, in Nashville, as part of an International Work Experience (VIE) for 18 months. My missions are:

  • to strengthen Sunaero’s market position in North America, with the opening of several hubs as well as the creation of synergy with companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • to develop and strengthen our defense brand, Aerowing, in the USA as well as with all of our American partners. This brand is destined to become Sunaero’s global military brand.

Professionally speaking, it’s super! I have a lot of autonomy in my work. What has been less easy for me is getting used to the culture of the southern United States. Fortunately, I am really at ease speaking English, as I have always been immersed in an English-speaking environment, having done a European high school diploma and worked at a company with an international focus.

The qualities of a Marketing Manager

I’m moving away from the technical domain with this position, but it is my choice. An engineering degree gives you a certain aura and credibility that helps to open a lot of doors, whether you work in a technical area or not.

To do this job, you must of course love aeronautics and know your market inside and out, understand your macro- and micro-environment (be it political, economic, social, technological, environment or legal, as well as your competitors, your customers, your suppliers and your distributors). When you are working on strategy, you have to look at everything. In my field of aeronautics maintenance, I have to be up to date with all the latest news. Right now, for example, there are talks going on in Washington that could “force” airline companies to reduce their subcontracting of aeronautics maintenance to foreign firms. Another example is the change in environmental awareness and the Brent crude oil price that could directly impact our customers – and thus potentially our own business – in the medium term. Thus, you always need to stay a step ahead of your market!

Human relationships are also very important, whatever job you do. You cannot succeed unless you have good relationships with the people you work with. You have to show empathy, know how to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, to see their point of view through their cultural and environmental filters in order to understand the way they behave, all the more so when you are working internationally. I was able to develop this during my studies at ECAM, in part during the foreign internship that I did in Asia.

 

An in 5 years?

I see myself working in France because I love this country. The more you travel abroad, the more you realize that it’s a great country. I’d like to work in the defense industry and, later, why not start a career in politics. This is why I have enrolled in Law School. I am currently doing a distance-learning course to earn a Master’s in International Relations, International Security and Defense at Université Lyon 3.

I would also like to teach to share my experience, both on the marketing and international relations side.

I am 25 years old. The only limit I have is myself, and I do things without any limits. I allow myself to think I’m capable of doing things. This goes beyond just dreaming, because I do everything it takes to make my aims become a reality.