Run Your Own Road
WHEN IS A ROAD A HIGHWAY IN THE SKY?
Thirty years ago, Kristy (DeLine) Williams, Aerospace Science ’92, took the helm of a 1,500-pound Cessna-152 aircraft during her first flying lesson. She now flies the friendly skies internationally as a United Airlines First Officer on a Boeing 777 that weighs 775,000 pounds.
A bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver has opened the skies to a career path that has included flight instruction, cargo pilot, general-aviation customer service manager and commercial airline pilot.
Early in high school, a guidance counselor assessment profiled 50 jobs well suited to Williams’ personality ranging from forest ranger to nurse, electrician, veterinarian or pilot, which caught her attention because of its dynamic, engaging work environment that would also offer the opportunity to travel.
Raised by a single mother who worked for a government contractor, Williams had no knowledge of the path or requirements for becoming a pilot.
“We were so naïve. We didn’t know anything about the industry, so my mom wrote letters to the major airlines seeking advice.” Williams said. “I recently came across one of the responses while cleaning out some boxes and it made me grateful both for my mother’s support and for the opportunities that MSU Denver provided.”
Her senior year, guidance counselor Les Alire directed her to MSU Denver’s aviation program and assisted with scholarship applications. During her years at MSU Denver, Kristy obtained several scholarships based on academic performance or enthusiasm for aviation, yet like 85 percent of Roadrunners today, she also worked while attending classes.
Integrity and camaraderie were emphasized by her MSU Denver instructors, many of whom were former military aviators.
“We were encouraged to help each other,” she said. “‘Cooperate to graduate,’ Professor William Greener used to say,” she said. “Col. Robert Mock also held us to high standards and reminded us that being a professional is a learned skill.”
Kristy was selected during her senior year for an internship with United Airlines through the MSU Denver cooperative education department. Her valuable contributions as an intern later resulted in being hired by United Airlines at age 27 with fewer flight hours than most non-intern candidates.
Although the next step in her career will mean moving to a smaller Boeing 737, upgrading to Captain in early 2019 will allow Kristy to set the tone for professionalism and customer service on each of her flights.
The sky is NOT the limit to the available pathways to your future through MSU Denver. Ask us how to help you find your unique road to success.
This is where lives are transformed. Where new paths unfold. Where the future spreads out in front of you.
At MSU Denver, we celebrate that each person’s road is different. Where will yours take you?REQUEST INFORMATION APPLY TO MSU DENVER
More Roadrunner Stories
Learn about our great Roadrunners who created their own road