A career in aviation can become a reality

Michelle Maye, from Transport Canada, poses in front of the Transport Canada Citation

I’ve been working in aviation for years now, but I can still remember the moment when I first fell in love with the idea of working with aircraft. My name is Michelle Maye. I’m part of the Aircraft Services Directorate team at Transport Canada.

I was six years old, standing wide-eyed at an airport window in Montréal, hearing the rumble from the engines as a 747 was pushing back for departure. I was in awe as I watched the giant machine effortlessly climb and disappear into the clouds. I was inspired. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to understand aviation.

Years later, I came across a job opportunity driving a refuelling truck at the Ottawa International Airport. I already had the trucking experience qualifications for this position because I had gotten my trucking licence when I was a teenager (certainly not “traditional” work for a woman). Working with aircraft, however, was new to me. That feeling I had as a young girl was re-ignited. This was a chance for me to enter the world of aviation!

I got the job, and I was able to work with a variety of aircraft, from C17 military transport aircraft to small medevac propeller planes transporting organs, as well as to meet interesting people from all over the world. There was no doubt about it – this was my passion. This was where I wanted to be.

A few years ago, I came across another fantastic opportunity to further my aviation career, and I joined the Aircraft Services Directorate at Transport Canada as a technician.

I feel so fortunate to be part of this organization. I look forward to my shift every day – especially the new challenges, the positive team atmosphere, and the guidance and learning that varies day to day. I benefit from my peers’ years of experience, and I’m encouraged by my supervisors and management to continue to learn and grow.

A couple of years ago, I attended a Canadian Women in Aviation conference. Seeing and hearing the stories of so many amazing women at that conference, and what they had achieved during their own careers, was such an inspiration. It opened up my mind to the endless possibilities that a career in aviation offered, and pushed me even harder to follow my dreams and enroll in an Aircraft Maintenance course.

Thanks to the help and encouragement of my supervisor, management team, and co-workers, I successfully completed the course on my own time. This will help me even more to further my career in aviation.

With goals, determination and support, we can achieve our dreams.

As a Canadian woman, I am proud to be part of an organization that offers support and opportunities to people who want to achieve their goals. I look forward to one day having an opportunity to offer my experience and support to the next generation of aeronautical workers.