Alison O’Brien ’06
“Tell your stories and listen to others.”
“After a recent helicopter accident in Medford, NJ, the aviation community exploded with theories about what happened. I think about incidents like this, a lot. We all do. An unfortunate reality of aviation is that in spite of a shared love of the air, pilots are fallible. Mistakes are possible at every level, from novice to expert; with a little luck we land, and if we’re smart, we talk about it.
“This isn’t to say every day is dangerous. I have had a lot of good experiences right alongside a few bad ones. The important thing is to share both with the community. It’s ok to feel proud and embarrassed too. Whatever your story, there’s always someone who benefits. Your mistake can help prevent another from making the same error. Your success can help another shape their next project. Ultimately, the same kinds of lessons come back to you.
“So, tell your stories and listen to others. Find a community that appreciates what you have to say and contributes in a genuine and supportive way. You’ll have good days, and bad ones (don’t panic, everyone does!), and those connections make us all a little stronger, a little wiser and a little more prepared.”