Elizabeth Riddington

Posted on Tuesday 20th May 2014

Electronic Flight Bag Deployment Manager, The Boeing Company
BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering (1992)

Follow your own path and make your own decisions - don't be afraid to do something different from your friends.

Graduated from Birmingham and was selected for a place on post-grad at Cambridge, the Advanced Course in Design, Manufacture and Management. The post-grad involved traveling around the UK doing short-term consulting projects in a variety of manufacturing organizations. My career began in a small strategic management consultancy as a Business Analyst, followed by a position in the Heinz company in the IT department as a Business Analyst and Project Manager, working on the development of Sales and Marketing applications. Several years later I left the UK and spent a year teaching English in Italy, followed by a move to Seattle in the US. I found a position at the Boeing company working in software application development which led to my current position supporting airlines in the implementation of IT hardware and applications on aircraft, known as e-Enabling.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now? 
I get to work with airlines around the world in their offices and on their airplanes when they come to Seattle to take delivery of them.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here? 
The friends I made, the surroundings and the opportunities - I spent the summer of my 2nd year as an Erasmus exchange student in France, and I found out about the post-grad through a friend of a friend. And labs! So glad I didn't have to spend all my time listening to lectures.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations? 
It opened my eyes to the world outside and opportunities ahead.

How did you grow as a person by coming to University? Did it change your life in any way? 
Absolutely, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now if I had not come to University. It made me aware of opportunities that would otherwise have been invisible to me.

What advice would you give to current students? 
Follow your own path and make your own decisions - don't be afraid to do something different from your friends. I have no regrets about choosing Chem Eng as a degree and no regrets about not pursuing a career in Chemical Engineering. If I had my time over, I would make the same choices.