Sky’s the Limit for Aviation Alumnus

Vinny in front of GE Aviation’s newest GE9X engine. It holds two Guinness World records and is the world’s largest and most powerful commercial jet engine.

Paramvir “Vinny” Chandpuri moved from India to the U.S. when he was in eleventh grade with dreams of taking to the skies.

“Growing up, I would look up and wave goodbye to airplanes,” says Vinny. “The love was there, but I wasn’t aware of the opportunities in Aviation”.

After graduating from Homestead High School in 2009, Vinny wasn’t really sure how to achieve his goals. He enrolled at Ivy Tech in the automotive program, but after a semester he realized that he needed to do something else. Thankfully, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne could help him fulfill those dreams, even if he didn’t know it yet.

“I talked to my advisor, and said, ‘automotive isn’t for me. Maybe I’ll quit and join the Air Force.’ She said, ‘You don’t have to quit—we have aviation here!’ And that’s how I found myself in the program.”

Vinny enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance Program at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. With the help of an instructor, Vinny was hired at Pinnacle Airlines, giving him hands-on experience while he worked toward his degree. Rising quickly in the ranks, Vinny was promoted to a Mechanic’s Helper after six months with Pinnacle. Then after earning his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license and Associate Degree in Aviation Technology at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne in 2012, he was promoted to Aircraft Technician.

Never afraid of a challenge, Vinny applied at the GE Aviation assembly plant in 2015. GE has one of the most challenging interview processes and only a 1-2% hire rate, but after a grueling eight-hour interview, Vinny was offered and accepted a position as an Assembly and Test Technician, was eventually promoted to Lead Test Quality Engineer at the Peebles, Ohio testing facility, and is now a Site Quality Manager CVG at one of only seven Global On Wing Support Facilities.

“My advice to students is this: work hard. No job is too big and no job is too small. I started off as an aircraft cleaner, cleaning the airplanes inside and out, and now I’m Quality Manager for a brand-new facility. And don’t be afraid to take risks.”

Vinny’s story is one of determination and upward mobility. He’s steadily moved up at every aviation job he’s had—getting the education he needed to advance, working hard, and taking risks that pay off. He’s now earned a Bachelor’s degree with Spartan College of Aeronautics, majoring in Aviation Technology Management and hopes to earn a Master’s degree in the future so that he can ultimately become an executive at GE Aviation. But if you ask Vinny, it all started with Ivy Tech.

“I am where I am because of Ivy Tech. And I’m not just saying that. I honestly don’t know where I would have been or what I would have done without the instructors and advisors at Ivy Tech who led me down this path.”

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