Fly Women: An Interview with JetBlue's Gisselle Sanchez

Mar 28, 2019 4:00 PM ET
Article

For Women’s History Month, JetBlue and the JetBlue Foundation are teaming up to profile some of the airline’s amazing female crewmembers with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) backgrounds who are leaving their mark on the industry. In this spotlight, we are highlighting Gisselle Sanchez, International Finance Compliance Manager.

1. What sparked your interest in aviation? When did your interest in STEM begin?

My interest in STEM started in high school, where I was a member of the Academy of Finance. It was a program designed to introduce young people in New York City to potential careers in the financial services industry. When I joined JetBlue’s Women in Flight Crewmember Resource Group (CRG), my interest in STEM flourished. Women in Flight inspires career and personal growth through initiatives such as Fly Like a Girl. Women in Flight provides opportunities for the women at JetBlue to build connections that will empower their professional and personal lives. Young women get the opportunity to learn first-hand from women crewmembers about the airline and future careers in the aviation industry.

2. What responsibilities does job entail? What does an average day look like?

I am a Manager of International Finance Compliance, which includes statutory accounting, income/direct taxes and Latin American passenger taxes. An average day for me would include meetings with business partners and airport authorities to ensure that JetBlue is complying with international regulations. Part of the reason I love what I do is because each day proposes a new challenge; there is never a dull moment.

3. Do you have a female role model who inspires you?

Why have one, when you can have many? I am surrounded by successful, determined, smart, and accomplished females who inspire me every day.

4. What kind of obstacles have you faced getting to where you are now?

In order to keep moving forward in my career, I find myself constantly seeking opportunities to prove that I am capable and ready for each next step. Advancement can get complicated in a work environment with many factors such as race and gender in play. But I always strive hard to ensure that the work I do and my contributions to the company play a meaningful role in the future success of JetBlue.

5. What milestones have you already reached or are you currently moving towards?

I use my age as milestones, to continue challenging myself toward a new personal and career path. Another birthday = another milestone. I am three years away from another big birthday and I already started assess my career path and growth opportunities. I started to take new responsibility and challenges that will align me/ prepare me when that time comes.

6. If you could go back and tell your younger version of yourself one thing, what would it be?

A quote: “Never let a stumble in the road be the end of your journey”.

7. How has JetBlue affected you and the work that you do?

JetBlue has introduced me to the field of International finance, which is a career path that I want to continue exploring. I am constantly learning new regulatory laws, working with various teams to implement them and streamlined process.

8. What advice you have for someone who wants to be in your role or STEM career field?

Just go for it. Do not be afraid to try different roles until you find what you are passionate about.

9. How can we get more girls interested and excited in STEM?

We can get more girls involved in STEM but focusing on awareness and access. A major avenue to promote children’s interest is to getting the parents interested first. That way, their excitement helps set the tone for their children’s excitement in STEM programs as well. Parents needs to be educated about the endless possibilities so they can empower their child in STEM programs earlier on in their lives.

About the JetBlue Foundation: The JetBlue Foundation seeks out programs focusing on communities traditionally under-represented in STEM and aviation fields including women, minority groups and veterans. Beyond just grants, the JetBlue Foundation provides in-kind support, mentoring, internships and more to make a difference for the next generation of aviators, dispatchers, aircraft mechanics and pilots. Over the past five years, the JetBlue Foundation has built ongoing relationships with more than 70 aviation and STEM-focused programs and provided over $1.2 million in grants to help these programs take off and soar. For more information on the JetBlueFoundation, visit jetbluefoundation.org.