Spend more than a couple minutes with Usaid Khalid, a Maintenance Controller at Endeavor Air, and you’ll quickly find a dry sense of humor that has helped him navigate the globe. He’s quick to offer a quip, then round it out with the punchline only he can deliver.
“I love traveling across the United States, especially the national parks,” Khalid started. “I also love trying new American foods. The spicier the better. Whatever I eat, I eat a lot of it.” Then he pats his stomach, as if to imply he’s been packing on the pounds in the year he’s been with Endeavor. Letting out a laugh, he sits up straight, adjusts his glasses, and trades his smile for a serious shift. He talks about how growing up in Pakistan, variety was not something that was regularly served up – on a plate, or in potential professions.
“I was born in the U.S., but moved to Pakistan when I was very young to help care for my grandmother’s property,” Usaid explained. “My father was an aviation engineer for Pakistani International Airlines. He would take me to work with him and I was inspired to follow his path.”
Though his family had modest means, his upbringing was stable, with his father’s job and mother’s support keeping him even-keeled. A strong focus on education helped keep him on the right track, while his passion for both countries kept him motivated for more.
“I tell people that I bleed red, white, blue, and green – the colors of the United States and Pakistan,” Usaid admitted. “As much as I love living in the United States, I love Pakistan just as much. In school we had two paths – pre-engineering or pre-medical.
“Careers in aviation are very slim over there, so I when I started college, I worked on my engineering bachelor’s degree in the morning and my dad helped get me a job working in the hangar with his team at night.”
The commute between home, school, and work was over an hour each day. As he earned his degree and on the job experience, he acquired his requisite licenses to start working as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician. While Pakistan was his home, America held his heart; his career beacon pointed him towards a job back in the United States.
“Growing up, we would visit America to keep our passports current, so I had a picture of what it would be like to live here,” Usaid added. “When I was ready to start my career, I came over and stayed with an aunt and uncle while I took the tests and exams needed to earn my A&P license.”
He initially got a job with an airline in Texas where he was working the line, turning wrenches, and absorbing as much job knowledge as he could. Quickly moving up the ranks, he was ready to test his training and skill set in a greater capacity. In early 2017, Usaid interviewed for and was hired into a Maintenance Controller role at Endeavor. At just 25 years old, he became the youngest Maintenance Controller on Endeavor’s roster.
“Once I got here, the team really welcomed me and helped me adjust to the way Endeavor works,” Usaid admitted. “If it wasn’t for Katie [Mosher], I wouldn’t be here. She was the one I was assigned to train with and she brought me through everything about the airplane, the computer systems, the aerospace components of our fleet. Truly a collaborative, teamwork-focused environment.
“The opportunities I’ve found at Endeavor are way better than I was ever offered anywhere else, here or in Pakistan.”
And the feeling is mutual. Usaid Khalid was recently named to AMT Magazine’s NextGen 40 Under 40 list, which recognizes up and coming maintenance professionals. Usaid is the third Endeavor Tech Ops employee to be featured in the NextGen 40 Under 40 list in the past two years. Khalid joins Stef Collazos and Jon Lincoln as winners of this industry award. Congrats, Usaid Khalid! Q