On the Job: Tim Szary


Linden High School graduate Tim Szary is diving into his career as a systems engineer at Raytheon Technologies, and he made his own way to get where he is today.

“I took a slightly unique path,” says Szary. “After high school, I went to the University of Michigan-Flint for their two plus two program. I was able to take two years there then transfer to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to finish my degree.”

Szary explains that he took general education classes the University of Michigan-Flint but needed to transfer to the Ann Arbor campus to complete his degree in aerospace engineering. After graduating in 2018, he found himself in search for a job in his field and was running into difficulty.

“I was limiting my search to jobs in Michigan,” says Szary. “At the time, my roommate had an internship at Raytheon Technologies and told me they were hiring.”

Once Szary saw that the advanced technology development company didn’t have any openings in Michigan, he realized he had to be comfortable with moving out of state. He decided to take the leap and applied. After his first interview, he was asked to choose one of their locations to work. He decided on Dallas, TX and was offered a position soon after.

That was a year and a half ago. Now, Szary is moving forward with his career and is excited for his future.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am working from home right now. But when I was on-site, a typical day consisted of meeting with factory technicians and other engineers in the morning to go over daily manufacturing tasks. After that, I have the flexibility to get my own projects done.

What are your plans for the future?

Ideally, I would like to move up the management ladder at Raytheon. With my position, I could either go down the technical side of work or I could go down the management pathway. I plan to go into management eventually.

How do you plan on pursuing that?

I am fortunate enough that Raytheon provides college-level courses within the company. I plan on taking those classes and then working hard to prove myself.

How did lessons learned in TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative help you on your path to this position?

The biggest lesson was in interviewing – learning how to communicate and be prepared. I have carried those skills throughout college and I probably wouldn’t have gotten the position I have now without learning those valuable skills.

What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?

Work on your communication and teamwork skills. In a professional environment, surprisingly, those skills are hard to come by.

What has been your proudest moment since graduating TeenQuest?

Being hired at my current job. It was a culmination of all my coursework in college and being comfortable in interviewing. I gained a lot of confidence coming out of TeenQuest and continued to build upon those skills to get to where I am today.

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.