A changed perception
Monica Jepkemboi Murambi’s life has been governed by a principle of never underestimating any opportunity presented to her. Guided by a trusty intuition, she has been able to identify and exploit the guise of fortune in the most unexpected scenarios. During the gap year that followed secondary education, Monica helped her mother with domestic duties while simultaneously piercing through the advertisement pages of the Daily Nation searching for financially friendly courses. After months, she finally spotted a nine-month course on flight dispatching.
Together with her mother, they made their journey to the Kenya Aeronautical College (KAC). On arrival, the receptionist inspected her application document and was not pleased. “Why do you want to throw away such a good grade?” she asked. Monica and her mother explained the financial constraints they faced with the other courses. But the receptionist gave a retort that changed Monica’s life trajectory. She insisted that Monica pursue a diploma in aeronautical engineering whereby her mother would be allowed to pay the tuition fee in favorable installments. But Monica did not want to strain her mother’s coffers. She expressed her skepticism. However, her mother who has always been the strong supportive pillar in her life jogged her memory and recalled how Monica fixed electrical appliances at home. “We’ll do this together,” she firmly told Monica.
While in college, a company at Wilson was offering a three-day attachment during a maintenance check. The company required three KAC volunteers, but Monica was the only one who showed up. The rest of her peers saw no point in going for a three-day attachment. She saw a chance to enhance her skills. Three days later, the company took her in as an aircraft cleaner. But since there was only one aircraft available, whenever it departed, Monica found herself interacting with the 748 maintenance team and refining her skills. These interactions finally paid off and in December 2013, 748 Air Services employed Monica as an aircraft technician. Four and a half years later, she was promoted to production planning. “To be honest, I always assumed that engineering is a career in which the male gender thrives. 748 changed that perception,” she said.