‘There is no one path to success’: Alumnus Kevin Hudgins Discusses Data Science, Aviation and Florida Tech

Kevin Hudgins ’19, ’21 M.S., enjoys data science and aviation. While they may seem unrelated, he was able to pursue both fields during his time at Florida Tech—ultimately, landing him a job at JetBlue Airways.

We talked to Hudgins about his career in aerospace data, his favorite Florida Tech memories and his advice for other Panthers.

Kevin Hudgins ’19, ’21 M.S.

What have you been up to since graduating? How did Florida Tech help prepare you for your career?

Since graduating from Florida Tech, I have been working with JetBlue in a couple different roles. After graduating in 2019 [with an aeronautical science B.S.], I started as a JET [JetBlue Emerging Talent] intern for JetBlue’s safety team. After that, I was hired full time on the team. Currently, I am an engineer for JetBlue’s communication, navigation, surveillance and technical programs team. In my current role as an engineer of aircraft data programs, my team and I are working toward innovating how we use aircraft sensor data. Engineering this data into a more usable medium allows our analysts to find insights that save the airline money and keep our operation safe.

I enjoy this career because it combines my knack for data science with my passion for aviation. Florida Tech gave me the flexibility to explore both. While learning the technical skills in my regular coursework, I was also able to explore my passion for aviation by flying with the Florida Tech Flight Team. Later, earning a master’s in aviation safety while working as a JET intern supercharged my career with JetBlue.

What did Florida Tech teach you?

Florida Tech taught me there is no one path to success. Flexibility is required to explore your options. The “relentless pursuit” to find this niche should be encouraged.

Do you have a favorite memory?

My favorite memories from Florida Tech are traveling with my friends for flight team competitions. These events established connections in the aviation field that are still maintained. In addition to the requirements of the competition, getting to spend time with teammates off campus while traveling was always a fun time.

Kevin Hudgins ’19, ’21 M.S.

What advice do you have for future or current Panthers?

Be flexible in your career. Don’t settle for a situation that doesn’t align with your passion, because when your passion and your career do align, it doesn’t feel like work!

Any fun facts you’d like to share?

I enjoy traveling on the weekends and exploring other cultures around the world. The time I spend at home in New York City, I enjoy exploring the city by foot or by air (occasionally renting Cessna aircraft to maintain my private-pilot skills).

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Stay in touch with your classmates after college. Chances are, you will work with many of them. We are Panthers for life and should maintain that network in the “real world.”

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