We all know senior Sameer Romani, if not by name, but by his attire. A suit. Every day. But Sameer dresses to impress, and he impresses a lot of powerful people.
“The mentors I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with range from all aspects of the industry,” said Romani. “I’ve met with international airline captains to Fortune 500 CEOs,” says Romani.
Most of Romani’s mentors share one thing in common.
“Just about all of them have a very strong influence in the world of modern aviation,” said Romani. “However, the most fundamental thing they all share in common is they’ve been humble and kind enough to mentor me.”
Throughout his four years at RAHS, Romani has met some very interesting people because of his networking skills.
“One of the most interesting would have to be either James Raisbeck or Ray Conner,” said Romani. “Dr. Raisbeck’s story is nothing short of impeccable; his dedication to engineering, his journey of entrepreneurship and leadership has been most inspiring and is worth hearing if the chance ever presents itself.”
Romani is also learning valuable life lessons from people who have come from nothing and rose to incredibly high positions.
“Mr. Conner’s story is virtually unheard of,” said Romani. “From starting at The Boeing Company as a line mechanic to retiring as the corporation’s Vice Chairman, I was floored by the path his career has taken.”
Romani has weekly meetings with different mentors. Most recently, Romani met with John Hornibrook and Coleman Boettger. They discussed life in general, and Romani’s plans for after high school.
Coleman Boettger has been an Alaska Airlines captain for over 20 years. He currently teaches the Aeronautical Science Pathway program at the Museum of Flight, which Sameer is now a graduate of.
“[My] overall opinion of Sameer’s networking skills is [that it is] outstanding,” said Botteger. “He has placed himself around a lot of Very Important People (VIPs).”
Aside from his mentoring prowess, Romani also tries hard as a student, and is also very strong academically. He is an “outstanding A+” student according to Boettger, and thinks all students can learn from him.
“Start by networking with Sameer,” said Botteger. “Have him as your teacher. There is no one better. I’m sure it has and will serve him well, like the VIP’s he has followed.”
Boettger is sure that the skills and connections Romani has built up over his four years in RAHS will give him an edge up in the real world. He also believes that these skills are valuable for future jobs.
“I’m sure the future has him one day as a VIP, CEO, [or] COO of a large company,” said Boettger.
Romani has a very easy way of making connections; he likes to establish the first contact. Mostly, he connects with prospective mentors online, but he sometimes meets them in person.
“To get mentors, I either send them an email or connect with them on LinkedIn,” said Romani. “On occasions, I’ll have the pleasure of networking with them in person.”
Romani is able to experience a lot of exciting events due to his connections with mentors. They range from casual lunch meetings to free flights.
“I was able to tour Emirates Airlines’ HQ and meet with their Pilot Selection Manager while visiting Dubai back in July 2015. I had a seat at ‘Table 1’ the first time I went to the Pathfinder Gala,” said Romani. “I toured the Deerjet 787 BBJ, toured Boeing’s Commercial offices, got a free airplane flight, and got a lot of free lunches!”
However, Boettger is most impressed with Romani as a whole. Romani has a great variety of skills, which he tops off with a fun personality and a great sense of humor.
“Of course, I think of him already as a VGP – Very Great Person,” said Boettger.