We had the good fortune of connecting with Marie Duraffourd and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe the most important factor behind my success (my success being the career I choose to pursue i-e aerospace engineer and airline transport student pilot) is happiness. I want to wake up every day and be happy to go to work. I do need a job that stimulates my brain and my desire to learn.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
So, I studied aerospace engineering and worked 2 years in the aerospace industry in Spain. I learnt so much and my work environment was really nice. I had the chance to work on interesting projects but I felt my heart was somewhere else. I dreamt to be a pilot since very young but never achieved this dream. I met my friend Antoine who cheered me to pass the examination entry for different flight schools. I finally got accepted in the school where I am now. I am doing my flight training here in Phoenix and I am close to the Commercial Pilot Licence. After 10 months in America away from my family I believe I grew up a lot, I am mentally stronger than I have ever been. The flight training pushed me to my limits and I gained a lot of confidence. Every time I felt more confident in my environment they pushed me a bit more outside of my comfort zone. Taking into account I am a woman in a male dominated environment it has been harder sometimes to stand out but I am really proud of everything I achieved.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So, I would love my family to visit here but unfortunately because of COVID this was not possible. If there is one thing that is characteristic from Arizona I would say the sunsets. Sunsets are magical here, I am amazed every time I see one. When I fly during the sunset I cannot stop but thinking how lucky I am to fly above Phoenix with these colors. I would definitely show them Sedona for hiking, Grand Canyon at sunset, do some tubing in the salt river, watch the sunset from the A mountain in Tempe close to the Sky Harbor airport or the South Mountain or Camel Back mountain. I would bring them to have diner at Scottsdale airport watching the planes. I would bring them also to Gilbert or Scottsdale to have nice drinks and diner. The views are so different from where I come from in France.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I believe my family deserves my full recognition. My parents and my sister have been a full support toward my dream. When I decided to start the flight training they followed me. They believed in me more than I did sometimes and I know I can trust them 100%. Also my friend Antoine (already an airline pilot) helped me to prepare the entry exam for the flight training and always believed I was born to be a pilot.

Instagram: @marie.duraf

Image Credits
First picture in front of the plane: Guillaume De Weck 2 pictures with planes + 1 in AZ: Alberto Ace Last one at graduation: Julie Duraffourd

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