For almost 40-years, identical twins Laura Schreibeis and Lisa Kitko have called GE Aerospace their career home.
Growing up, people often got the two confused. And when they arrived within a few years of each other at GE Aerospace, the same was true at work.
“People would come up to one of us at lunchtime and say, did you go home and change clothes? And I would say oh no, you must have seen my sister earlier today,” says Laura, an engineer who spent her career on the commercial side of the business. “People would confuse us all the time. We are in different locations now so it’s not as common, but we used to get it a lot.”
The confusion turned out to be a great way for Laura and Lisa to meet each other’s colleagues and the people they worked with.
While Laura worked on a number of engine programs, including CFM56 and GE90, her sister, Lisa, focused primarily on military programs. Lisa’s roles ranged from Sourcing to Contracts for both production and development programs, and she uses those experiences to advise GE’s hybrid electric programs.
Between the two of them, their careers have covered the largest pieces of the business — commercial and military.
But why stop at two when you can add a third family member to the GE Aerospace team?
In 2022, Lisa’s daughter Nicole Kitko joined the company as an engineer, even joining her mother in the Advanced Technology Organization (ATO). Nicole, an electrical engineer supporting the hybrid electric program, naturally got her push toward engineering thanks in part to her mom and aunt’s work at GE Aerospace. Between her mom, aunt, and a women in engineering camp, Nicole knew she wanted to pursue engineering.
Though all three women work in different facets of the business, it only adds to their knowledge, allowing each of them the opportunity to learn about myriad aspects of the company and how they intertwine.
“It’s a huge circle of learning from each other,” Lisa says. “I don’t think we would know this much about the business if we all didn’t work in different areas.”
Lisa loves sharing her knowledge about the cool technological advancements happening on the military side, including with programs such as the XA100. For her, there is no thrill like seeing a military flyover and watching the pilots turn on their afterburners.
“There’s a lot of technology that we can’t really talk about that goes into it. And knowing that you’re a part of that, and it allows our guys to have the advantage so they can do what they need to do and get out safely, it just gives you a lot of pride,” Lisa says.
Laura, meanwhile, enjoys the commercial side of the company.
“I love the technical complexity and importance of a jet engine. I’ve worked with international customers, shops, airframers, suppliers and enjoyed the learnings as I traveled around the world,” says Laura, who always notes when traveling what aircraft are GE powered.
Nicole prioritizes sustainability, which is applicable for both military and commercial engines. And although she’s still new to GE Aerospace, Nicole loves the culture and how transparent leadership is.
“You can tell a lot of care went into hiring a good group of people that would be fun to work with and happy to help others learn,” she says.
Working at GE Aerospace has also impacted their relationship with one another, bringing them closer. Nicole especially enjoys talking to her mom and aunt about the business since they have so much expertise and insight. For her, they are a resource to lean on for support and guidance.
“I’m fortunate that we all get along well and have this common with each other,” Nicole says. “We always have a lot to talk about when it comes to GE. Sometimes at family functions, external family members get a little bit annoyed with all the GE talk and the many acronyms we use, but it’s been great to discuss and learn with each other.”
The family also has pearls of wisdom for women who aspire to enter STEM fields.
Nicole suggests choosing your job based on your passions, because if you’re going to spend your career working in STEM, it should be because you love it.
Laura notes that engineering can open doors in any industry. “It’s a great foundation because it turns you into an analytical and problem-solving person, which is a good skill set to have whether you’re in finance or a business role working with customers,” she says.
While GE Aerospace may have a large engineering focus, there are many opportunities for other career paths at the company.
“You don’t have to be an engineer to succeed at GE Aerospace, there are many different routes that you can take,” Lisa says. “And by taking those routes, you’re actually helping the engineers by facilitating programs and making internal and external connections.”
Laura, Lisa, and Nicole may be cut from the same cloth, but their diverse experiences allow them to make this GE Aerospace family a dynamic force in the business.
Laura Lisa and Nicole – thank you for sharing your story and backgrounds. Always exciting to hear how people come to GE Aerospace!
All in the family!