What appealed to you about UNSW and your degree?
At the time I began my master’s degree I was working for Jetstar in the Human Resources department and wanted an extra edge, something more that was solely based in aviation. I was comparing the different masters courses around Australia and found that UNSW offered the greatest number of topics that aligned with what I thought I would enjoy. My colleagues at Jetstar highly recommended the course, they found the course super valuable and really enjoyed it. Everyone I have spoken to about the course has vouched for the support provided by the staff at UNSW Aviation, which was really important to me going into a degree program.
What is the most valuable thing you took away from your time at UNSW?
There were so many things I hadn't considered in my day-to-day work, you 'really don’t know what you don’t know, until you know'. There are many things and people around my profession which have an impact on the ability for me to do my job. Learning about what other people do to make my job possible gave me huge scope to the entire industry and an appreciation for the backend of things.
Being a pilot, there is so much more that I can offer than flying a plane. There are opportunities within my company to be a ground school or human factors instructor, or work on other meaningful projects. The master’s degree really opens these doors for me to work in other areas of the industry or in other industries such as transport, especially in a scenario where if I couldn’t fly.
Where has your career taken you?
When I began my master’s degree, I was working in the Human Resources department at Jetstar. I left Jetstar to pursue my flying dream. I began flying for Regional Express Airlines after completing their pilot cadetship. I worked as a First Officer before moving back to Jetstar in 2014. My master’s degree has made me a more competitive candidate, knowing that I can also work in the administration side of aviation. It has also given me opportunities to be involved in pilot recruitment.
What innovations do you think the industry needs?
There is so much progress to be made in terms of making aviation a greener industry. This is not necessarily in just fuel, but in terms of food packaging, the knives, forks and cups. I generally fly around 4 flights a day and there are several bags of rubbish from each flight. This all builds up so quickly. Recently Qantas flew the first zero waste flight, this is a great start to making flying more sustainable.
In terms of flight licensing, potentially creating a universal, global level pilot licence to the exact same standard. This will help make the qualification more transferable across the globe. For an industry so international, there are so many variants of pilot licences.
What would your advice be for those currently studying or considering the study of Aviation at UNSW?
There are so many different aspects to aviation, it is not just flying planes and planning for it. There are a variety of aspects that go into you being able to do your job, every role is reliant on so many other people in the company.
The aviation industry is very reactive. Although we do see downturns in the industry, it’s always followed by an upturn. The industry will always recover slightly changed from its previous landscape and with that change comes more exciting opportunities.