Dec. 3, 2020

Utilizing the young professionals in your regional group to connect with students, encouraging job-shadowing days and showing students how their non-aviation skills might help them in a business aviation career were just a few of the tips suggested for connecting with potential industry professionals at a roundtable session held as part of the NBAA GO Virtual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (VBACE).

Even the virtual meetings of the COVID era may be helpful to young people looking to break into business aviation, as they may get to “meet” company leaders that may not be available to meet in person, noted Kyle Eiserer, vice chair of NBAA’s Local & Regional Group Committee and a board member of the Central Florida Business Aviation Association.

“Students are more receptive to professionals closer to their own age, so make sure you utilize [the younger members in your groups],” said Eiserer, who also discussed NBAA’s career resources. View NBAA’s student resources.

In her role as assistant director of career services at the Daytona, FL campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, session presenter Sandi Ohman said she meets with many students who are unaware of the variety of jobs in aviation, including non-flying positions that require other skills such as business or marketing.

“Aviation insurance is a good example,” said Ohman. “There’s a lot of opportunity in insurance, but it’s not a career area that gets a lot of attention.”

Ohman recommended connecting with local teachers and building on the interests and skillsets of the students.

“Come prepared to help the students, rather than to promote your company,” she said. “It’s important to plant the seeds at the middle- and high-school level. Go out and talk to math or communications classes and make them aware of all the kinds of jobs in business aviation.”

Jason Bonham, airport and operations manager for Eastern Kentucky University at Central Kentucky Regional Airport (RGA), stressed the importance of presenting students with opportunities in a variety of careers. He suggested job shadowing as a way for industry professionals to showcase all the industry has to offer.

“Make sure they ask questions,” he added. “It’s so important to educate them, especially about jobs in business aviation.”

Review NBAA’s workforce initiatives resources.