May 4, 2022
As more colleges and universities offer aviation career days, NBAA has an opportunity to reach more students around the country to inform them about the many career options business aviation has to offer.
“The opportunity to directly interact with aviation students allows NBAA staff to plant a seed for potential interest in a business aviation career path, which is very exciting,” said Kristi Ivey, NBAA’s northern mountain regional representative, who recently took part in the first Business Aviation Open House at Minnesota State University Mankato.
“What I think has resonated most with students at these events is the opportunity to engage directly with our members and stakeholders – the business aviation professionals who represent a specific job function within this industry,” she added. “Seeing the broad array of job types within business aviation is eye-opening.”
For the inaugural open house in Minnesota, an NBAA operating member brought a Gulfstream G550, so students get an up-close look at the leading-edge aircraft associated with business aviation.
“The more we have our members and partners – including regional business aviation group leaders – participating in this type of outreach to students, the better our chances of securing interest in business aviation careers,” Ivey said.
Gulfstream G550 and attendees at the Business Aviation Open House at Minnesota State University Mankato
NBAA Manager, Operations Noah Yarborough, who recently represented the association at his alma mater Louisiana Tech’s AvFest event, agreed that getting in front of students to show them all available options is vital. Many of the students he spoke with at the event weren’t aware of business aviation, Yarborough said.
“Many people are not aware of the opportunities that business aviation has to offer to students and recent graduates,” he said. “It’s important for the NBAA to provide our resources to students so that they can have access to things such as our member directory, scholarships, career guides and much more. NBAA needs to be at the forefront of providing young professionals the opportunity to break into the business aviation world.”
“Discussing the wide array of career options in business aviation with students is something that I enjoy very much,” said NBAA Director, Safety and Flight Operations, Mark Larsen, CAM, who recently participated in his alma mater’s Student Aviation Management Association Conference Career Day at the University of North Dakota.
“Students had an idea of some career options in business aviation from their classes, and seeing a number of business aviation organizations at the career fair, along with NBAA, gave a much broader presence to business aviation’s career opportunities,” he added.
Louisiana Tech’s AvFest
Workforce Development Resources
“One of the first things I do when presenting to students is ask them to get their smartphones out and find/bookmark the links I reference as I go along,” Ivey said. “The first resource I send them to is nbaa.org/students.”
A frequent question students ask is how they can engage with business aviation professionals while they are still at the student level. NBAA staff members offer several ways to do that, such as:
- Follow and engage with NBAA, NBAA YoPros (Young Professionals in Business Aviation), local and regional business aviation groups, and others in the industry on social media.
- Find out if a local or regional business aviation group exists in your home state and volunteer or attend future events on school breaks.
- Consider participating in NBAA’s mentoring program.
- Apply for an NBAA or regional business aviation group scholarship. Learn more about NBAA scholarships.
- Attend NBAA events, including the annual convention, and participate in NBAA’s Collegiate Connect opportunities. View the association’s event calendar.
“The takeaway I experience after engaging with students is a renewed energy and passion for our industry, and an excitement for the future of business aviation,” Ivey said. “I am also focused on making sure the remote or lesser-publicized collegiate aviation programs that may not have received attention from our industry in the past absolutely receive our outreach going forward.”