January 3, 2018
NBAA is implementing the first phase of a mentoring program this month, matching experienced industry veterans with individuals wanting to explore opportunities in business aviation.
The “beta” version of the program matches 20 sets of people who were paired based on the specific interests and goals of both the mentees and the mentors, but Brian Koester, NBAA’s manager of operations, said, “The great thing about the program is it’s designed for everyone.”
Participants must be at least 18 years old. The first class includes a diverse group, according to Koester – “college students looking to find their way into a business aviation career, people already in the industry looking to make a step up, people at a crossroads in their career trying to decide if they want to stay on the path they’re on or maybe turn down a different road within business aviation.”
Other mentees may be facing a transition in their flight departments, moving up from a turboprop to a jet, beginning international operations or putting an aircraft on a Part 135 certificate. One of the initial participants is an experienced business executive and CEO of a company who is looking for guidance as to what the aviation industry is all about.
NBAA started building a list of potential mentors a few years ago through a membership survey, and later followed up with email notices to members of NBAA committees. The program was designed by a steering group, with input from NBAA’s Young Professionals Council, the association’s Domestic Operations Committee and Business Aviation Management Committee, along with NBAA staff members.
Both mentees and mentors will be asked to sign a best practices agreement covering goals, confidentiality, how often they will meet and a specified end date. The latter point was added so potential mentors would be more willing to participate knowing “they’re not on the hook forever,” Koester said.
The first class will run from January through June. A nine-month program will commence in September 2019, followed by the full program in the fall of 2020.