Aug. 31, 2020

This year’s sign-up phase of NBAA’s Mentoring Network is underway, and participation is already close to eclipsing last year’s effort, with more than 200 mentors and mentees registered.

The program is free to all participants and offers a chance for mentees to get an invaluable leg-up in a wide range of business aviation career options. For experienced business aviation professionals, it’s an opportunity to link up with one of tomorrow’s leaders and help ensure the industry’s future.

The sign-up period is open through Sept. 25, and the nine-month program runs through May 2021.

“After the sign-up phase, NBAA will provide several resources to help guide mentors for the duration of their membership,” said NBAA Operations Services Specialist Hunter Watson, who administers the program along with Director of Flight Operations and Regulations Brian Koester

Mentors include representatives from more than a dozen business aviation career paths, including pilots, flight department managers, directors of safety, and sales and marketing. Mentees include not only students and other young professionals launching their careers; but also those already in the industry who need another’s perspective on how to expand into the business aviation industry.

Tristan Punnett, a Houston-based aviation technology consultant, has taken advantage of the network from both sides. “When I first got into aviation, I connected with someone in the industry who became a mentor to me.” He said the relationship included life advice as well as career guidance. Since then, Punnett has participated in NBAA’s Mentoring Network to give back by coaching aspiring aviation professionals.

His advice for mentors? “The best experience should be as organic as possible. You shouldn’t try to force it. A mentor is someone you can call at 8 p.m. to bounce an idea off the wall; and to get some life advice. If they don’t have the answer, they can introduce you to someone in their network who can provide guidance.”

Learn more about the NBAA Mentoring Network.