College is fun, and it’s your chance to learn and grow as an adult. But too many aspiring pilots make decisions in college that disrupt or damage their careers. Here’s how some student pilots ruin their careers:
They don’t consider the consequences
You’re away from home for the first time and everything is exciting. Don’t let bad judgment get you into trouble. Mistakes that you make in college (such as a DUI) will follow you into your professional career. Reckless or irresponsible behavior at 18 could ruin your chance to fly.
They don’t ask questions
The airline industry is complex – the lingo, the practices, the regulations are enough to make your head spin. Ask questions and learn as much as you can about everything flight related. Take advantage of your school’s resources, events and staff to learn, learn, learn.
They don’t find a mentor
Networking is the best way to get your foot in the door. Attend career fairs and open houses to learn about job opportunities. Stay in touch with pilots you meet along the way – they can guide you in the right direction when you have decisions to make later.
They don’t take failures seriously
Recruiters look at your log books and examine your history of flying. If you fail an evaluation, it will affect your flight record. Take all evaluation flights seriously, and if you have a failure, be honest with recruiters. Explain what you learned and what you did to improve.
They don’t look beyond the cockpit
It takes a village to run an airline – maintenance, air traffic control, dispatch, ground handling all work together to keep the operation running smoothly. Your appreciation for the airline industry will grow tremendously if you understand how the pieces fit together. The more you understand – and appreciate – your co-workers, the better you’ll be as a new pilot.
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