My name is Katie Walsh and I am an alumnus of the DCU B.Sc. in Aviation Management Class of 2015. I am currently coming to the end of my first year of the DCU Masters in Aviation Leadership while working full time for Elavon Financial Services.
I always knew I wanted to return to complete my masters in Aviation Leadership, I just didn’t know when would be the right time. After completing my under graduate degree in DCU, I worked within the industry for about eight years. I personally feel that gaining industry experience prior to undertaking the masters has been greatly beneficial to me.
Rewind to January 2020 and the news began emerging about a pandemic in China. People were asking could this affect my job and I remember thinking these people are mad, how would something in China affect my career. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit with a bang and shook the industry. In June 2021, as a result of the pandemic my employer was forced to cease trading and my role as Compliance Monitoring Auditor came to an end.
During the previous few years, I got married and had two children. I enjoyed the lockdown as much as was possible but I knew that it was now time for me to return to my studies. When I saw the 30% Scholarship advertised, I applied and was successful. The 30% Scholarship really resonated with me. During my degree and time working within the industry women were always the minority. I feel that women in leadership is such an important issue that needs to be addressed especially within the aviation industry. On that first night in DCU last September, I again noticed a recurring theme, the majority of the class were male.
Initially, it definitely took a couple of lectures for the group to get to know each other. A few group exercises and a keen interest in aviation and the conversations began to flow. What struck me about this group was that everyone had their own story to share but that the many aspects of the industry had brought us all together. This I feel has proven to be valuable to each of us as everyone has brought something different to the group.
Throughout the year, the class support has been unbelievable. Everyone was so busy with their own lives but a weekly call was arranged to discuss any issues that we may have been having. The WhatsApp group was also invaluable as someone was always there with support and advice if needed.
Completing this masters while working full-time is not easy. However, the most important piece of advice that I would give to anyone considering completing this course would be to start working on your assignments immediately. It may seem that you have loads of time but between working and the daily life, the months will go by very fast. This is my advice that I will be bringing forward with me to the second year of my masters.
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