Hello, my name is Katie Walsh, and I am currently in my first semester of my Masters in Aviation Leadership in DCU. Let me rewind and I will give you a better insight into my education and career to date.
From a young age, I have always been interested in travelling and the world of aviation. As a child, I would travel to Australia each year to visit family and I feel that this is where my love of aviation came from. I always said when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up that I wanted to work within the aviation industry and people were always surprised. It wasn’t as common several years ago, but I think in recent years the course in DCU has really promoted the aviation industry as a very attractive industry for people to work in. Coming up to my CAO application, I attended the RDS Career Expo and saw DCU advertising the Aviation Management with Pilot Studies (AMPS) course. I knew this was the course for me as aviation was the only career that I really wanted to pursue.
In 2011, I completed my Leaving Certificate and received enough points to be offered my first choice on the CAO. The course is a mixture of business and aviation and in the first two years gives a great basis in Business Studies along with Aviation specific modules.
During the course, I had some exceptional lecturers, some from academia in DCU and some aviation professionals. Both aspects combined I feel is what makes this course invaluable to students especially as they set out on undertaking their INTRA placements.
During my third year in DCU, I undertook a six-month INTRA placement in Aer Arann (Stobart Air), a regional airline based in Santry. During this placement, I received experience that I will take with me throughout my entire career. Learning the theory of aviation in DCU is extremely important but I can’t emphasise enough how invaluable hands on experience within the industry is. From my placement, I built up an amazing network of aviation professionals.
The main achievement in my degree was graduating top of my class and receiving an award from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA). I feel that it is only after I graduated and entered the aviation industry full time that it became clear to me how much knowledge I had gained from my degree in DCU.
What I love about the industry is that it is so fast paced, and no day is the same. The aviation industry Is worldwide but what I have come to realise during my career to date is that the industry within Ireland is actually very small and you meet the same people throughout your career in all different positions. The industry is very comparable to a family unit where people have common goals and interests.
After graduating from DCU, I moved to a permanent position within the Safety and Compliance department of Stobart Air and spent eight years there holding several positions. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic Stobart Air went into liquidation and the company ceased trading. It was always my plan to go back to complete my MSc in Aviation Leadership in DCU but felt that I required a few years of experience within the industry first.
In September of this year, I was delighted to be awarded a scholarship from the 30% Club to return to DCU and complete my Masters in Aviation Leadership. I am currently halfway through my first semester and absolutely loving being back.
So, if a career within the Aviation industry excites you, the Aviation Management with Pilot Studies undergraduate course in DCU is the course for you.
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