Young Pros Share With Students and Grads How to Break Into Business Aviation

23 May 2019

Even though business aviation is going through a global workforce shortage and companies are eager to bring in new talent, young people often struggle getting their first job in the industry. That’s true in any field, but especially so, given business aviation’s high training requirements and traditionally low profile.

To bridge that gap between employers and potential employees, the 2019 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2019) featured the annual Careers in Business Aviation Day for students and recent graduates, and presented a session called, “How I Broke Into Business Aviation and You Can Too.”

The panelists were all under 40 and shared how they found their first jobs in business aviation and their current roles, from engineering at an aerospace manufacturer to fractional pilot to marketing at a digital charter platform. Many of the panelists had also been EBAA delegates to the 2018 One Young World summit.

“Dare to connect with people from business aviation. Dare to try to get into business aviation. It’s not a closed door,” said Antonin Benet, a maintenance program manager with Ortec Engineering. “You have to find your passion, and your talent will be needed.”

Benet told the gathered students that, at only 30 years old, he already felt “older” when working with new technologies such as blockchain. With the industry evolving so quickly, he said, “We need young, tech-savvy people.”

Business aviation also needs the energy and inspiration young people bring to the industry.

“Business aviation is working on issues of environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion. We’re trying to find solutions to those issues,” said Charlotte de Beaumont, marketing manager for PrivateFly. “We have the energy, we have the new ideas, and it’s our future, so our generation is very motivated.”

If they bring that passion to the industry, students will have the support of older professionals working in business aviation, de Beaumont promised. Panelists encouraged students to keep networking, look for apprenticeships and internships and research companies in the industry.

The 23 May panel also showcased a webpage on EBAA’s Expanding Horizons website where students could see a list of EBACE2019 exhibitors with job openings for entry-level professionals. After the panel, NBAA and EBAA staff took students on a tour of the exhibit floor to meet officials from some of these companies at their booths.

Denise Baltus is graduating from Jac. P. Thijsse College in the Netherlands and next wants to enroll in a flight academy. While she had been considering a career as an airline pilot, after the panel she said, “business aviation may be an opportunity as well.”

Tobias Probst had just graduated from the Munich University of Applied Sciences and is working on a master’s thesis in aerospace engineering. He came to EBACE2019 hoping to apply for a trainee position with Pilatus in Stans, Switzerland.

“When you graduate, there’s a lot of know-how you don’t have,” said Probst. “A trainee position is a good way to get that background.”