News | 18 August 2022
Q&A with Tracey O'Brien: Careers in Aviation
Tracey, Fleet Transactions and Management, Amazon Air
What was the idea behind starting the careers in aviation video program?
The ISTAT Foundation Grants Program launched the Careers in Aviation video program in 2013 in conjunction with EAA Young Eagles. The idea behind the program was to target the next generation of the global workforce before they choose a career path and introduce them to the exciting career options within the aviation industry.
What is the goal of the program?
The goal for the Careers in Aviation program is to promote participation in aviation and showcase the variety of careers available within the industry. Each video focuses on a specific aviation career and highlights a personal story. We use these videos to show that there is a broad range of employment opportunities and job functions across the aviation spectrum.
What types of careers do you feature in the videos?
The program highlights opportunities within airlines, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), service providers, and legal entities. To date, the program includes 20+ careers across nine ISTAT partner companies including Airbus, AJ Walter, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Rolls-Royce and Vedder Price to name a few. We strive to have a balanced approach of highlighting both entry level and senior level careers, as well as those that are traditional (such as a pilot) and non-traditional.
What types of organizations do you partner with to make sure the videos get in front of students and those looking for new career opportunities?
The ISTAT Foundation partners with organizations supporting the advancement of careers in aviation. Many of our distribution partners are ISTAT Grant Recipients including museums, flight show organizers, aviation-related non-profit organizations and universities. Several of the video content contributors also use the videos in career day workshops for local youth.
Why are resources like these important for students and others who are looking into opportunities within the industry?
The primary goal for the ISTAT Foundation is to invest in the future by supporting individuals and organizations promoting the advancement of commercial aviation and humanitarian efforts. It is true that aviation is a growing field with a large number of opportunities available, but there are numerous other industries competing for talent. Therefore, it is our duty to do what we can to attract, motivate, and support youth to enter into our industry. These videos are just one way for the ISTAT Foundation to communicate and inspire individuals to join our industry.
Can we expect to see new videos in the future?
Yes. The Grants Committee is in communication with several ISTAT member companies to produce additional content and feature further career opportunities. The committee is also exploring new ways to enhance the effectiveness of the videos by working with distribution partners to better understand what attracts individuals to our videos. We hope to have exciting new content added to the program by the end of 2022.
Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management at Purdue University
"The ISTAT Foundation provides excellent resources such as internship job listings and educational resources that are incredibly beneficial to college students who want to impact the aviation industry.
The ISTAT Foundation has videos from professionals in several careers in aviation. The one that interested me the most is Kristen Chmielewski's Aviation Attorney career that she is pursuing. When she described contract management for buying and selling aircraft, I instantly knew this is a career path that I am interested in pursuing."
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering Technology at Purdue University
"My first encounter with the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading was last semester when I was researching careers throughout the aviation industry. I was not sure which path I wanted to take and the ISTAT “Careers in Aviation” videos helped me find clarity through this stage of uncertainty. I wanted to hear the experiences of industry professionals, but growing up I had never met someone in aviation which made it hard to clearly understand career opportunities after college. Watching these videos answered many of my questions regarding my future in aviation. I was able to find my path and take the necessary steps to make it possible."