Careers Evening – Airline Pilot

On Tuesday evening we welcomed Chris Rusk and Helen Carvosso-White to share their career journeys as Senior First Officers for British Airways. Although they are both pilots, their paths to flying were very different. One went the self-funded route, becoming a commercial pilot, training in the UK and US then relocating to Australia and Hong Kong whilst the other took the university route, and then trained to become a pilot in Europe. They spoke about the importance of building on life experiences, building soft skills, adaptability and resilience.

They explained the variety in training to be a pilot for a major airline and the vast array of skills it takes to be a pilot, from navigation to customer service, being able to react quickly to changes in flight plans and emergencies, as well as managing the aircraft systems while being in constant communication with air traffic control.

Helen also spoke about how proud she was to work for a company that is investing time in recruiting more female pilots and how the industry has changed for women who, by working as a collective, have campaigned to make a change in the working conditions for women too.

The evening proved to be a great success with our students and the visiting students from Guildford County, George Abbott, and St John’s. They had lots of questions for the speakers from which A Levels might be beneficial, the opportunities for career progression and about pathways into the industry.

Fiona Thie, Head of Careers

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