Tell us about your career to date

After managing youth hostels, I studied for a BSc in Air Transport Management at Loughborough University. I worked for Airline Information, a US-based airline events and consultancy company, in sales and marketing. I then won full scholarships to do MSc Air Transport Management at Cranfield University and then my PhD at Loughborough. I’ve now finished my PhD entitled, “The competitive strength of Asian network airlines in competing with low-cost carriers and the use of low-cost subsidiaries". I won Loughborough’s most prestigious prize, the Sir Robert Martin University Prize. During my PhD I was an associate lecturer, lecturer, and then senior lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University. In July 2015 I joined Coventry University as course director of BSc Aviation Management, and I manage SCOPE Hong Kong, a key Coventry partner, for BSc Aviation Management.

Why has the aviation industry held such a fascination for you?

I have been obsessed by the industry for over 20 years – ever since my Dad brought home huge OAG books that I’d endlessly flick through and wonder about. I love airlines as businesses, and I’m especially keen on strategy, the economics that underpin airlines and the metrics that result from everything they do, financial performance, and all commercial areas. It’s hugely exciting. This appears to have rubbed off onto my five-year-old son!

Tell us about your current job

I’m course director of fast-growing BSc Aviation Management at Coventry University, a top-15 UK university. I lead and manage the organisation, delivery, and promotion of our course; the enhancement of the student experience and their satisfaction; and I’m responsible for all 185 undergraduate students undertaking it. I’m also senior lecturer in airline strategy and applied economics, and I teach final-year BSc and MSc Air Transport Management students.

What does a BSc Aviation Management course entail?

BSc Aviation Management is a specialised business degree that’s about the running of airlines and airports. Our students cover many interactive industry modules, including airport operations and air transport, airline marketing and management, aviation finance and economics, aviation safety, security and emergency planning, and aviation strategy and planning. They also study a number of management modules to better understand the industry. Our interactive sessions are delivered by industry-experienced staff, with a combined 70+ years, and industry researchers into areas that matter. A number of renowned industry experts come and present.

What are the career prospects for someone with a BSc in aviation management?

Fantastic across the industry and world, as the number of passengers flown worldwide is forecast to double from 3.3 billion in 2014 to 7.3 billion in 2034; the number of appropriate jobs is huge. I passionately believe university degrees should be driven by highly relevant and graduate-appropriate employability. But as I always tell my students, it’s absolutely crucial to find as many ways to distinguish themselves as possible, including year-long industry placements or studying abroad, writing for industry magazines/blogs, attending industry conferences, organising events, industry part-time work, and properly networking. Anything that helps make them stand out for initiative and imagination.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

I absolutely love open days because I love energetic and passionate presentations. When I’m teaching, students asking questions, engaging in discussions, drawing links between things is unbeatable. Ultimately, seeing students graduate with very good degrees, meaningful graduate-level jobs, and progressing quickly.

What are the challenges?

Many and varied! Enough to keep it interesting and at times frustrating.

Source: Flight International