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Careers Centre

Case Study: Megan Foley

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Personal details
Degree:Geography MA Hons Profile picture
School(s): School of Geography and Geosciences
Year of Graduation:Jun-2013
LinkedIn:
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: British Airways
Job title: Pilot
Occupational Sector: Air Travel
What has been your route to getting your current position?
In 2013 I applied, and was offered a place on the British Airways Future Pilot Programme. The training course lasts around 20 months and involves 6 months of 'ground school' 6 months flying training in the US and further advanced training in the UK whilst also undertaking a foundation degree in air transport management. BA pay for the training and accommodation (£84,000 in 2013 - it has increased since) and 'cadets' cover living expenses and are continually expected to meet or exceed the training standards.
What does your job involve ?
Flying Airbus A320s for British Airways on short to medium haul flights all over Europe, North Africa and the Near East.
What are the best bits of your job ?
Performing your role to a very high standard, excellent travel opportunities and generally high standards of delivery across the company.
Why were you successful?
I had four years experience on the University Air Squadron affiliated to St Andrews (ESUAS at RAF Leuchars) with a longstanding involvement with the RAF and general exposure to flying.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
The Geography course exposed me to a lot of different ways of looking at the world, and dealing with a wide range of people. I remember a field trip to Galway in which we worked for a week with the 'Occupy Galway Group' being particularly helpful to challenge my preconceptions of different groups of people.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
The ground school section of the course is really very tough - you have no spare time for the six months - if you are awake - you are studying. The rest of the course is a lot of fun - so don't think of applying if you aren't willing to work hard! You also need to demonstrate a love of flying in some way.