Where are they now: Scholarship Winners

Oct 21, 2016

Meet Rex, winner of the “BC Airport Managers Assn Airport Ops/Management Training” – 2011

Rex fell in love with airplanes after his first flight at the age of five.  He always looked forward to flying and being in the cabin.  Being able to have hot meals, drinks, and snacks at 30,000 ft. felt like magic, he says.  Ever since then, his goal has been to work in the industry.

Rex started business studies in university.  While in his Creativity for Business class, Professor Grant, who knew about his aviation dream inspired him to continue with that path.  Rex wanted to build on his skills and knowledge and now focus on aviation.  With his dream revived, after completing his BBA he enrolled in the Airport Operations program at BCIT.  Through practicum work at YVR he has found he has a keen interest in safety and emergency planning.  Now that he has found his niche, his ultimate goal is to make a difference in aviation and the travelling experience.

Finding a job in aviation after graduation proved tougher than he expected.  He even had thoughts of falling back on his studies in Business Administration, but his heart remained strong and positive to his dream.  None the less, shortly after graduating, Rex worked as a contractor for the Vancouver Airport Authority.  He assisted with aviation safety awareness and various emergency planning projects.  Once the contract was completed he worked in the Airport Operations Centre as a dispatcher and completing other documentation duties.

Next, with so many headquarter bases in the eastern provinces, Rex decided to focus his job search there.  Three years ago he moved to Toronto when he accepted a job with Ports Toronto at the Billy Bishop City Airport.  A little more than a year later he started working with Porter Airlines as an In-Flight Purser, which is where he is currently employed.  Because his ultimate goal is to work with safety and emergency planning he looked at this as an opportunity to experience this from the front end.  Porter Airlines’ philosophy is ‘flying refined’ and Rex personally aligns with this, so he endeavours to give each passenger a pleasant enjoyable flying experience.  His most recent action at Porter is the AOSH Committee which he was recently elected to.  He is looking forward to exploring and improving workplace health and safety for all his team members.

When asking about challenges that turned into valuable learning opportunities, he said moving to Toronto was one and there were countless others.  They all helped develop and improve his knowledge, skills, and personality.  If he could recommend one thing to any student he would like to say, “…never be afraid to explore and follow your dreams as we were all born to take challenges and unveil our inner self to make dreams come true.

Did receiving the scholarship open doors you may not have had or learned about otherwise?

For him it opened doors by being presented to the industry, in particular during the Silver Wings Awards dinner presentation.  He felt it was an honour to be awarded and recognized by donors who care about his passion and efforts.

Of course there is the financial side of the scholarship as well.  Rex worked part-time while in school and had a student loan.  Knowing that interest will accumulate on the loan after graduation but not knowing when you will be employed added to the stress.  Because paying off his loan was his priority, any funding was greatly appreciated.  Rex adds, donors have done a really good deed by not only supporting students financially, but also recognizing those who placed extra effort in their field of interest.

What would be your advice for individuals applying to receive a scholarship?

“Never be afraid to apply and avoid making the assumption that you would never get it because there are other better candidates.”

 What would you like to say, in general, to past donors?

“Thank you for supporting and contributing back to the industry! Recipients may not have the opportunity to meet or get to know donors in person, but the feeling of donors’ kind gesture would be like receiving infinite opportunities from a pair of warm angel wings.”

What would you like to say to encourage potential new donors?

“For students, I encourage them to never be afraid to explore and follow their dreams; for potential donors, I encourage you to never be afraid to reach out and help.”

rex

Rex and colleague about to board a flight in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

 

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