Steph Burn

Aviation Technology with Pilot Studies

Despite gaining a private pilot’s licence and learning about aircraft and the air industry, Steph feels her course was just part of the Leeds experience. She found that working with children in the access academy was just as rewarding, and an extra step towards a future as a commercial pilot.

What do you hope to go on and do when you graduate from the University of Leeds?

Compete in aerobatics whilst working all summer, followed by travelling in West America (by plane of course!) in September, a spot of tugging or instructing voluntarily at an airfield followed by hopefully training at a Flight Training Organisation to become a commercial pilot.

What skills and qualities do you think you’ve gained from your course?

I have a Private Pilots Licence and am able to write a good technical essay. I've learnt a lot about aircraft, airline and airport operations, and quite importantly about the industry I one day hope to enter for a career. In addition because I do many other things with my time I've realised that as much as lecturers may tell you, University work doesn't always come first! Employers look for your other skills not just a first class degree, so sometimes its better to focus your energy into other channels for bigger benefits in the longer term.

What skills and qualities do you think you’ve gained from co-curricular activities so far
(e.g. volunteering, clubs/societies)?

I found out I enjoy working with children (access academy) and that I'm actually quite a tolerant person who can easily motivate and engage with children especially those with behavioural issues (student associate scheme). I can be patient and cooperative, and found I work well in a team (water-polo team) but better as a team leader because of my natural inclination to take control of a situation (in a group project).

How will these skills and qualities help you achieve what you want to do when you graduate?

They are all general qualities desirable to any employer that makes me a 'better all-rounded person'.

What has been your proudest moment while studying at Leeds?

Hmm... there are two - Handing in my dissertation, and competing in my first aerobatic competition after less than 5 hours training and not coming last!

How do you think you have benefited from studying at Leeds?

There are so many qualities I have gained from a combination of studying a higher education course, living away from home and spending so much time with my friends. It's more the little things, from learning to read and pay your gas bill to house-hunting, and from Harvard style referencing to standing and presenting on my course that have generally made the experience so wonderful; looking back over the 3