OFF to a flying start: My Aviation double degree

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/ Bachelor of Aviation double degree was the obvious choice for student Aidan Correa who moved from Perth to Brisbane to study a degree where he could apply both his interest in STEM and passion for flying. By studying a double degree in Aviation, Aidan aims to broaden both his professional and technical skillset to give him a competitive edge in the job market. Read more of Aidan’s journey so far. 

Why did you choose to study this degree? 

I have always seen Aviation as a means of connecting people, and from a young age have developed a passion for it which I attribute to the many overseas trips I did as a child to visit family. I knew I wanted to pursue flying as a career, highlighting Griffith for its established Aviation program. Since I enjoyed STEM subjects at school, the dual degree was a perfect avenue to apply my interest in STEM and passion for Aviation to a university program that would give me the benefit of both fields, and expose me to the greatest opportunities to develop professionally and personally.  

The dual degree in Aviation at Griffith is unique and is the only course that offers students an accredited engineering degree, along with flight training and a Bachelor of Aviation, a competitive edge for its students. That is why I chose to study this course making the move from Perth to Brisbane to commence it in 2019.  

What are you enjoying the most out of the degree? 

I am most enjoying the broad spectrum of topics the dual degree covers. The units I undertake each trimester are usually a mixture of Engineering and Aviation, so I cycle through new and interesting content constantly. I am able to enjoy learning about each topic, without being overwhelmed by similar content. The perspective I have developed for both the engineering and aviation industries has broadened immensely since beginning the course.  

I am enjoying building relationships with peers within class, and the abundance of extracurricular and social networks open to students within the degree, which is one of the most enjoyable aspects.  

What do you think is the most valuable thing you have learned as part of this degree? 

The most valuable thing I have learned is how important effort is in all spectrums of university and life. Giving things a go, especially when they are outside my comfort zone has enabled opportunities to pop up for me that I wouldn’t have thought possible. Whether it is in student leadership, receiving a tour of a hangar at the airport, seeing what it is like in a control tower, or being mentored by an industry professional, the chance to develop yourself professionally and personally by proactively seeking opportunities is one of the most valuable things you can do within the degree. The dual degree has provided me with fantastic student learning benefits because it covers both sides of my interests, and has enabled me to connect with like-minded people early on in my career.  

What advantage do you have studying a double degree over just a single degree? 

For students studying a double degree, there is an immediate advantage of cross-disciplinary knowledge and professional skills. Since Engineering and Aviation are both relatively technical courses, there is the benefit of developing transferable skills that support learning new things and broaden future career prospects. I have found these skills often complement each other and actually allow me to identify connections between the Aviation and engineering courses, deepening my understanding of the topics I study. Having a double degree also exposes students to two different industries, which I think has given me a greater insight to refine my own career goals and ambitions as to where and what exactly I want to do.  

What are your career aspirations once you finish this degree? 

Upon completion of this degree, I plan to undertake the Graduate Diploma of Flight Management and obtain my Commercial Pilots Licence. I’d love the opportunity to work as a pilot, with the end goal of moving into the development of new and innovative technology, so I can utilise my engineering knowledge in a test or design capacity.  

How is Griffith preparing you for the workforce once you graduate?  

Griffith has a massive focus on preparing its students for the workforce, and many avenues for students to develop personally and professionally. One of the avenues unique and available to all streams of Aviation students is the Mentoring Aviators Through Education Support Program. The program is student-run and exposes students to employable skills and provides them with insights from guest industry speakers, something I have personally found extremely beneficial.  

Being able to talk to industry from week one of your degree is an awesome feeling and goes a long way in terms of developing motivation and career vision. Integrated into the degree are also employability workshops and site tours, which have given me an insight into the professional skills that employers are seeking, and various ways I can develop them while at University to prepare myself for the workforce.  

What might be some useful tools and advice that you would give other students who are thinking about a double degree in Aviation? 

For students considering a double degree in aviation, I would say follow your passion and take a double degree as an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skillset, even if flying is your sole goal. I came into the degree with my mindset on becoming a pilot. That is still the case in some capacity, however undertaking a double degree has opened my eyes to the endless number of other careers within Aviation, and I feel good moving forward in terms of work prospects should I change my mind or be limited in perusing a flying career for any reason.  

With the industry becoming more competitive, why not take the chance to learn as much as you can within a broad discipline and increase your capability in the many transferable professional and personal skills that come with studying a double degree in Aviation.  

There is so much more to this degree than just what you study in class. Where the course really excels is its ability to give students exposure to social and professional development through clubs and extracurricular activities. Being involved in clubs like the Griffith Aviation Association and the Griffith Soaring Society has given me the opportunity to grow flying experience while still studying, and get a taste for what it is like to fly at an early stage of my degree.  

I recently completed my first solo in a glider. Small milestones like that are key motivators that remind me why I am here during tough times like exam period. The people you meet in clubs and the skills you learn here are often what sets you apart from others and will help you in the long run when it comes to working with and assisting others in the workplace.  

Find out more about the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/ Bachelor of Aviation double degree.

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