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Virgin Blue Internship Gives Aviation Students A Flying Start

26/11/2003

Virgin Blue has announced it will offer a unique aviation management internship to undergraduate students as an ongoing initiative, following the success of a recent work experience project that was developed in conjunction with a number of Australian Universities.


Late last year, the low fare carrier approached Griffith University, Swinburne University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology’s MBA program, with a proposal to offer students invaluable industry experience.


Virgin Blue worked closely with the participating Universities to provide a number of students with direct project work experience in various aspects of the airline’s day-to-day operations.


James Yatras, Virgin Blue’s Compliance and Business Systems Manager, said, “The new internship is a win-win for everyone as it provides students with a hands-on understanding of an active airline operation, while allowing Virgin Blue the chance to identify up and coming potential recruits.


“Virgin Blue recognises today’s aviation and management students are tomorrow’s leaders in this ever-changing industry and we are proud to be pioneering an internship that provides real world experience to students completing undergraduate aviation studies.”


Stephen Fankhauser, Swinburne’s Aviation Program Manager, supports Virgin Blue on this important initiative. He said, “Universities have a vital role to play in developing ‘work-ready’ graduates from relevant courses for the airline industry with particular emphasis on safe operations in a complex regulatory business. This can only be of benefit to the travelling public and future development of the industry.”


Each year Virgin Blue will select three undergraduate students who are studying Aeronautical Engineering, Airline Pilot, Aviation Management or Masters Business Administration streams with participating Universities.


The initial group of students were involved with two key projects, the establishment of Virgin Tech and the start-up of new low-fare international airline Pacific Blue.


Future students will be closely involved in projects in the Engineering, Flight Operations, Ground Services and Safety Systems Divisions at Virgin Blue’s Head Office in Brisbane.


James Yatras added, “Involvement in real-life industry projects allows the students to gain practical exposure to how the theory taught at university is applied in the real world.”


Several students who have already undertaken work experience at Virgin Blue have gained part-time and full-time positions within the company.


To ensure the tertiary programs remain relevant to today’s changing aviation industry, Virgin Blue representatives will also hold key positions on University Industry Advisory Boards and provide ongoing guidance on course content and structure.