A brief history of your career since leaving the University of Birmingham

I joined British Airways on a graduate training programme, and remained with them for 5 years before leaving to train to become a pilot in 2005. I then joined Ryanair in 2007 as a First Officer flying the Boeing 737-800. I gained my command in 2011, becoming a Captain. I returned to BA in 2016 to fly long haul, but soon returned to Ryanair because it had better lifestyle and salary benefits on offer. I’m really happily settled where I am now.

Skills and knowledge from your postgraduate degree have you used in your career so far

My understanding of languages has opened a lot of doors. Being a pilot involves a huge amount of international travel, so my background at University was a great grounding for working with people of different nationalities, and for gaining an appreciation of cultural differences.

Main work activities in your current role

I fly the Boeing 737-800 around Europe and North Africa, based from London Stansted Airport.

A typical day in your job

My day starts either early morning, or early afternoon. I fly two to four flights per day and return back to base each afternoon or evening.

Main challenges in your role

The safety of our passengers and crew is our overwhelming priority, so applying skills and procedures to achieve this will always be the main challenge on any given day. Running an efficient, on time performance for our passengers is also key.

Why did this type of work appeal to you?

I enjoy the responsibility, the challenges and the freedom that flying provides.

Advice for students looking to enter this area of work?

Go in with an open mind and be prepared to work very, very hard to gain your first job in the sector. Make as many contacts as you possibly can, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself, as it’s very rewarding.