Fourteen-year-old Kevin Cole received the opportunity of a lifetime when he spent a day alongside GoJet Airlines Captain Jason DuVernay. Kevin received an exclusive look inside of GoJet’s headquarters, St. Louis Lambert International Airport’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower, the GoJet maintenance hangar, and Flight Safety International’s Learning Center. Read more to learn how the aspiring aviator was first introduced to airplanes, about his experience meeting GoJet’s pilot leadership team, and his plans for the future.
It was Kevin’s father, Aaron Cole, a cargo agent with Southwest Airlines, who first exposed him to airplanes.
“My interest in aviation started when my Dad and I flew to Southwest’s headquarters in Dallas. While we were there, I saw a lot of airplanes fly above my head and I became fascinated with them. After seeing the airplanes take off, I knew I wanted to become a pilot.” Kevin Cole said.
Kevin met GoJet Manager of Pilot Recruiting Zenia Bharucha and Pilot Recruiters, Lindsey Ellis and Sydney Ditzler at the St. Louis Air Show. The three ladies were impressed by Kevin’s extensive knowledge of aviation, which is what led to his visit at our headquarters. While at the event, Kevin recognized GoJet as an airline he’s admired and also through his flight tracking app that he pays close attention to each day.
“I get excited watching for CRJ model airplanes on my app,” Kevin said. “GoJet’s impressive fleet of CRJ700s and 900s is one of the main reasons I’d like to fly with this team one day. After gaining commercial aviation experience, I’d love to fly for an international airline like Korean Air.”
Kevin enjoyed spending the day with Captain DuVernay and touring various aviation facilities within GoJet and around St. Louis. He learned a lot during his visit and is more than excited to fly with GoJet some day.
“Today, it was so exciting to see how GoJet’s pilot team operates and how the ATC Tower receives signals once an airplane lands,” Kevin said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that GoJet is the company for me to launch my career.
GoJet offers a variety of programs for current and aspiring pilots. One of the programs GoJet offers for student pilots enrolled in a professional airline training program is the Wingman Pipeline Program. To learn more about the program, click here: https://bit.ly/2y09rIq.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, you’ll undoubtedly see shades of pink to show respect to the courageous individuals currently fighting or who have faced the disease. For GoJet flight attendant Jennifer Laws, her scarf is proudly worn in honor of her mother. Read more to learn how Jennifer’s mother encouraged her to chase after her dreams, and how her strength continues to inspire her today.
“It was almost five years ago when I began my career as a flight attendant. I was more than elated when my mother dropped me off at the airport for my training class,” Jennifer said. “On that day, my mother wasn’t a victim of her illness. She was more concerned with seeing me happy on my journey than feeling sorry for herself.”
As Jennifer became more accustomed to the flight attendant lifestyle, she always made it her duty to visit her mother any chance she had the opportunity. Her mother was always so proud of her and her success.
“When my mother was bed-ridden I stopped by her house on my way to the airport. I would visit her again immediately when I returned home from a trip,” Jennifer said. “Each time I saw her she hugged me, had a big smile on her face, and said “There’s my flyer girl!”
After struggling with breast cancer for several years, Jennifer’s mother lost her battle with the disease. She left her daughter with a lifetime of memories and tremendous support.
To honor the life and legacy of her late mother, Jennifer wears a pink scarf on flights every October. Whenever her passengers see her scarf it’s always a great conversation piece.
“My mother meant a lot to me and I always try to keep a piece of her with me while flying,” Jennifer said.
In the past, Jennifer was chosen as a winner for GoJet’s Inflight category of Above and Beyond, an employee recognition program that honors individuals who perform above what is required. Most recently, she was chosen as a winner for United Airlines’ UAXcellence Award. She knows that her mother would have been overjoyed with her professionalism and accolades.
“I think that my mother would be extremely happy to hear of my accomplishments,” Jennifer said. “Every achievement I met was always good news for her to hear.”
As Breast Cancer Awareness month comes to a close, we are encouraged by GoJet employees who continue to show solidarity and work together in the fight against cancer.
GoJet’s Ambassador Program gives current GoJet First Officers the opportunity to recruit student pilots from their alma mater. Ambassadors mentor their students and encourage them to become GoJet First Officers.
In our second Ambassador Spotlight feature, we’d like to introduce First Officer Andrew Dunkin. Dunkin is a devoted and professional pilot that spends his time recruiting young aviators from Auburn University to join GoJet. Dunkin enjoys inspiring younger pilots because he is passionate about aviation and wants to see them living out their dreams. Read more to learn why Andrew flies, how Auburn University shaped his career and the advice he provides to current students.
Why did you chose GoJet?
Prior to my time with GoJet, I flew for a regional airline in Cape Girardeau. While in the St. Louis area, I visited GoJet’s headquarters and fell in love with its welcoming company culture. Although, our pilot group is about 600-strong, it still feels like a close-knit environment. Another thing I enjoy about working with GoJet is the opportunity to fly the CRJ 700 and CRJ 900. The perks of flying both means longer flights, first-class and two flight attendants. When I first learned about GoJet, I liked the fact that it was the only regional airline with an RDU base. It worked out perfectly that GoJet had a RDU base because I was living in Charlotte, NC at the time. I love how fast and agile our airplanes are. We hand fly a lot. GoJet flies from coast to coast unlike other regional airlines. You can easily bid for trips and gain experience in the treacherous mountains of Colorado, hectic airspace of New York, or see fun visuals near the White House in Washington, D.C. GoJet also has great overnights as well.
What inspired you to pursue Aviation? My curiosity in aviation sparked when my family and I moved from St. Louis to Charlotte, it was my first flight. Then on my 14th birthday my parents took me on my first Cessna ride, which ultimately confirmed my love of flying. I attended Auburn University for Professional Flight and instructed students in undergrad. I also instructed students after I graduated.
How did Auburn University prepare you for your career?
GoJet Pilot Recruiter, Tammy Hoevel and Andrew seek out student pilots at a recruiting event.
Attending Auburn University allowed me to receive my flying certificate and also receive a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Although Auburn is a small flight school it provides a lot of hands-on experience and maintains a prestigious reputation. Classes are more intimate because they focus in on the student, not just the class. While I was in school, Auburn had a relationship with United Airlines which allowed me to become a Flight Operations Lead Intern. I gained great insight into what the majors would be like after I built my hours.
What advice do you share with your Ambassador Program students at Auburn University?
The advice I share with my students is to get involved on campus because it makes your college experience better. Take advantage of the companies Auburn works with because it helps your dreams to come true. Complete an internship or mentor someone, it bridges the gap between the classroom and the real world. My internship with United was beneficial because it assured me that what you learn in the classroom applies to the real world.
What advice do you give to young pilots?
Continue to learn! In high school I was involved with our local Aviation Explorer Post in Charlotte and it was amazing. It helped get me a job as a baggage handler working for Delta. My experience still applies today because I understand what’s happening when we pull into a gate or work a departure. I would also say if you love flying then fuel it. Don’t expect anything to come to you, always look for ways to get involved. Almost everyone in aviation loves to share their story and doesn’t mind having someone shadow them. At the Explorer Post I gained great networking contacts that I still talk to today. It also gave me insight into the other operations in aviation, such as: Airport Ops, Catering, Cargo, Regional Airlines and the Control Tower. I shadowed a corporate pilot and an Air Traffic Controller, which helped me realize that I was destined to become a pilot.
Getting yourself immersed in flying early on is a great way to get your career started. Even if you don’t have a Private Pilot Certificate yet, you can still do your research and learn more about aviation.
For more information about our Ambassadors Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aviation enthusiasts across the nation will gather next week in OshKosh, Wisconsin to participate in the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration, EAA Airventure OshKosh. At OshKosh aviation hobbyists, current pilots and aspiring pilots will have the opportunity to attend airshows and exhibits. Attendees can network with aviation professionals at airline booths in the Education and Career Center. Read more to learn how pilots can prepare for OshKosh, and how to connect with GoJet recruiters at booth C29, or in exclusive events.
If you’ve never attended OshKosh before you’re in for a treat! Whether you’re a brand-new pilot or a seasoned veteran pilot, there’s something for everyone at OshKosh.
“I love that OshKosh gives aviation enthusiasts the opportunity to come and talk to professionals within the airline industry,” Zenia Bharucha, Manager of GoJet’s Pilot Recruiting said. “New pilots fresh from training, those considering a pilot career and individuals seeing airline pilots for the first time get to discuss challenges they’ve faced and where they aspire to go. New and aspirant pilots also have the chance to hear from veteran pilots on the experiences that have helped them become the pilots that they are today.”
Pilot candidates are encouraged to bring their resumes and to dress professionally. Recruiters also suggest that pilots do their research, read online reviews, and study interview questions.
“The idea is to come prepared so that you can impress pilot recruiters and potentially leave with a job offer in hand, or a promising lead for future job openings.” Zenia said.
Interested GoJet candidates can expect to learn more about the company’s many programs, which include the Wingman Program—a program designed to provide student pilots with the opportunity to build flight hours and receive tuition reimbursement, while interning with GoJet. Additionally, GoJet offers unique pathway programs which include the Mountain Air Cargo (MAC) to GoJet Fast Track, GoJet to Spirit Pathway Program, and the Atlas Guaranteed Interview Program. Moreover, GoJet offers an array of options for military pilot transition, flight instructors, and more. Once on property, GoJet pilots may also earn a $10,000 bonus for each successful pilot candidate they refer to the company.
During OshKosh, GoJet will provide giveaways and host events to give pilot candidates an inside look into the company.
“We’re going to give away amazing swag and two aircraft models of the CRJ,” Zenia said. “You can also bring your resume or drop off your contact card to be included in our drawings. If you’re a social media savvy individual, we encourage you to use our Snapchat filter by our Booth C29 or in the career center.” Zenia said.
You can also indulge in delicious food at GoJet’s invite-only BBQ. To inquire about receiving an invitation, stop by Booth C29 either Monday or Tuesday to speak with a pilot recruiter.
After several successful years as a computer programmer and a chemist, Tracey Ryan decided to stay at home with her children. Shortly thereafter, she felt a career change was imminent. Always having loved aviation, our now Chicago (ORD) Base Manager decided to explore a new career path and follow in her grandfathers’ footsteps. Read our Q&A to find out how Tracey switched careers, and now works within the field that she loves.
Q: Tracey, what led you to become a GoJet Base Manager?
A: I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and another degree in Computer Programming. After having careers as a chemist and a computer programmer, I took on several part-time jobs to stay at home with my two children. My friend told me about GoJet’s flight attendant openings, and it really sparked my interest because I love to travel and to work with people. We were both fortunate to have been hired as GoJet flight attendants and went into training together.
I was always fascinated with the aviation world because both of my grandfathers were pilots. One of my grandfathers was a Captain in World War II and my other grandfather was a private pilot who flew a small airplane for recreation.
I loved being a flight attendant and was fortunate enough to take a handful of pilot lessons. I have realized that you can definitely find your passion in your 40’s and become infatuated with aviation. Hence, when the ORD Base Manager position became available, I was more than thrilled. It’s a true blessing to work in a profession and in a position that you love. I am very grateful.
Q:What are your responsibilities?
A: I provide innovative solutions and guidance for both pilot and company issues and regulations. I also help with maintaining aircraft manuals, pilot currency and FAA compliance for our United Express fleet.
Q: How would you describe the day in your life?
A: My days are never the same, that’s for sure! The day can be filled with taking calls, attending meetings, and assisting with the ORD parking badge process. My day can also consist of meeting our aircraft, updating manuals and completing other tasks that are needed.
Q: What do you enjoy about Chicago?
A: As the 3rd busiest airport in North America by boarding passengers, Chicago O’Hare brings something new and interesting each day, which I thoroughly enjoy. The city of Chicago also has an unbelievable skyline and never-ending activities for all personalities and interests. I have lived in the suburbs my entire life but love the fact that we have such an extraordinary city available to us at any time.
Q: What do you most enjoy about working at GoJet?
A: I have a wonderful working relationship with my colleagues and office partners. We worked together to lead our team towards the #1 spot in Quick Turn Delays in ORD for the last six out of seven months. Additionally, all the Base Managers support one another, in efforts to help with GoJet’s continued success. I’m proud to be a part of the GoJet family.
Captain Larry Balocca has served in many capacities and has made many friends during his tenure with GoJet. After joining the first cadre class on May 12, 2005, being one of the few who opened our ORD base, Captain Balocca is retiring and planning to help train new pilots.
Officially retiring from flying this month, Captain Balocca was thrown a party to highlight his accomplishments over the years and to celebrate his transition into his new role as a flight instructor.
When asked what he plans to share with young pilots, Captain Balocca said:
“I would tell younger pilots considering making GoJet their home that we have a great training ground. You receive a tremendous amount of experience, so you can upgrade quickly, and advance your career.”
Captain Balocca also enjoys how close he and his airline colleagues have grown to become.
“It’s fun to get to know your colleagues on a personal level,” Captain Larry said. “Working with GoJet has given me one big extended family.”
While he’ll miss flying with GoJet, Captain Larry is proud to continue his passion to train new pilots.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re proud to highlight Flight Attendant, Debbi Miller and Captain Ky Miller: a mother and son duo who fly for GoJet together. Read more to find out how this mom impacted her son’s career, and why they both choose GoJet.
After flying together nearly eight times, both Debbi and Ky agree that while it’s uncommon to see a mother and son working the same flight, they thoroughly enjoy it.
“Ky and I have always had a wonderful relationship! When working together our relationship is that of a colleague, but I’m so very proud of him and that’s when it’s evident that I’m his mom,” Debbi said.
Before finding her passion as a flight attendant, Debbi held positions working as a picture framing worker and a substitute teacher. It was in 2005 when Debbi discovered the newly launched GoJet Airlines and decided to apply for a flight attendant position.
“I didn’t know much about GoJet,” Debbi said. “I saw that they were hiring and wanted to follow my passions and find job security. Mainlines weren’t hiring as much after 9/11, so I wanted to work within a regional airline.”
Now, Debbi has just celebrated her 12-year anniversary, and credits GoJet’s company culture as one of the reasons why she’s maintained her longevity.
“GoJet has a friendly and inviting atmosphere. That’s one of the things that I really like about the company; as it grew over a period of time, it remained a small, warm and welcoming place to work,” Debbi said.
Debbi’s son Ky began taking flight lessons in high school, which solidified his desire to pursue aviation. Seeing his mother’s longevity with GoJet inspired him to work for the same airline.
“Watching my mom work as a flight attendant with GoJet for more than 12 years, launched my curiosity and interest in flying,” Ky said. I started to investigate everything from crew bases to policies and decided that GoJet was where I wanted to be.”
Ky has worked for GoJet for three years and he currently serves as a Captain. Debbi is very proud of her son’s career choice and feels good to know that she was able to positively impact and guide him.
“The thing I most enjoy about being a mother, is seeing my kids succeed and accomplish their goals,” Debbi said. “I think that parenting is one of those things that fuels our children’s drive and desire for success.”
Ky and Debbi don’t get to see each other much during the holiday because of their equally busy schedules. However, Ky recalls his favorite gifts he likes to give his mom on Mother’s Day.
“My mom really enjoys Bath and Body Works gifts! Spa and massage gift cards never fail to make her smile either.” Ky said.
Happy Mother’s Day to all GoJet moms! For more information about GoJet Flight Attendant and Pilot careers, visit https://bit.ly/2FqBphJ.