Summer Interns Contribute in Big Ways

 

Summer Interns
Our summer interns getting a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the control tower at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

With the summer drawing to a close, we’ll soon be saying goodbye to three talented young interns who have been contributing to the operation in big ways.  Aviation students Morgan Hunlen, Jade Lubinski, and Alex Dupre all took full advantage of the opportunity to move their studies beyond the classroom, and will have an abundance of new knowledge when they leave.

Morgan, a recent Aeronautical Sciences graduate from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, says that she didn’t know what to expect going into the internship, but she found herself hard at work less than a week in.  Over the course of the summer, she was immersed in a wide variety of projects, including auditing crew files and approach plates, preparing materials for new hire classes, and assisting with an ambitious project to completely revamp GoJet’s current PowerPoint-based training for new hire pilots into modern and interactive computer-based learning programs.

“I’ve learned a lot, and have done things that I wouldn’t have imagined I would be doing,” says Morgan.  “Everything I do feels like a contribution to the company.  Even if it’s filing documents, you know that it’s all valid work, and that everything has to be done.”

Morgan said that one of the things that stood out to her the most during her time at GoJet was the company’s commitment to diversity.  “I’m looking for a diverse and accepting workplace where I can succeed while being myself,” she remarked, “and I get that feeling of community with GoJet.”

Jade, a sophomore at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, decided to intern with GoJet because she liked the idea of working for a regional airline first, before jumping in with one of the major airlines.  She describes her internship as “eye-opening,” and has been impressed by the exposure she’s had to different areas of the airline.  “This internship has shown me how so many different departments operate, and I don’t think that I would have had such a well-rounded an experience with a different company,” she said.

Jade spent the majority of her summer with our Flight Operations team and provided major assistance to the Flight Ops Training Coordinator and the St. Louis Base Manager.  Jade’s projects this summer included auditing the pilot seniority list, challenging delay codes, administering the Pilot Referral & Mentor programs, and planning a crew appreciation breakfast.

Alex, who is going into his senior year at Jacksonville University, spent his summer working in Records, and compared the atmosphere at GoJet to that of a family-type business.  “With each project assigned to me, I learned a lot, and I feel like I’m contributing as much to GoJet as if I were a full-time employee,” he said.

One of Alex’s biggest project this summer was helping write a manual for new hires in Crew Records.  He also helped with pilot audits, shadowed different departments, and sat in on Flight Ops meetings.

 

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Not your normal internship:   The interns get a behind the scenes look at what happens to an aircraft during a heavy check inspection.

All three interns agree that the opportunity to be a part of an airline is an experience that just can’t be duplicated in a classroom.

“There are just some things that you can’t teach in a classroom; you have to actually be there. I get to be there with GoJet,” Jade remarked.  She went on to say, “You don’t really get to see how an airline operates while you’re in school. Classes are great for the technical side of piloting, like maneuvers and planning, but as an intern, you get to see how the process actually works. This helps you understand what your life will be like.”

Alex found that there’s no substitute for the hands-on experience that a quality internship can provide.  “I honestly feel that I’ve learned more in a few weeks as an intern than I have in some of my classes,” he admitted.  Morgan agrees.  “My classes were helpful,” she says, “but GoJet’s environment builds on what I’ve learned. I now know that I don’t just have a foot in the door, but a more well-rounded experience, that isn’t necessarily laser-focused.”

All three interns recommend this program for any aviation student looking for a meaningful professional experience to complement their education.

“Interning with GoJet will increase your knowledge of the airline industry,” says Jade. “Most larger company internships just focus on either pilots or Flight Ops. But here, you get to move around the whole company, all the while working alongside different people.”

“Interning for a regional airline is the way to go, in my opinion,” Alex added. “You’ll be able to do more things that you want to do, spend more time in different departments, do more hands-on work, build stronger relationships with co-workers, and most importantly, have fun.”

Morgan stressed that one of the biggest benefits of the internship is that it gives students the opportunity to make a real impact.  “I am grateful that I’ve been able to participate in so many assignments that were not just busy work, but essential to the smooth operation of the airline as a whole,” she said.  ” I definitely feel like I’ve been given a real and substantial opportunity at GoJet to not only broaden my horizons but live up to the standards expected of every great employee here, and it’s been nothing but an amazing experience.”

It’s never to early to start thinking about next year!  If you’re an aviation student and would like to be considered for next year’s program, contact Steve Paduchak at Steven.Paduchak@gojetairlines.com.

Unique Internship Provides Firsthand Look at Airline Operations

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Steve Paduchak, Training Analyst & Internship Program Coordinator

Are you looking for an internship that provides extensive, behind-the-scenes exposure to all facets of an airline operation?  Look no further than the GoJet Airlines internship program.  This unique program exposes college students to all of the people and departments it takes to keep an airline flying.  Data Training Analyst Steve Paduchak, himself a former GoJet intern, now coordinates the internship program, and works hard to ensure that each participant has a quality experience.

Steve participated in the GoJet internship program during the summer of 2014, when  he was an Aviation Management student at Jacksonville University.  Steve says that his desire to have a more well-rounded understanding of aviation is what led him to apply for the program.  “Going into the internship, I  had been previously exposed to airport operations, like runway inspections, and the management side of the industry,” he explained.  “However, I wanted to also be exposed to other aspects of the aviation industry, including airline, and air traffic management.”

Steven says that one of his biggest takeaways from the experience was a new appreciation for the amount of departmental collaboration that goes into running an airline.  “The internship really opened my eyes to what airline management entails, right down to just how many different people are involved in just one flight operation,” he remarked.  “From pilots and flight attendants, to mechanics, schedulers and dispatchers, everyone has a role to play in the success of each flight.”

After he completed his degree, Steve was offered a full-time position as a Flight Operations Training Analyst.  Shortly thereafter, he jumped at the opportunity to again be involved in the internship program, this time as the Program Coordinator.  “I’m very passionate about both pursuing opportunities, and providing opportunities that could benefit others,” says Steve.  “I had a great experience a few years ago, and taking over the internship program was the perfect opportunity for me to pay it forward.”

Steve stresses that the biggest advantage of the program is the varied exposure it provides, regardless of what aviation program a student may be studying.  “Whether you’re a pilot, flight operations, dispatch, or management student, you’re going to see the entire operation as an intern.”

In addition to receiving travel benefits through United Airlines, GoJet interns also receive a weekly stipend of $100 to help with expenses.  And as Steve’s experience shows, an internship at GoJet could very well lead to a full-time position after graduation.

To learn more about the GoJet Airlines internship program, please contact Steve at steven.paduchak@gojetairlines.com.

 

 

Pilot and Passenger Race to Retrieve Cell Phone Before Departure

We’ve all experienced it at least once – that sinking feeling you get when you realize that you’ve lost your cell phone, with all of your contacts.  That’s exactly the situation that one of our passengers was recently faced with.  After boarding a flight to St. Louis, he realized that he’d left his cell phone, with all of his business contacts, in the terminal.  With just 15 to go minutes before departure, the odds of retrieving his phone before take-off didn’t look good.  That’s when Captain Jacob Sutherland stepped in.

Captain Jacob Sutherland
Superstar pilot, Captain Jacob Sutherland

I wanted to share with you an unbelievable experience I had with one of your Captains and Flight Attendants on a recent flight from New York to St. Louis.   After leaving the gate by shuttle bus and boarding my flight on the tarmac, I that realized I had left my phone in the airport’s Sky Lounge. All 100 of my client contacts for a conference that I was to run in St. Louis were stored in that phone. More importantly, that phone number was the only way that I could be reached over those next four days.

I explained this dilemma to Flight Attendant Melanie McKetchem, and she kindly asked the cockpit if they could help. Captain Jacob Sutherland contacted the terminal to see if it could be retrieved. But with only 15 minutes to departure, it was not possible to get my phone to the plane in time. So, the Captain decided that he and I could take the bus back and race to the lounge to get it.

What played out next must have looked to onlookers like a scene from a movie. Captain Sutherland and I jumped on the shuttle back to the terminal, literally sprinting over the bridge to the lounge. There, my phone was just about to be handed over to security.  My phone was then returned to me, and the Captain and I once again sprinted, this time back through the two terminals to the shuttle bus. Somehow, we were back on the plane in enough time to depart on schedule, and touched down in St. Louis 20 minutes before our expected arrival time.

I have been on hundreds of flights since the 1970s, and this is by far the best experience that I have ever had. If Captain Sutherland is typical of your flight staff, then your company and passengers are in very capable hands. The Captain saved my trip and event with his quick initiative and decision making ability. I thank these two flight personnel for their great efforts on my behalf.

Thanks to Captain Sutherland and the hundreds of other GoJet employees who are out there giving it their all for our passengers, each and every day.  If you’d like to work with truly extraordinary and thoughtful people, click here to check out a list of current openings.

 

Delta Million Miler Impressed by Two Flight Attendants’ Creative Service

Flight Attendants Ashley Adams and Rachel Higgins put a creative spin on their inflight service that even a Delta Million Miler had never encountered.

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GoJet Flight Attendants Ashley Adams [left] and Rachel Higgins [right].
I am a Million Miler and someone who has flown Delta since the mid-1970s. I’ve done almost 1.75 million miles, and have seen good service during that time. I am writing today to acknowledge the performance of two Delta Connection flight attendants who went above the job requirements this past week.

I was traveling on a flight from Norfolk to Detroit and was bumped up to first class. At the end of the flight, each of us in the front of the plane were handed paper napkins with a personal handwritten thank you from the two flight attendants who were named Ashley and Rachel. I thought that was a nice touch and one that I had never experienced before.

Our flight attendants are constantly looking for ways to improve the passenger experience. If you have a passion for customer service, click here to learn more about becoming a GoJet flight attendant!

 

Captain John Chalfant Puts Nervous Passengers at Ease

Captain John Chalfant

Nothing makes passengers nervous like inclement weather.  Even the most seasoned flyers can get apprehensive with weather on the horizon.  When passengers are on edge, frequent and honest communication from the cockpit is essential to putting their minds at ease.  GoJet Captain John Chalfant exemplified just that on a recent flight from Raleigh to New York.  Here’s what a passenger told us about her experience with Captain Chalfant:

This is a letter of thanks; thanks for a great airline. Clean planes, comfortable, seats and professional crew and cabin attendants. It is noticed and appreciated.  When I get on one of your flights, I truly do breathe a sigh of relief. 

On Monday, May 23, 2016, I was on board a flight from Raleigh-Durham to New York/LaGuardia.  There were storms up and down the East Coast, and passengers on board were nervous – you could feel it in the plane.  Captain John Chalfant announced that the flight was going to be choppy, but he would get us above the clouds as quickly as possible.  He assured us that he would take care of us, that we would be safe; that it was his job to be sure we would be okay.

The sincerity of non-scripted conversation certainly perked up the passengers. Following that announcement, there was almost an audible sigh of relief amongst the passengers.  Once at altitude, when the seatbelt light was turned off, Captain Chalfant encouraged us to, “Explore this ‘vast’ airplane with bathroom facilities” (there was only one).  We all laughed, and laughter goes a long way in building rapport between employees and customers.

Many of  us thanked him for his conversation. But to me, that is not enough. I wanted your airline and your Captain to know just how much his sincere conversation meant to me and to my five-person team on that plane.  I hope that Captain Chalfant continues to have conversations with the passengers that are more than the scripted ,”Your safety is our concern so, sit back and relax.”

This young pilot is a gem. I would trust him with my life and the lives of those closest to me in any flying situation- that is high praise and not said lightly

Thanks, Barb

Captain Chalfant’s professionalism and dedication to his passengers are second to none.  He is a shining example of what GoJet is all about, and we are so proud that he is part of our team!

Employee Spotlight: Meet Maintenance Fleet Manager Quinn Sasser

At GoJet, our top priority is providing a safe and quality travel experience.  Central to that mission is Maintenance Fleet Manager, Timothy “Quinn” Sasser.  Quinn, who has held his position since 2009, is responsible for ensuring that any modifications made to our aircraft meet our high safety and quality standards.  “Any modification to our aircraft, whether a preventative enhancement, or a feature detail, goes through my desk,” explains Quinn.

Quinn Sasser
GoJet Airlines Maintenance Engineering Fleet Manager Timothy “Quinn” Sasser

Some of Quinn’s most recent modification projects include the installation of wi-fi on our fleet of CRJ700/900 aircraft, as well as the converting the CRJ700s in our Delta fleet from 65 seats to 69 seats.  “The key to adding seats is not compromising passenger comfort,” he remarked.  “We move the lavatory farther back in the aircraft, so that the extra seats don’t equate to a loss of legroom.”

Quinn’s aviation career started in 1994, when Trans States Airlines hired him as a Technical Analyst right after he finished college at Western Kentucky University.  He recalls, “When I was a Tech Analyst, I was looking for, and finding problems and issues. Now I’m actually fixing problems.”

Quinn’s position requires him to travel all over North America, but his favorite place to travel for work is Montreal, Quebec.  “I love going to the downtown area. While you’re there, you can see both the really old buildings, and the new skyscrapers. It’s a really blossoming city that still has a lot of history.” Quinn says that his favorite part of Montreal are the restaurants. “I feel like I’ve been there enough now that I know where the most unique ones are.”

When he’s not traveling for work or working to maintain GoJet’s fleet of aircraft, he and his wife, Holly, stay busy with their two teenagers who are in high school. “Between keeping up with their school sports, and playing tennis and running myself, there are a lot of sports in my life when I’m not on the clock.” Apart from sports, Quinn is also a music fan and frequently attends bluegrass festivals.

Quinn was born in Australia, where his parents were working at the time. His family then moved to Alabama, where he grew up. After college in Kentucky and Florida, he settled down in St. Louis, after meeting his wife, a St. Louis native.  “I like St. Louis,” he says, “I think that we’ll be staying here for many more years to come.”

Quinn is one of the many unique and talented individuals that make up our GoJet family. To learn more about how you can join our team of aviation professionals, please click here.

GoJet Flight Attendant Wins First Runner Up in Mrs. North Carolina Pageant

Our employees do some truly astounding things in their free time.  Take GoJet flight attendant Juanette Roache – when she’s not providing stellar customer service at 37,000 feet, she regularly volunteers at her local soup kitchen and homeless shelter, as well as mentors children through the Boys and Girls Club.  Her community service led to an opportunity this spring to compete in the Mrs. North Carolina pageant, where she was named the first runner up and received the People’s Choice Award.

Competing in such a high-profile pageant was a personal victory of sorts for Mrs. Roache, who has struggled with shyness since she was a child.  She credits her experiences as a GoJet flight attendant with really helping her come out of her shell.  “I was kind of shy growing up. As a flight attendant, you meet so many different people each day, so it actually kind of opened me up to working with others.”

GoJet Flight Attendant Juannette Roache
GoJet Flight Attendant Juannette Roache

Juanette began her career with GoJet during the spring of 2015.  When asked what she likes best about her job, she replied, “There is always something new every day, and the people I work with make GoJet feel like a family.”

Based in Raleigh, Juanette has lived in eastern North Carolina since she was in high school. “My father is a former Marine, so we moved around a lot. But I call North Carolina home.” She received her degree in biology from Elizabeth City State University, with an emphasis in pre-medicine and pre-dentistry, and originally planned to attend pharmacy school.  She was struggling to find a career in her field when she saw a posting for GoJet on a flight attendant career site.  “I applied because I love to travel, and I love meeting new people,” she explains.

Juannette Roach has participated in community service for most of her life, and enjoys being an inspiration to younger generations.
Juannette Roach has participated in community service for most of her life, and enjoys being an inspiration to younger generations.

The Mrs. North Carolina pageant wasn’t Juanette’s first experience with the pageant scene. “I competed in one pageant in Hawaii when I was younger, but I really started when I was 22-years old.” Juanette competed in the Miss North Carolina pageant in the past, but was approached by one of the directors of the Mrs. International system to compete as a married woman, after noticing her participation in community service on Facebook. “Competing in this particular pageant was a very positive experience to be a role model to young girls, especially among so many other accomplished women across the state.”

Juanette says that there are a lot of similarities between  her pageant experiences and being a flight attendant.  “You have to be both personable and relatable, but also willing to work hard. You’re not being micromanaged in either, so you need to do your best so that you can provide a positive impact.  With a pageant, that impact is community service.  As a flight attendant, my impact is providing a safe, quality and satisfying travel experience.”

We are inspired by Juanette’s commitment to positive outreach and are proud that she has chosen to share her talents with us!  Juanette plans to pursue the Mrs. North Carolina crown again next year, and her entire GoJet family will be cheering her on!