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?
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 email@example.com.