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Aviation students get a jump start on their careers

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jazz Aviation offers new program that gives qualified aviation students a more direct pathway to a major airline

Young female pilot smiling in front of a small planeWhen Jenna Yee dreamed of becoming a pilot, the Waterloo aviation student assumed she’d start small, spending time in the north to get her flying career off the ground.

But a new five-year agreement between the University of Waterloo and the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program (Jazz APP) means some aviation students will get a jump on a more direct career pathway with a major airline.

“This opportunity really opens a whole new pathway into the industry,” says Yee.

Jazz APP provides a direct career path for qualifying aviation students in their final year of study, offering flight simulator evaluations, student scholarships, and the opportunity for top-performing grads to transition to First Officer positions with Jazz or its affiliates.

Members of this year’s graduating class are looking forward to the opportunity to be considered for direct entry into a major airline, said Ian McKenzie, Director of Aviation at Waterloo. “Our graduates currently fly globally to every continent, even Antarctica. The Jazz APP offers a 4 to 5-year jump start to their aviation career.

In a press release, Steven Linthwaite, vice-president, flight operations, said Jazz announced agreements on its 10th anniversary with both the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

“Conestoga and Waterloo both offer high-calibre programs and are excellent additions to the Jazz APP during this milestone year. We’re pleased that both institutions share our vision of creating a strong future for the pilot profession in Canada and we look forward to furthering our relationship with Conestoga and Waterloo toward these common goals,” said Linthwaite.

Waterloo’s aviation program is also in its tenth year and celebrating its seventh graduating class. “The University of Waterloo is pleased to join the Jazz Aviation Pathway Program and welcome their recognition of the high quality of our aviation graduates,” McKenzie said.

As part of the announcement, Jazz announced the first recipients of two new annual scholarships recognizing outstanding student contributions to safety, leadership and professionalism.

Jenna YeeJenna Yee was named the inaugural winner of the Jazz Aviation Pathway Award for Professionalism. The Science and Aviation student says she doesn’t see a bad path in the industry. And while she is willing to move North if that’s where her career path leads, she’s grateful for the potential short cut to working for a regional carrier. “It’s such a fantastic opportunity.”

Jessalyn TeedFor Geography and Aviation student Jessalyn Teed, winning the inaugural Jazz Aviation Pathway Award for Professionalism and Diversity is meaningful validation of her efforts. Over the past three years, Teed has worked to incorporate elements of leadership, professionalism and diversity into both her studies and her volunteer activities.To be able to be recognized for those qualities means a lot to us as pilots going forward.” During her time at Waterloo, Teed helped to establish and grow the Aviation TA Team, volunteered as a coordinator for the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre Golf Tournament and served as a Women in Aviation Ambassador, helping to coordinate last year’s Girls Can Fly event. “It's been awesome to see more girls come into the program,” she said.

Yee and Teed will each be awarded a $3,000 scholarship and an opportunity to participate in the Jazz Aviation Pathway Program selection process.

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