- Job title Airline Marketing Manager - Americas
- Organisation Bombardier Commercial Aircraft
- CourseAir Transport Management MSc , 2015
Why did you choose Cranfield?
I worked at Bombardier Aerospace as an intern straight out of my undergraduate studies and instantly was hooked on the excitement that comes with working for a major aircraft OEM. It was there that I became acquainted with commercial aircraft sales and realised that when your customers are airlines, you are not just selling a product but a business solution for many years to come. To be able to orchestrate such complex sales efforts, a comprehensive understanding of how an airline functions is critical.
The MSc in Air Transport Management at Cranfield was the ideal course as the modules touched upon every fundamental aspect of the airline business.
What were you doing before you started your course at Cranfield?I was working at a private aircraft sales firm in Toronto, Canada, as well as pursuing my Commercial Pilot’s License.
Has your course or job led to any particularly interesting activities?
We recently won the 120x A220 (formerly C Series) order with JetBlue Airways after many years of campaigning. It was a fierce battle against the Embraer E2 and a truly triumphant win for Bombardier as our aircraft will be replacing the airline’s current Embraer E190 fleet.
A fleet replacement/renewal campaign with a major carrier, like with JetBlue, is a perfect example of the versatility and the practicality of the MSc in ATM. For an airline to reach a fleet decision there are multitude of analyses that must be considered spanning across aircraft performance, economics, network compatibility, etc. In my role as the airline marketing lead, I have to recognize the airline’s needs and highlight our aircraft’s value proposition accordingly. Throughout this campaign, I drew upon the knowledge gained during my MSc in every interaction with the customer.
If you are from outside the UK, what was your experience of living and studying in the UK?The student body at Cranfield is diverse in the sense of student background and nationality, but many of us come to Cranfield for the same goal – to prepare ourselves for a fruitful career in aviation. I lived on campus during my year at Cranfield and very much enjoyed being in proximity to new friends and the sense of community that it came with.
Also, Cranfield is a historical pillar in the UK/European aviation industry and we as students were able to enjoy being part of such a deep-rooted society. From the campus being located on an old RAF airfield to attending networking opportunities with associations like Royal Aeronautical Society in London, it was truly enriching and eye opening to experience!
What are you doing now? Please describe your key responsibilities and what you enjoy and find most challenging about your current job.I am the Airline Marketing Manager for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft covering the Americas. My role is best described as being “the voice of the customer” in the organization and I am responsible for steering our marketing efforts to best suit each of our customer airlines.
Bombardier is unique as we cover three distinct aircraft types – the Q400, the CRJ, and the C Series – and with each comes a completely different type of airline customer and marketing tactic. One day we are dealing with a major US carrier considering a triple digit C Series order and the next day we could be working with a South American start-up carrier who is looking to launch operations with a handful of Q400’s. The sheer diversity of our market reach is very exciting and is also what I enjoy the most about my job. Even though we have now handed the C Series over to Airbus, the Bombardier team will be busy placing CRJ’s and Q400’s with a wide variety of customers worldwide.
The most challenging aspect for any OEM sales and marketing roles is the fierce competition we are faced with in every campaign. We have to be acutely aware of what our competitor OEM is doing and be swift, yet tactful, in our counterattacks. This requires tremendous amount of strategic planning and collaboration across the different internal teams involved. It is indeed perplexing but very exciting nonetheless!
Has your Cranfield degree helped you gain employment / secure a promotion and how does it help you in your current job
Definitely yes. I’ve already spoken at length about the relevance of my degree to my current position but the degree has helped me propel my career forward from the moment I graduated. The industry heavily recruits from this program and towards the end of my degree I found myself presented with many incredible opportunities to move forward too.
The Cranfield MSc in ATM is globally recognised and I’ve found that it is an instant testament to my knowledge of the airline business. Furthermore, the breadth of the alumni network is unparalleled – the course has decades worth of alumni working around the globe building on its reputation!
What aspect of your course did you find most useful, inspiring or enjoyable? And why?The most inspiring aspect of the course was the abundance and the quality of the guest speakers. We had the likes of airline CEOs, heads of consultancies, and VPs at OEMs come speak with us on a weekly basis.
Something I also found useful and greatly appreciated was the close relationship we were able to develop with our professors due to the small size of our cohort. The professors were always willing to help us outside of class hours with not only course material but career development and our next steps beyond Cranfield.
If you are still involved with Cranfield University, please describe how and what this means to you?One of the most attractive aspects of the MSc in ATM is the strength and the global reach of the alumni network. There are ATM alumni working for airlines, OEMs, and consultancies all around the world. I keep in touch with many of my MSc cohort as well as regularly connect with alumni from other years. I also try to replicate the support I received from alumni during my study year. I had many alumni who were willing to help me shape my career paths and it’s an honour to be able to pay it back!
Do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study?Speak to as many alumni as you can to gauge whether the content of the degree is in line with your career goals.
Also, as the course modules cover a wide range of topics, having an idea of what aspect of aviation/airlines you’d like to focus on can help you make the best of your study. For instance, I knew that I wanted to specialise in aircraft leasing and finance and tailored my electives and thesis topic accordingly. This helped me connect with people within that field and eventually landed me a job at an aircraft lessor upon graduation.