Thursday, April 15, 2010

Craig Roy: Five questions with…

Craig Roy (Class of ‘05) received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from JU followed by his Masters Degree in Aviation and Space Science at Oklahoma State University.

Prior to joining CIT Aerospace in April 2007 as a Marketing Analyst on the Commercial Airlines sales team, Craig was employed with the Flight Inspection branch of the Federal Aviation Administration, verifying the safety and accuracy of instrument approach procedures in the United States and abroad. His duties included the composition of FAA orders and notices and providing subject matter expertise on safety issues related to the national airspace system.

In January 2010, CIT promoted Craig to Marketing Officer and relocated with his family to Dublin, Ireland, where he directly supports the marketing and sales efforts for customers in the Middle East, India, Eastern Europe, Greece, Cyprus, UK, Ireland and Iceland.

Despite his new workload, travel schedule and the time difference, Craig took time to answer some questions for the current and future Dolphin Alumni related to his career.

1. For many, the aviation industry seems both broad and difficult to enter. What was your path for pursuing your positions and how did your time at JU help you?

On the education side, I took full advantage of the Division of Aeronautics’ ties with the College of Business. I feel it is important to differentiate oneself from other job applicants, and I knew if I offered an employer aviation knowledge with applied business skills, I would significantly better my chances of securing employment. For each interview I made sure to highlight what my aviation knowledge would bring to the organization and how I could contribute from day one on the job.

Going back to my point on differentiating, I firmly believe this allows candidates to stand out from the pack (for the right reasons of course). When I became focused on sales and marketing roles, I took advantage of industry conferences to begin networking. To this point, I attended the National Business Aviation Association conference to try and network my way into an aviation related job. While I found a conference setting to be less than ideal for job hunting, it afforded the opportunity to network with managers and executives in the industry. This networking afforded the opportunity to begin learning about real-life issues that impact aviation and gave more direction to my career aspirations.

2. You have worked in both the public and private sector. What advice would you offer to the upcoming graduates that are pursuing jobs in either?

The public and private sectors are very different from an applicant’s perspective. The public sector is a very structured process across all job levels. On the private side, managers have more authority to hire well qualified candidates without some of the formalities that exist on the government side; this is a great example of how networking can pay off.

Regardless of the public/private sector, having a polished and professional resume along with a cover letter is a must. Resumes that include poor grammar, unappealing formatting or inappropriate information are an immediate turnoff for managers. Work with Career Services, family and friends, or utilize the internet for ideas on formatting and have friends and family review your resume for grammar and spelling errors. In today’s competitive environment, a strong resume is absolutely required

Internships give a terrific opportunity to get a foot in the door of the aviation industry. In the current employment environment, internships are great ways to gain experience and build a solid resume. They afford terrific opportunities to gain real-life experience in a professional setting, and provide networking opportunities that can be leveraged towards future employment opportunities.

3. At the time of this blog, you are working overseas. Can you compare and contrast the business practices of the organizations in different countries to those operating in the United States? Is the method for developing a deal or project similar?

Business practices differ greatly between regions, and even between organizations within the same jurisdiction. To contrast the US versus international, I have found that in the U.S., a lot of business can be conducted remotely via telephone, with occasional face to face meetings. In Eastern Europe, for instance, face to face meetings are more productive than a simple telephone call. Forgive the cliché, but it allows the customer to put a face to the name. This approach yields a stronger business relationship that can help in gaining the first call advantage when an opportunity arises. When it comes to finalizing a deal, the methods to bring the deal to closure will differ depending on the complexity of the deal more than they will the region/country. If there are jurisdictional or legal issues, there may be a lot more involvement on all sides necessary to bring the deal to closure.

4. While many offer different advice on how to get hired, a common recommendation is mastering the art of networking. How have you used networking and has it benefitted you in attaining different career goals?

As noted above, networking can significantly improve job prospects. Part of the interview process is for both the employer and applicant to understand if they would be a good fit for each other. By networking, the uncertainty about fitting into the job role or company culture is somewhat removed. This reduces the risk for both sides, which will yield more immediate results when it comes to starting a job. For my current position, I used alumni networking to learn of the opportunity and speak with one of the interviewers to gain an understanding of the job responsibilities and expectations. This allowed me to understand the aircraft leasing industry and to prepare for the interview process. If not for the alumni networking, I would have never learned of the opportunity.

5. You have shown allegiance to your alma mater by hiring a number of Dolphin alumni in positions within CIT. What common traits have you noticed amongst JU graduates that make them a good hire?

What draws me to JU students is the affinity to aviation combined with strong business acumen. The aviation business in itself is a dynamic industry that is continuously evolving; having an understanding of the issues relevant to the aviation industry help to think proactively of how the bottom line will be impacted by industry evolution. The business courses that are core to the aviation management curriculum are the reason for JU producing quality aviation business leaders for the future.

The Dolphin Network will be posting additional alumni profiles throughout the summer. For more information on alumni events and information, please visit the JU Alumni webpage HERE.

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