Geography graduate Cameron Brown found his passion when he joined the East of Scotland University Air Squadron and now works as a first officer for Ryanair.
Bsc Geography (Hons)
|Year of Graduation||
Your time at the University
I chose Edinburgh because I knew the city was small, compact and easy to explore whilst managing to maintain an incredible international buzz; something that I realised to be true as soon as I arrived.
Memories of university for me revolve largely around playing university sport and being involved with the University Air Squadron. I learnt the hard way deciding to take up shinty, a sport I had never played, only to end up in A&E in Freshers' week having used my face to tackle someone rather than my stick.
After two years of playing Shinty, I switched allegiances and got stuck in with the University Rugby Team, regularly running out with the 2nd XV. There is nothing quite like training on a January evening down at Peffermill in the driving wind and hail – truly character building stuff.
ESUAS, the East of Scotland University Air Squadron, was by far the most forming time for me at University. As a reserve in the RAF I got taught to fly (including aerobatics), went on numerous ski trips and also had the opportunity to work at the Royal International Tattoo in the Flight Operations Department every summer. Another highlight was flying across to Guernsey for their annual air show, hanging out the back of a Search and Rescue Sea King Helicopter. If there is such a thing that ‘makes’ university for a person; ESUAS was mine. I am still in touch with many of my friends made there.
One of my closing memories from university was funnily enough heading to A&E in my final week having cut my knee down the tendon by over excitedly dancing to ‘I get knocked down but I get up again,’ needless to say I didn’t get back up again; but it was nice to finish university in the same place that I started!
As a reserve in the RAF I got taught to fly (including aerobatics), went on numerous ski trips and also had the opportunity to work at the Royal International Tattoo in the Flight Operations Department every summer.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
On leaving University I spent a couple of years working for charity ‘Christians in Sport’, something that I had begun to get involved with during my latter years at Edinburgh. Part of my work there was spent in Kampala in Uganda; which was a truly rewarding time.
I decided to stick with the original dream however and began my commercial flight training in November 2010. The training begins with 6 months of ground school followed by 14 exams; something I am sure I was only able to complete due to the grounding in academic living I had discovered at Edinburgh. On completing my training I immediately began a job working as an Operations and Dispatch controller; again something that I had experienced at University through the University Air Squadron.
In January 2013 I was awarded a scholarship by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots; my experiences in Uganda and ESUAS warming me to the interview panel. If it wasn’t for Edinburgh opening me up to these in the first place – who knows whether the outcome would have been the same? I got to spend 2 months in Amsterdam on an Airline Jet Foundation Course.
This quickly led on to me being offered another scholarship by the company I had completed my training with to train as a Flight Instructor. I instructed for around a year, longingly waiting for that door to open into the airline world. Finally it opened; in that I was offered a job with Ryanair as a first officer.
Aside from work; I continue to play rugby, mostly with a 7s touring team comprised of good friends made at Edinburgh University. A few years ago we won the Milan International 7s tournament. We still tour every summer and they continue to remain my closest friends.
Spend as much time as possible with people who are not like you. University offers the opportunity to meet such a wide range of people, all of the types that will you have to work with or for in the future. The world is a huge and exciting place – don’t live in a bubble. Experience it.