”Studying is always for one’s benefit – whether you have a certain goal or not”

Aviation Business student Kata Koskinen decided to test whether it would be possible to combine motherhood, studying and her job as a commercial pilot. Her experiment turned out to be a success.

Kata Koskinen
Student testimonial

”I’ve always been swift with my decisions. The thought of becoming a pilot was something I kind of made up in a whim”, Kata Koskinen explains.

Koskinen was in her twenties and residing in Spain when the question of how-should-I-make-a-living became a topical subject. A local airline company was recruiting new employees and Koskinen was hired as a flight attendant. She immediately felt at home within the aviation business. However, after a few years she realized the profession of an air hostess was not something she wanted to retire from.

”So I just applied for a private Patria Pilot Training in Finland, carried out the courses and started to fly planes.”

Koskinen has worked as a pilot from 2008 and as a captain from 2022 at Jetflite Oy, a Finnish private jet charter company. The idea of adult education came to her in the form of Haaga-Helia’s Aviation Business -program ad in an occupational magazine.

”I was fascinated by the thought of what could this sort of education provide me with that I already didn’t know from work.”

An easy way in

Haaga-Helia’s Aviation Business -program starts with open path studies. The aim is to prepare students to become degree students in the Aviation Business program. The program offers students an inspiring and unique e-learning entirety, where they learn to manage expert tasks within different areas of rapidly evolving aviation industry and are able to cooperate in various cross-functional teams.

”Open path studies seemed like an easy way to give studying a try”, says Kata Koskinen. ”Also I wanted to test my own resilience – after all I was already flying between continents and fostering a small child.”

Due to having work experience and skills matching the course goals, Kata Koskinen could apply for recognition of prior learning via demonstrations. This way, she was able to continue to more advanced courses to speed up her study progress.

”On and all the education process has been a smooth ride, with help and support available whenever I have needed it”, praises Koskinen. “My biggest challenges have been the time differences. I have participated some Zoom-lectures from America in the middle of the night. On the other hand, I’ve been able to utilize the idle hours in hotel rooms by completing school assignments.”

On female pilots and personal growth

At the moment Kata Koskinen is putting final touches to her thesis. Considering the minority of women among commercial pilots, the topic of the thesis should be one of interest in the field of aviation.

”The number of female pilots in Finland and other northern countries is below average ”, says Koskinen. ”In my thesis Worklife balance of female pilots with children in Finland I’m examining reasons behind figures.”

Koskinen started her studies during the pandemic, so the social side to student life has really been non-existent for her. Not that she minds though, having a steady working mom life.

“On the other hand, on-line -cooperation with other students has broadened my views on aviation and how things are managed in other airline companies”, she says. “In addition, my digital skills have evolved remarkably.”

Koskinen also reasons that despite loving her current job, she may want/have to do something else at some point in the future. May that happen, the new skills obtained by the Haaga-Helia study program will surely be of use.

What would you like to say to new Haaga-Helia students?

”Adult education is an ideal way to deepen your knowledge on your field of work. At Haaga-Helia you don’t need to worry about how to schedule the studies with your work life and family life since the teachers and student counsellors get it. The studies can flexibly be planned and personalized to accommodate your situation.”

Aviation Business, Open UAS, online

Photo: Lari Järnefelt