When Elisabeth was growing up, frequent trips to Germany to visit extended family sparked her interest in planes. Her desire to fly led her to the Vermont Tech Professional Pilot Technology program, “It always seemed unattainable until I found the VAST program.”
Elisabeth was a student in the Vermont Academy of Science and Technology, a Vermont Tech high school program where students complete their senior year of high school and freshman year of college simultaneously. Living on campus isn’t required, but since Elisabeth’s hometown was two hours away, she decided it was best to be a residential student.
She recalls, “I went to many of the campus events and made friends from many different majors. School work was both easier and harder than I was expecting. The actual course load was not as bad as I thought it would be, but being an aviation student I was learning essentially a brand new language.”
She got the hang of it and is now more confident in herself and her abilities.
“I was nervous at the beginning of my college career. I knew very little about planes when I started this program. Now I am preparing to be a flight instructor.”
The students, and even the professors, of Professional Pilot Technology are a close-knit bunch. Before freshman year had started Elisabeth’s Aviation instructor, Robin Guillian, asked her to participate in a women’s conference to mentor young girls on entering the aviation industry.
“That was my first impression of one of my professors going above and beyond both for me and for the program.” Says Elisabeth. She continues, “Another awesome experience I had being part of the aviation program is getting to fly across the northeast. I have flown as far as Allentown, PA and Presque Isle, ME. I flew to Bangor, ME a couple months ago as part of my commercial flight training. I had never been to Bangor before so I decided to drive into downtown, check it out, and get an ice cream. What other major are you expected to leave the state?”
Elisabeth’s professors are enthusiastic about life-long learning and even helped her get an internship with Airport Operations at Burlington International Airport.
When she isn’t flying for class you can probably find Elisabeth flying for fun.
“Why else would we be aviation majors?” she jokes. She also has her hands full training a new dog, baking, cooking, teaching flight school, working with a balloon crew, and giving tours at Vermont Tech’s Williston Campus.
Elisabeth has some good advice for all new students;
“Get to know your professors and advisors. They are from your field of study. They have a wealth of knowledge from working in their fields. They are here because they want to share their knowledge with their students. They care about us. They want us to succeed, so let them help you.”