Shane Connolly – Soaring to New Heights with an MSc in Aviation Management

MSc Aviation Management


For World Pilots Day 2024, April 26th, we chatted to Shane Connolly, an MSc Aviation Management student at Portobello Institute. Shane is a skilled pilot with a wealth of experience in the aviation industry.

From a young age, Shane found himself drawn to the world of aviation. “During my time in school, I particularly enjoyed technical subjects like maths and physics,” he recalls. His sister’s career in cabin crew for Emirates Airline also exposed him to the industry and sparked his interest.

A visit to his sister’s base in Dubai introduced Shane to an Emirates pilot who shared his training and experience. “It significantly influenced my choice to pursue a profession as a pilot,” Shane explains. This meeting was a turning point in his journey toward a career in aviation.

Shane began his flight training at Weston Airport in Kildare and Flight Training Europe in Jerez, Spain. By August 2011, he had completed his studies and obtained the necessary qualifications to become a pilot. “I have been employed as an airline pilot for the past six years and serving as a Flying Instructor on light aircraft for the previous 11 years,” Shane shares. He also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering while working as a commercial pilot.

In 2018, Shane’s career took an exciting turn when he had the opportunity to work with the United Nations in Mali, Africa, as a pilot assisting with the peacekeeping mission known as MINUSMA. “My duties involve transporting UN workers, medical evacuations, dignitaries, and soldiers,” he explains. Shane finds this work exhilarating and deeply fulfilling.

Shane’s pursuit of an MSc in Aviation Management at Portobello Institute aligns with his career goals. “The Master’s degree at Portobello will enable me to pursue this path while also continuing operating as a pilot,” he notes. He aims to join the management team of his current airline, providing support to the Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Operations in overseeing pilots and daily airline operations.

Balancing his work as a pilot with studying for his MSc requires careful planning and discipline. “During the days when I am working, I dedicate a minimum of two hours to my tasks,” Shane says. “On my days off, I aim to accomplish a minimum of four hours.” He also uses low-workload moments during flights to work on assignments. The recorded online classes allow him to catch up on missed lessons and stay on track.

For aviation professionals, adapting to advancements in e-commerce and e-strategies is crucial. “The option to earn a Master’s degree online is a transformational development that offers an extraordinary opportunity to those who wish to advance their careers,” Shane emphasises. Online learning has made pursuing his degree possible despite his professional obligations.

Looking to the future, Shane aspires to work as an aviation airfield officer for the United Nations, gaining knowledge and experience while contributing to peacekeeping efforts in conflict regions. “The attainment of a Master’s Degree significantly enhances my employment prospects within the United Nations,” he shares. Shane also envisions pursuing a PhD in aviation and working with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) one day.

Shane also spoke on his experience studying at Portobello Institute. “The tutors on the Aviation Management course have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They are very kind and provide all the necessary support you will need,” he explains. Shane highly recommends the course for its quality and the positive experiences he has had with his fellow classmates.

Shane Connolly’s journey in aviation is both inspiring and motivating. His dedication to advancing his education and career serves as a testament to the importance of continuous learning and adaptability in the ever-changing field of aviation.

Interested In Studying Aviation?

If you are interested in any of our Aviation degrees or qualifications, you can book a consultation call with our expert Aviation advisor Janice O’Toole, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0041.

Next intakes: MSc Aviation Management, 12th October 2024

Shane Connolly – Soaring to New Heights with an MSc in Aviation Management Shane Connolly – Soaring to New Heights with an MSc in Aviation Management