Tara Finn – Head of Business Development at Cork Airport Strives for More with MSc in Aviation Management

MSc Aviation Management


Tara Finn is Head of Aviation Business Development at Cork Airport and has gained her MSc in Aviation Management at Portobello Institute.

Tara always wanted to be a pilot. She started out by doing a degree in Biological and Chemical Sciences and pursued her Commercial Pilot’s License from 2016 to 2019. She went travelling for six weeks at the start of 2020 to make sure she was back on time for the summer intake of pilots.

Unfortunately, Tara landed back into a lockdown and almost two years of a global pandemic. She was working in security at Cork Airport, working directly with the Managing Director, when the opportunity to join the Business Development Team came up. She jumped at the chance, joined the team and became Head of the Department in May 2022.

Tara felt like the MSc in Aviation Management could help her in her new role and so far, it is already paying off.

Due to having very limited experience in this role and in a managerial role in general, I felt pursuing a master’s was the best way forward to gain more experience and to be able to stand over my own decisions that I make for the business.

“So far, it has even helped give me a broader understanding as my educational background until now was in science

While being a pilot was always the plan, this particular role has given me the opportunity to travel regularly and be centred around all things aviation. This course is giving me the skills to keep pursuing this passion and advance my career.

This course was perfect for me. I have worked in aviation for 10 years and have my pilot’s license so it will be great to add a formal aviation qualification to my CV.  

“I feel great that the MSc is completed. It was a really enjoyable experience from start to finish and I thoroughly enjoyed all the modules. It gives a great sense of accomplishment to have it finished as it was something I was thinking of doing for a while,” she said.

Tara has huge ambitions for her career in aviation and she believes that this Master’s will help to get her there.

My career progression led me to this course, and I would hope that in the future it could lead to new opportunities in bigger airports or airlines. `My current plans are still to go to the airlines as a pilot within the next two years however with this qualification, I have definitely broadened my skillset which will open up opportunities for me in the aviation industry in areas that are different to my current role.  

I am working in the career I want. I’ve always wanted to work in aviation, so this course is the perfect fit. 

I think the experience of the master’s has been great for my personal development. I was new to Business Development when I started it, so the MSc definitely built my confidence, and the academic side broadened my knowledge from a general perspective,” she said.

Tara found the flexibility of the course delivery at Portobello helpful as she worked internationally while studying.

“The best thing about studying at Portobello is the flexibility to do the course notes/lectures at times that work around my schedule. I really enjoyed my time at Portobello and if I was looking to do another course, Portobello would be my first port of call when looking. Aviation is a fast-paced industry, and the flexibility and distance learning allow you to fit your learning around that. The delivery of lectures on an online basis was also very helpful as there was no requirement to travel to Dublin for lectures, which was great given that so much time is spent travelling in this job. All of my lecturers were really supportive and very helpful any time there were any questions.  

“I spend a lot of time travelling, so on layovers or when I have some downtime, it’s great to be able to log in and catch up on college work. Flexibility is a huge thing for me and Portobello has it perfected 

I often had discussions with my colleague over the year during various parts of the course about assignments etc. and when he was looking to broaden his own skillset, I recommended this. We are on the same team, and I think the fact that he was able to see the ability to juggle the job and the course was really positive.  

“I’m really enjoying the experience. Everyone I have met so far has been great and really helpful. My classmates have also been really nice and easy to work with.

The tutors and lecturers are so helpful, especially Derek and understanding which automatically makes everything easier and the whole experience more enjoyable,” she said.

Portobello Institute offers a BSc (Hons) in Airline, Airport and Aviation Management and an MSc in Aviation Management. For more information, you can book a consultation call with our expert advisor Brandon McLean, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0035.

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Tara Finn – Head of Business Development at Cork Airport Strives for More with MSc in Aviation Management Tara Finn – Head of Business Development at Cork Airport Strives for More with MSc in Aviation Management