By no means am I an expert in university education or aviation studies – but after two years of studying Airline and Airport Management at Buckinghamshire New University, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to navigate the system and boost your student experience.
As I come to the end of my second year, I thought I’d share with you some tips and tricks that’ve helped me get through the piles of books and lecture notes – if you’ve got any useful experiences to share yourself, do be sure to get in touch and let us know what works for your uni life! Whether you study aviation management, tourism, or pilot training, these 4 tips could help you along the way!
1. Utilise journal articles in your assignments
Journal articles are a great source of information – they exist in abundance, tend to be peer-reviewed by experts and academics, and are often easily accessible for university students. They’re a highly academic source of information, so they fit in great with university assignments. If you don’t have a system of gaining access to these through your uni library, check Google Scholar. Elsevier, SAGE, and ProQuest are three websites I tend to go through to find up to date and reliable aviation and tourism related articles.
Alongside journal articles, the best sources to reference tend to be academic books, government reports and statistics from regulators such as IATA and ICAO. If you’re using any other websites, make sure they’re trustworthy and I’d suggest using them to back-up your points rather than to guide your assignments.
If you’re struggling to gain access to resources, do be sure to contact us – we’re happy to help you search for useful articles, books, and content – as well as to help with referencing.
2. Engage with the industry
Engaging with industry professionals and the university community is a great way to expand your network throughout your studies. I’d highly recommend creating a Linked-In profile – add your course mates, friends, colleagues, and university lecturers where possible. Use the platform to connect, learn and interact with the industry – as well as to share your academic achievements!
Another great way to expand your knowledge and your network is to attend online webinars. Due to Covid-19, these webinars are popping up everywhere! EuroControl, AviationWeek and the Royal Aeronautical Society all host regular webinars with top industry decision makers.
Regarding the Royal Aeronautical Society, I’d also suggest taking advantage of the free memberships they offer to university students. I’ve attended a few interviews at their stunning HQ in Mayfair. Events and webinars like these often give you the chance to ask questions, get involved and get a wider insight into the industry. This engagement could well help you with choosing dissertation topics in future!
3. Subscribe to aviation magazines
Over the past two years I’ve become somewhat of an aviation magazine fanatic. I really recommend subscribing to a few of them – whether that be in print or digital. They can really help with assignments, and can be useful to help you find your niche within the industry too – with magazines focused on airlines, airports, air traffic control, cargo etc.
A few I’d recommend are Airliner World, Airports of the World, and International Airport Review. I’m subscribed to all three – and with IAR being free to students, and the other two offering great rates, I spend £60 a year and receive 24 print copies through my door to fuel my air travel addiction!
These magazines have cemented my passion for the airport industry in particular, and I’m now heavily considering subscribing to Airports International – a magazine aimed at the business side of airports (and offered with a student discount too!). All in all, magazines can be a fun way to keep you interested, updated and industry-ready too.
4. Research before starting assignments
Lastly for another more academic tip. I’d recommend reading all your books, articles, and reports before you actually start writing. I like to prepare myself and take notes – and don’t start writing until I know exactly what I’m going to say and why. This helps me to write freely and focus on my writing style as opposed to what points I want to make – my writing then flows more freely and is better structured. Of course, everyone has a different method for completing assignments… If it works for you – stick with it!
I would also suggest getting your referencing sorted (albeit not yet organised fully) before you start. Referencing is a necessary evil – prepare a reference list with all the books and articles you have to hand, and fine tune it after you’ve finished writing everything. Don’t let it distract you while you write.
I like to use an assignment template for planning and researching – it saves me time and helps me to include a great range of valid and trustworthy sources in my assignments. If you’d like to, you can download my assignment template here – it may be useful to guide you!
All in all – university life has drastically changed in the last year and adapting to online learning has been a struggle for many. I hope these tips are helpful to you – be sure to make the most of your university’s resources and help. If you’re finding referencing difficult or accessing journal articles a challenge, we may be able to help! Get in touch and we’ll see what we can do. Take care, and get cracking on some brilliant assignments!
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