From grounded to soaring beyond limits

Wednesday 7 February 2024

When Bachelor of Aviation graduate Robert Covich, Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kurī, discovered his passion for flying, he achieved lift-off through the Foundation Studies programme to chart his course towards a dream career.

Last updated: Wednesday 7 February 2024

After attaining NCEA Level 2, Robert decided to leave secondary school early as at that time, he had no interest in pursuing further education. While working various labouring jobs, he says it was his mum who proposed the idea of going on a trial flight at the local aero club.

“The trial flight sparked an interest, and I accrued a few flying hours using the money I’d saved from working. I soon realised I wanted to join a flying school and get a Commercial Pilot License but to do that, I needed university entrance. As I was looking into options, I found Massey’s Foundation Studies course. It was my ticket to gain university entrance while catching up on some subjects I hadn’t taken in school.”

Robert says enrolling in the Certificate in Foundation Studies proved to be his best choice.

“Alongside offering me university entrance, it was conveniently located in Albany, close to family, and made the most sense as I was planning on enrolling in the aviation course with Massey afterwards. This would allow me to gain a Commercial Pilot’s License as well as a university degree. The programme helped make me a more independent learner and organise my time more efficiently, which is something I had struggled with during high school. I developed a good relationship with my lecturers which made my learning environment more supportive as well.”

“The course gave me another opportunity to apply myself in an academic environment, and my experience has shown that your time at secondary school isn’t fully representative of what you can do outside it.”

Following the completion of the Foundation Studies course, Robert transitioned into the Bachelor of Aviation(Air Transport Pilot) programme. He credits the skills he learned during his foundation studies for instilling confidence as he progressed in his tertiary education.

“The aviation course could be intense at times, but staying persistent in my efforts and remembering why I was there kept me motivated. I was able to better allocate my time to study, which was important as it helped me juggle the theory and practical aspects of my course.

“I’m glad I made the choice of studying aviation with Massey, as I really enjoyed the university lifestyle. It’s demanding, but rewarding and I have found for me, it is easier to pursue something that has meaning and purpose. The world of aviation is very broad and dynamic, offering opportunities beyond a pilot career. If you’re interested in flying and want to broaden your horizons, this is a course worth considering.”

Robert says the Certificate of Foundation Studies is a valuable path for anyone looking to bridge the gap between school and university.

“I personally feel the course prepared me well for my future studies and I would advise anyone considering doing a university preparation course to apply themselves fully in class. The content you learn in this course is extremely beneficial when studying your degree.”

Following his graduation last year, Robert has recently completed a course to become a qualified flight instructor. He says he hopes to help others learn to fly and eventually be flying for Air New Zealand.

If you’re interested in university but don’t have the requirements for admission, learn more about whether the Certificate in Foundation Studies is a good fit for you here.

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