My Road To Sheffield: From Meteorologist to Dispatcher
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have my head in the clouds. I was so fascinated by weather growing up that I got my bachelor’s degree in meteorology later in life. The problem was that I had no idea what to do with it after. During my senior year of college, my university began offering an Aviation Meteorology course. Despite the 8am start time I was one of the first to sign up.
I quickly found myself loving everything about the course. Forecasting icing, turbulence, and wind shear was something I hadn’t done in depth before; it was new and exciting to me! Not long into the semester I was reading daily METARs to verify my forecasts. I started collecting a variety of weather charts and deciphering TAFs to help with my forecasting. The aviation industry challenged me and tested my meteorology knowledge in a way it hadn’t been tested before.
During that semester I had the opportunity to attend the annual Meteorology conference. Ironically enough the theme that year was centered on aviation meteorology. I attended seminars that covered everything from weather impacts on air traffic control to mountain wave enhanced wind shear. My curiosity about the aviation industry grew tremendously during that week.
I had the chance to talk to a wide variety of employees in all different job positions. It was there that someone recommended I look into aircraft dispatching. I was shocked to learn an aviation background was not needed! Arriving back to the Midwest, I spent a lot of my time looking into the job specifics of an aircraft dispatcher and the education requirements for a license. It was during my research that I found Sheffield.
The major thing that separated Sheffield from other competitors was the number of personal testimonials they have posted on their website. These were people who all went through what I was looking into and succeeded. Not only did these testimonials talk about successful job placement after course completion, but also praised the education they received in the process. Aside from individual testimonials, Sheffield has a long list of airline customers from around the world. This showed me that an education from Sheffield was well respected within the aviation community.
The choice from here was easy. I wanted to be a future Sheffield student! I chose to apply for the distant learning program. I had taken several classes online during college so I was no stranger to the type of work required. I appreciated the description of the distant learning program on the Sheffield website; it showed me Sheffield was looking for serious students only.
Before enrolling in the class I was required to pass the ADX exam. With no aviation background aside from the one course in college, I knew this would be a challenge for me. I looked at it as a test of my determination to get my dispatching license. If I couldn’t pass this exam, how could I pursue the rest of the class?
After graduation, I took the summer to study for the ADX. Although it was overwhelming at first, I got my first “behind the scenes” look into the knowledge I would be gaining. Instead of being intimidated by the number of things I didn’t understand, I was motivated to learn it all. With the materials provided to me from Sheffield and my own hard work, I was ready for the ADX. By the time my exam date rolled around, I passed with flying colors. It was at that point I knew I could be another success story at Sheffield and I enrolled to begin immediately.
Distant Learning Graduate – February 2012