David Little, 2007 K-State Graduate and Corporate Pilot

Jan 29, 2013   //   by admin   //   Mentoring & Development  //  No Comments

What do you do?

I am a pilot for Justiss Oil Company. We are based in central Louisiana in the town of Jena.

What aviation journey did you take to get to your current position?

I began flying at 14 years old. I would take a lesson here and there on the weekends. Aviation sparked my interest from the first lesson. For me, it was not a difficult choice when it was time to graduate high school, I knew where I was headed, K-State @ SLN! I started as a Freshman at K-State with my private pilot license. In two years, I had finished my CFI. That was a big step for anyone in aviation. It is the first time that you get paid to fly. My career had begun while I was a Junior in college teaching students how to fly. I continued to pursue my degree in Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Technology. I would flight instruct before class, in between classes and after class. In order to make ends meet I also worked on the line at a FBO on the field at KSLN.

I graduated in December 2007 after attending K-State @ SLN for 3 1/2 years. I began interviewing for jobs during my last semester of college. I had interviewed with several regional airlines and also attended a job fair in Dallas. All of the interviews and effort put forth was well worth the stress. At the time, the economy was doing very well. Little did I know, the economy was taking a turn for the severe worse in less than a year. I decided to accept an offer from Air Wisconsin Airlines. I graduated on a Friday and started work the following Monday (In hindsight, take a little time for yourself!). I began training in Appleton, WI studying the CRJ-200 from top to bottom and front to back. It was nearly 3 months of training after the Simulator Training was completed at US Airways Training Facility in Charlotte, NC. It was the most intense and thorough training I had ever imagined. It was such a great foundation for my career. It had taken everything that K-State taught me and compounded it and I was able to build a great base for everything from learning aircraft systems to flying the most difficult and fun approaches to communicating with all types of personalities from crew members. I really enjoyed flying the CRJ-200 for Air Wisconsin but it would not last forever as the economy was on its downward spiral. I was furloughed on 9/11/2009.

As good fortune would have it along with a sold work ethic, I was able to find another job. I began working for Justiss Oil Company on 9/15/2009 (only out of work for 4 days!). I am very blessed to have found a job where you are treated with respect and trusted as a professional. I have been with Justiss Oil for nearly 4 years and have enjoyed working for a great group of people.

What would you do differently?

I could not be where I am today without going down the path that I did. With that being said, it was not a smooth path as a great deal of effort and stress were encountered amongst moves and job changes. Looking back, I appreciate every step that I took to get to where I am today and would not change anything.

What advice would you give a current college student?

Absorb any information you can that pertains to flying. Work hard while you are in school, it will pay off for you.

What advice would you give to a new graduate?

Prepare and plan for your future. Start researching what jobs are available and pursuing all available opportunities. You never know which door will open without trying.

What is your favorite part about your job/ aviation?

I feel that as situations and circumstances change in your life so do your favorite qualities of a job. At one stage in my life the greatest thing about my job would have been the flying and the places that where we spend time. Now I believe I would say that my favorite part of my job is the amount of time I am able to spend with my children and wife.

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