ISTAT News | 05 February 2021
IASA Adapts To Support Students During COVID-19
Despite facing setbacks due to COVID-19, the Irish Aviation Students’ Association (IASA) has found new and creative ways to provide resources for their students. Learn how IASA has overcome their obstacles this past year, the ways in which they’re continuously improving and growing and their advice for other aviation-focused non-profits such as student organizations to succeed.
1. What will IASA’s focus for 2021 be?
In 2021, IASA’s focus will be on ensuring students in Ireland and further afield remain optimistic about the future of the aviation industry by continuing to promote various pathways into this fantastic sector. Towards the latter half of 2020, IASA began hosting online events, and these will continue throughout 2021 and will focus on topics such as Diversity and Inclusion and Aviation Engineering, along with two larger events – our Symposium and our Career Expo.
Our Symposium, titled “The Evolution of Air Travel” will be live streamed from the IAA, Times Building in Dublin, on 7 April. Speakers from all areas of the industry will discuss and express their views on the current situation and, more importantly, the future of the aviation industry. The aim of this event is to provide a broader approach to air travel, including topics such as Wellbeing, the importance of choosing the right flight school and the use of VR in aviation. This event will be a must-watch for students and industry professionals worldwide.
As in-person events are on hold, IASA has recently finalised our 2021 student handbook, highlighting all educational opportunities for students in Ireland. Specifically, IASA will virtually communicate with second-level schools all across the country by sharing an abundance of information via video presentation recording to ensure we are continuing to support aviation-passionate students.
2. How is IASA adapting and navigating these challenging times?
At the onset of the pandemic, IASA unfortunately had to cancel a number of events across Ireland. As the weeks went on, more and more organizations took to webinars; however, IASA wanted to be unique. We conducting a video series of interviews with many different industry experts, including Aer Lingus’ Former CEO Sean Doyle. We have always had a focus on ensuring students are fully aware of the opportunities around them, so we provided weekly blogs and social media posts to remind students of these opportunities.
IASA has continually built upon our social media presence and updated our website. We have also utilized our platform to make a positive impact and our entire community raised over €1,500 for the Irish Rapid Community Response to ensure they could continue their life-saving work throughout the pandemic. In addition, IASA has set up a Q&A webpage during these unprecedented times, giving students the opportunity to ask questions about internships, graduate programs, jobs or queries about the future of the aviation industry.
3. Since IASA’s founding, how has the organization changed throughout the years?
Now in our 5th year, IASA has grown drastically. Our community has grown, and we now have members all across the Island of Ireland. However, one thing has remained the same – we are still a team of voluntary, dedicated third-level students. Due to an increase in demand, IASA events have scaled up and continue to do so, with upwards of 750 students and 50 industry professionals in attendance at our most recent event in Croke Park.
We believe that over the 5 years, IASA’s brand has become prominent in the Irish Aviation industry with a large proportion of aviation students and aviation professionals aware of the work we are doing and supportive of our initiative. Our Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) has significantly grown since the inception of the association. Our IAC is a dynamic group of industry experts from world-leading companies that specialise in Aircraft leasing, MRO and pilot training and continue to support our work. As IASA continuously grew, we established a new committee known as the Non-Executive Committee, which consists of some past members of the management committee who advise the current committee on strategies and events and ensure that IASA continues to grow.
4. How has the support from ISTAT and the ISTAT Foundation helped IASA grow over time?
Without the support IASA has received over the last five years, the work we do would not be possible. The ISTAT Foundation and ISTAT have provided remarkable support to IASA since its inception, allowing us to grow and develop our mission and goals. Each year, the funding we receive from the ISTAT Foundation is utilised to its fullest extent and has allowed us to host our Symposium and Career Expo, enabled us to promote aviation and has helped Empower the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals.
5. What advice do you have to other aviation-focused non-profits such as student organizations, museums, and education programs that might be seeking funding support from organizations like the ISTAT Foundation?
Ultimately, when seeking funding from organizations, it is important that the non-profits highlight their vision and their goals clearly, outlining how the funding will be used in order to achieve these goals. As a non-profit, you want organizations such as the ISTAT Foundation to continually support you and your goals to make sure you can demonstrate your successes and ensure that what you set out to achieve is realistic.
The ISTAT Foundation has certainly helped us tremendously over the last few years. People assume that aviation is just pilots and crew, but there’s so much to it. It’s really important to promote aviation so these jobs don’t plummet in the future. IASA wants to ensure that we can ultimately play a significant role in the industry by providing companies with the best expertise in the field and empower the next generation of aviation professionals. By doing this, the ISTAT Foundation has undoubtedly helped us to work towards our main mission and goals. Our advice to other aviation focused non-profits is that you need to establish your mission and goals, demonstrate your success, highlight your passion and show how you can work collaboratively with other non-profits and companies, as we are all one family in this thrilling industry.
To learn more information about the IASA, visit their website here.