14 Apr A day in the life of an Aviation Consultant
To70 performs many projects, ranging from noise calculations to flight procedure design and from airport master planning to supporting local and national governments by creating aviation policies. These projects are all very different, but they have one thing in common: every project is run by a selection of To70’s Aviation Consultants. It is this approach that makes the project results customized and valuable to our clients. This interview article gives an insight in how one of these Aviation Consultants, Romy Visser, approaches her work on a daily basis.
Hi Romy! How did you end up at To70?
Since I was a little girl, I always knew that I wanted to work in the Aviation Industry. Why, you might ask? Well, my dad works at Schiphol Airport for over 30 years and his work always intrigued me. It seemed like he was working in a hidden world which you could only enter when working at Schiphol. During my childhood, I have been to the Schiphol tower more than once and even did my 4th grade job taster there. So, my path was crystal clear, I wanted to go to the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam, doing the course Aviation Logistics. During my last year I have done an Honours Programme to prepare for my Masters. After that programme, the plan was to do my Masters. However, I got a job offer from Res2, an innovative IT company and provider of iPort Departure Control Systems, and I took it. This new challenge helped me to explore and learn more about the role of information systems in the Aviation- and IT Industry. I started to deepen myself into the project management world and wanted to learn more about that. So, after 2,5 years at Res2, I applied for a Project Manager’s role at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, an IT infrastructure provider. I got the opportunity to get several degrees in Project Management there and run many large IT implementations for national and international companies. However, I concluded after 1,5 year that I missed the Aviation Industry, so I applied at To70 which I have never regretted since!
Choose your path, accept the way it is going (even when it is bumpy) and steer with your instinct.
What does a typical day look like?
As stated in the introduction, To70 performs many different projects. Therefore, To70 has different Aviation Consultants over the world specialized in among others flight procedure design, safety analyses, data science, noise calculations and project- and process management. As you can imagine after reading how I ended up at To70, I am the Aviation Consultant who fits in the last category: project- and process management.
Let’s start with answering the question: “What does a typical day look like?” Well, none of my days are the same. Every Aviation Consultant works on several projects at the same time which makes multitasking and planning really important skills. I am currently working on four projects and two proposals at the same time. These projects and proposals have different subjects, such as providing advise in aviation policy for local government, controlling a project for the Dutch government, executing nitrogen deposition calculations for an airport, and managing a public consultation project for the Dutch government.
On a daily basis, that means that I am hosting meetings with customers and project members on different locations within the Netherlands to manage the projects and proposals and deliver the end product. In the time between each meeting, I am writing project reports based on analyses and calculations; writing meeting minutes; updating risk logs; updating project planning while keeping an eye on the finances of each project. After delivering the end product to the customer, I make sure that the customer is satisfied with our service. Finally, I ensure that our administration sends the invoice.
How did COVID-19 change the way you work on a daily basis?
First of all, COVID-19 changed everybody’s life completely. However, To70 had everything in place to work from home already, so it was an easy step to go completely virtual. The biggest thing that changed my work on a daily basis was not being able to go to customers and their offices. Not seeing people was the hardest thing to get used to as an extravert. The first months were the hardest though, now I am used to calling the customers regularly and having meetings online via different applications.
As I moved in June 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, to another apartment, I needed to create a workspace for myself to separate work from my private life. With the help of To70, I could really make that happen. Now I have a desk which I only use for work and an extra screen which makes it easer to multitask.
How do you connect with your colleagues?
At To70 we organize a lot of team building activities of which some are related to the projects we do and some are just for fun. Before COVID-19, every 6 weeks we organized a coming-back-to-the-office-day or in Dutch “Terugkomdag”. During this day, we host different presentations of colleagues presenting their ongoing projects to the rest of the team, so that every colleague knows what other colleagues are doing. We exchange success stories of projects, but also lessons learned in which we can do better. We close this day with drinks at the office or in the city center of The Haque. Now, during COVID-19, we organize this day virtually via Microsoft Teams and close the day using the Mibo web application which is a great virtual environment to use for a fun get together with colleagues.
For the sporty colleagues, we have weekly Energy Clinic’s hosted via Zoom by Omid Soltani. Every year, we also participate in the CPC Business Run in The Haque. Colleagues who join this run, including myself, train together during our lunchbreak when working at the office.
What makes working at To70 special?
What I like about To70 is that we have a ‘flat’ organisation in which we have a To70 management and To70 consultants in several countries over the world (from Juniors to Seniors). To70 works with a system that every consultant has a mentor with whom you can develop your own (horizontal) growth path within the organisation. This makes it easy to do what you like in terms of projects and proposals. It is also easy to connect with To70 management and pitch your own ideas and initiatives that To70 can benefit from. This is not only related to generating new businesses for To70, but also organizing fun activities such as game nights. It is appreciated that you contribute to the company nationally as well as internationally, this can be in terms of writing blogs for the website or other social media content.
So the short answer to this question is: Everything makes working at To70 special (maybe a bit cheesy though…).
About To70. To70 is one of the world’s leading aviation consultancies, founded in the Netherlands with offices in Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. To70 believes that society’s growing demand for transport and mobility can be met in a safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and economically viable manner. To achieve this, policy and business decisions have to be based on objective information. With our diverse team of specialists and generalists to70 provides pragmatic solutions and expert advice, based on high-quality data-driven analyses. For more information, please refer to www.to70.com.