Say hello to this week’s Friday Student Feature, Lauren Quandt! Lauren is a 22-year-old from Grosse Ile, MI. She double majors in aviation flight science and aviation maintenance technology at WMU. Lauren has won numerous scholarships during her colligate career including awards through WMU, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Women in Aviation International (WAI), and the Michigan Business Aviation Association. Interests of Lauren’s outside of aviation include reading, drawing, and painting. She also recently taught herself to play the ukulele!
Lauren is currently working as an intern for United Airlines in San Francisco, CA. She works in the Flight Operations department aiding pilots and flight managers in the Chief Pilot’s Office. She notes that she loves the city and has met wonderful people during her internship. She has also been highly motivated by the experience. “I've learned so much about airline and airport operations that I've decided I definitely want to come back to this environment down the road.”
When considering where to attend college, Lauren said she was persuaded to choose WMU because of its reputation for being one of the best flight schools in the country. Plus, it was close to Lauren’s home but not too close for her to lose the opportunity to have a “college experience.”
Lauren is also a part of the SkyBroncos, Western’s precision flight team. She explained that her favorite memory at the CoA thus far was her first NIFA event, which just so happened to be a national competition. “It was awesome to come together for a week and a half and push each other to excel in our various events. As a new member of the team, everyone was extremely welcoming and inclusive which helped make it an unforgettable experience.”
When asked about her favorite class at WMU, Lauren named Aviation Law with instructor and WMU Executive Director of Flight Operations, Russ Kavalhuna. “He made learning about aviation laws and regulations, along with studying case files, extremely interesting. He gave us real life scenarios to learn from and proved to us that the content of this class will be very relevant as we progress towards careers as captains, mechanics, and administrators.”
After she graduates, Lauren said she hopes to build her flight hours instructing for Western. After that, she plans on applying for a regional airline to build time and experience in preparation for a career at a major airline.
Lauren’s advice to incoming aviation students is simple – “try everything!” It his her belief that a well-rounded college experience benefits students in the long run and teaches them things they would have never known otherwise.
“Get involved with as much as you can and make connections with people in the fields you want to pursue. Finally, do not forget to have fun—have fun in flight training, have fun during oral and practicals, and have fun in class; you'll gain more from being passionate about you education and future career, and it will change your life.”