American InterContinental University (AIU) Online is proud to announce that Jennifer Iversen was named the latest recipient of the AIU Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Fall 2011 graduation ceremony at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois.
The American InterContinental University Online MBA degree enhanced my plans by providing me with a solid business foundation and the needed education to take my work experience a step further. I previously had earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Technology which has provided me with great aerospace technical knowledge and skills, but needed to strengthen my business knowledge and develop my professional roadmap to guide me into the future. I entered the program after being laid off from my position with an aviation not-for-profit after it was negatively impacted with the economic struggles of the time. I was attracted to transfer from an institutional based program to the geographically flexible program provided by AIU; specifically I was interested in being geographically available to accept the right professional opportunity, regardless of its location.
When I set out to begin my MBA education, I had a goal that within five years after having earning this degree I would be in a great position to begin working in a more technical business position within the aviation industry. After being laid off, I worked with an aviation charting firm as a temporary contract employee. I was still engaged with finding a permanent professional opportunity which further appealed to my business savvy and technical nature, when I came across a training scholarship opportunity through Women in Aviation, International which would provide a fellowship with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). After applying, I was one of five women chosen from around the world to receive this award and training with ICAO’s Flight Safety Section under the Air Navigation Bureau. The timeframe of this award was closely knitted with my graduation from AIU. I graduated from AIU’s MBA program in November 2009 and began my ICAO fellowship in the spring, 2010.
I already had an aviation background, both educationally as well as having earned my Commercial Pilot’s License and Instrument Rating. Upon receiving the ICAO fellowship training, coupled with the knowledge and skills of my MBA education I applied for a new position with an aviation standards making firm in Washington, D.C. and was hired as the new Program Coordinator. My business knowledge and skills, foundationally set by my MBA are put to good use with my assigned program and committee management duties.
My MBA education offered new opportunities when coupled with my strong aviation background which gave me the opportunity to expand my professional horizons and gain exposure and contacts within the domestic and international aviation environments. Combining all my education and professional opportunities with my passion and drive for success, I have been given opportunities to learn and explore many diverse areas within the business and technical realms of the aviation industry.
While training in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at ICAO, I was able to gain exposure and contacts while working on multiple work programs to include: Fatigue Risk Management Systems, International General Aviation Initiatives, Aeronautical Information Services, and Aircraft Accident Investigations. These experiences were able to be leveraged to further my professional goals because I had the education to build the foundation for which the knowledge could be used.
When hired by my current employer, I became the ICAO liaison, charged with ensuring to the maximum extent possible that our product documents are globally harmonized. Further, I am the staff liaison supporting six technical committees over a broad area of aviation technologies.
AIU’s program, like all education programs, are based on the premise that how ever much effort the student applies to their own learning outcomes is directly proportional to the actual learned outcomes. We have all faced different challenges and opportunities which allow us to bring something unique which drives us forward and allows others to learn from us while we learn from them. AIU’s professors offered us the benefit of their knowledge and insights and the rest was up to us to use our time and effort to make the most of the offered online graduate MBA program.
I believe learning is a state of mind, every day and in every situation is an opportunity for us to learn something, whether it be about a topic, current event, or even about ourselves and our own abilities. American InterContinental University has a program which guides students along a journey which has many opportunities for its students to learn – from the subject matter, professors, fellow students, and themselves. My AIU experience has been not only enjoyable but has also positively impacted my knowledge, skills and confidence going forward.
During my undergraduate studies I volunteered over 1,000 hours over the course of three years with Rape Assistance and Awareness Program as a hotline advocate for their crisis hotline. This is something I have a huge passion for, and would like to volunteer more as more time becomes available.
I pride myself in my alumnus status at my undergraduate college and helping young students follow in my footsteps. I help the aviation program each fall with their new student orientation, answering questions regarding college, flight training, career opportunities, etc. I am involved with Women in Aviation, International and have my contact information available for young women looking for a mentor in the aviation community.
I am extremely involved in the professional aviation community. My new role at RTCA in Washington, D.C. allows me to make an impact on domestic U.S. aviation standards as well as work to harmonize aviation standards globally. In my current position I am the Program Coordinator for six special committees at RTCA, which are Federal Advisory Committees to the Federal Aviation Administration. Further, my duties include participation on a Future Aviation Technical Team with the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Through my work I have made many contacts with both the aviation private and public sectors. I enjoy being a member of the aviation industry and working the tough issues domestically and abroad. We look at issues that from the surface appear to be so simple, but once you look a little deeper, all the complexities begin to show. It is important in this community to network and share knowledge, as everyone has a different perspective to share.
I am a passionate and driven individual. I never let challenges become anything more than a hurdle. I now have earned my Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology, Master in Business Administration, Private Pilot License, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot License, and have international aviation experience with the International Civil Aviation Organization.
When I was laid off from my position in February 2009, I did not let that become a reason not to complete my Master of Business Administration degree. Instead, I found a program which would accept previously earned credits and provide geographical flexibility*. I knew that I needed to get back into the workforce as soon as plausible and thus I spent many hours a week applying for jobs. Within the 12 week period of my unemployment I applied for a number of jobs before finding a good fit with the temporary contract position with the aviation charting firm. What makes my circumstances unique are not necessarily unique, the unique quality is more about the forward thinking and positive approach I took despite the major challenges presented. Through a great deal of hard work, perseverance and follow through, I transformed my life within one year of graduation from AIU. I graduated in November 2009. I was granted my training award from Women in Aviation in February 2010. I completed my training with ICAO in the spring 2010. I got married in the summer of 2010. I applied for and was hired with my new position at RTCA in August 2010. I moved from Colorado to Washington D.C. and started my new job as the Program Coordinator at RTCA in October 2010. One year from graduating from AIU’s Online MBA program, my life was completely different from where I worked to where I lived.
*Transfer credit is evaluated on an individual basis. Not all credits are eligible to transfer. See the University Catalog for transfer credit policies.
American InterContinental University cannot guarantee employment or salary. The experience of this alumnus may not be representative of all students. For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attend these programs, go to: www.aiuniv.edu/student-disclosures.