By Elizabeth Mabie
Students from the Aviation Management program and Aircraft Maintenance program gathered together one snowy afternoon for a chance to get to know each other over a game of classic hockey.
Bruce Dwyer, coordinator and a professor for both programs, opened his home to his students on Sunday, February 9, and allowed them the use of his backyard ice rink along the Rideau River to enjoy winter the true Canadian way. There was plenty of homemade chili, salad, burgers, and a giant slab cake to savour. Faculty joined in on the fun and members of the Ottawa Flying Club even came out to connect with the students.
“What’s interesting is that these two groups of students don’t have classes together,” said Dwyer, “they don’t know each other, but they are going to work in the same industry, so I always saw this as an opportunity to get the two groups of students together in a social atmosphere to have a bit of fun.”
Around 40 students came out that Sunday afternoon with skates and hockey equipment looking forward to meeting their future co-workers and building relationships with them. This is the second year Dwyer has held this event for his students.
“Get them out in a social environment and allow those two student groups to interact and get to know each other because it’s all about networking.” said Dwyer. “It’s one of the things you learn in college and one of the skills we’re trying to pass along to our students is networking and building relationships with other people in the industry.”
Dwyer’s wish came true after observing the interaction between an aviation student and a maintenance student who were both inexperienced skaters. Both had bought skates just for that day and were nervous to go out on the ice with the experienced skaters zooming around. The maintenance student, being more experienced on skates, helped the student from the pilot program and led him around the rink.
“They were down there for another 20 minutes to half an hour trying it out.” said Dwyer.
He recognized the students that week in class and gave both students a gift from Pratt and Whitney, a well-known aircraft engine manufacturer. The maintenance student was acknowledged for showing a random act of kindness, while the pilot student was rewarded for bravery and trying something new.
“You guys are both leaders even if you were the last ones off the ice.” Dwyer told them in front of their classmates.
David Lee was that maintenance student.
“My best memory of the event was helping the pilot student learn how to skate.” said Lee, “I feel that through this event we got to see the students on the other side of aviation and whom possibly might be fellow co-workers in the future. It was a nice way to get some interaction between us, share thoughts, and have good food.”
There was no official winner for the hockey tournament. This event was not meant to be a competition, but a way for everyone to meet and have fun together. According to Dwyer, everyone was a winner
“The hockey game created an atmosphere of friendly competition that I’m sure everyone enjoyed.” said Lee, “All in all, it was just a good time.”