Aviation has been my passion since childhood. Growing up in Kenya for 12 years and travelling between Nairobi and Goa at least once a year, heavily influenced my interest in aviation. After my family decided to relocate to Belgaum for good, I joined Phoenix Public School to complete my education from Class VIII to X. The ICSE board of education has a provision where students can opt for the commerce stream right from Class IX — students can take up economics and commercial studies instead of physics, chemistry, math and biology.
I decided to take up this option instead of following the herd and studying engineering. After completing Class X, I joined Jain Pre-University in Belgaum and continued my studies in commerce. It was in Class XI that I discovered about BBA: Aviation Management, a four-year specialised course wherein students learn about aviation from a business point of view. The course was being offered in Dubai by Emirates Aviation University, an institution owned by Dubai-based Emirates Airline. My confidence in opting for this course was further strengthened by shows such as Ultimate Airport Dubai and Air Crash Investigation that stream on The National Geographic Channel.
I passed Class XII with flying colours and landed at Emirates Aviation University. The university is located in the south of Dubai and feels like an oasis in the desert. The subjects that come under the spectrum of BBA aviation management are airport operations, airline operations, air transport team project, air transport quality and safety, aircraft design and performance mixed with generic business courses such as statistics, economics, accountancy, management information systems, and so on. A major incentive after completing the course with a high GPA, is the opportunity to get recruited into Emirates airline.
Dubai never feels like a foreign land as, around 42% of the population is Indian. There are many nationalities in my class including British, Russians, Zimbabweans, Afghans, Maldivians, Jordanians, Slovaks and Iraqis. It is one of the most cosmopolitan and competitive environments I have ever lived in. The faculty is mostly British and Indian. I have completed my second year. Although the university is in a desert, it has managed to get a sports complex and a lush green ground where soccer is the most played game. Other activities include table tennis, foosball, chess and carom. I am a journalist for a university-based magazine that mostly focuses on aviation.
The Emiratis are warm and affectionate people with a lot of love for their motherland. They are hard working individuals at par with the global workforce. Dubai provides the right type of environment for students where one can notice the amalgamation of western sophistication with the conservative and reserved culture of the Arabs.
Meghraj Suhas Patil has completed his second year of BBA aviation management at Emirates Aviation University, Dubai.