Women in Aviation - UVU Student Nicole Robbins

Women in Aviation - UVU Student Nicole Robbins

"Any woman who makes it in this field is my hero because I know how hard it is to make it. I have yet to meet a woman in aviation who is not absolutely incredible."

Nicole Robbins, wife and mother of 2 small boys, had never even considered the prospect of becoming a professional pilot. When her father took her out to the airport in 2015 to see an airplane he purchased, that changed dramatically. That experience “flipped a switch”, she describes. “I could see myself doing this. I love flying.” The rest is history.

Nicole is currently a junior in the Professional Pilot Bachelor Degree program at Utah Valley University and lives in Springville, UT with her husband and now three boys. So far, her experience at UVU has been very enjoyable. She explains that her aviation professors have been “incredible” and she has built great friendships with her counselors. “Those higher up in the department want the very best for their students and are doing everything they can to help them succeed in aviation”, she explains. “It’s a great program that bridges to the airlines.”

Her favorite part about the UVU program are the women in aviation. Traditionally, aviation has been a very male-dominated career field. While this remains the case, a steadily increasing number of women are entering the program and pursuing careers in aviation, but this still does not make it easy, by any means. Nicole described how the women who are in the program offer mutual support. “Women just want to help each other. Being a part of this small group of women has been amazing. It is my favorite thing. It’s just really special.”

Some of Nicole’s heroes in aviation include her father and grandfather who flew for the U.S. Air Force in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, as well as famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart. “Don’t know many women in aviation who wouldn’t call Amelia Earhart a superstar. She was famous before she got lost for a reason. Amelia said, “I believe that a girl should not do what she thinks she should do, but should find out through experience what she wants to do.” Her advisor, Marilyn Riddle also made her hero list. “She does it all and is an amazing pilot.” She continues, “Any woman who makes it in this field is my hero because I know how hard it is to make it. I have yet to meet a woman in aviation who is not absolutely incredible.”

UVU supports and encourages students to seek out internships during their degree program. Nicole was able to get an internship with her father at his company, Snow Peak Ventures (SPV). In addition to implementing new programs and procedures for onboarding new pilots, creating and launching a company brand, compiling a training curriculum for new pilots, and much more, she also had the opportunity to fly right-seat in a Cessna Citation business jet and the King Air E90.

Nicole has ambitious goals in the aviation industry. In the short-term, she wants to work with her father in the corporate flying sector. Once her kids get a little older and are in high school, she wants to become an airline pilot. She loves the idea of getting paid to do something she loves.

When asked what advice she would give a young woman who wants to pursue aviation as a career, but may be apprehensive about it, she said, “First of all, be yourself and do you, because in the end, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. If you’re a good pilot, your flying will speak for itself. If you’re a good person, your actions will speak for themselves. Don’t let other people’s actions determine your goals and happiness.”

The UVU School of Aviation Sciences is proud of all its amazing students, but those non-traditional students like Nicole deserve extra recognition. Her story and many others like it break down barriers for future students and inspire a new demographic to pursue careers they perhaps never realized were possible for them.