Marcel used his MBA learnings to guide him through the challenges of leading airline teams during the global pandemic.

  • Location: Canada
  • Industry: Aviation
  • Job Function: Management
  • Programme: MBA
  • Motivation: Develop knowledge and skills
  • Challenges: Balance and Time Management
  • Year of Graduation: 2021

Marcel Rossetto, Inflight Base Manager for WestJet at YYC, Canada, has worked in the airline industry for over 13 years. Marcel oversees sets of managers at WestJet in relation to people performance of the airline and their cabin crews, totalling well over 1500 cabin crew members.

Now each person’s MBA journey presents its own unique set of challenges, and for Marcel, working in management for a major airline, during the COVID pandemic would certainly be considered a significant challenge.

Marcel had just started his third subject in the course when the global pandemic hit. Immediately this raised some concern for him, as he was very aware there would be a reduction in staff and the airline would need to shut down – all of which he would have a major responsibility in handling. And to no surprise, he questioned whether this was the right time to commit to his studies or not. However, he found that by persevering through his studies, the application of concepts he learned guided him through tough moments and ultimately helped him survive a global pandemic.

At our latest graduation in Adelaide, we spoke with Marcel to find out more about his MBA journey and have had a more recent update from him. He’s happy to report that in addition to his recent promotion, the airline industry has recovered astronomically since we interviewed him in April 2022 and the demand to fly is greater than ever!

Tell us about your motivation behind starting your MBA?

I used to work for a Middle Eastern Carrier, and we had recently relocated to Canada, approximately 3 years ago when a previous leader of mine in Qatar actually, said to me it’s really time to increase your educational learning and complement your hands-on experience. It was a point in my life when my child was 2 years old, and I was lucky enough to have a partner at home. It was just realistically the right time to go about my business and increase my educational learning.

Why did you choose AIB’s MBA?

I went ahead with AIB master’s, truly because it was sold as a very practical experience. During my entire master’s, the full 24 months, it was a very practical experience. I was excited, each and every single assignment was related back to my actual work. So, the content that I was able to produce, the educational learnings, the theories, and everything we actually went through at AIB I felt I was able to apply it at work to some extent and this was a selling factor when applying.

Do you attribute any success to your studies?

I have used the content throughout my entire master’s journey and applied it to the workplace already for several projects, for several new concepts, and for actually just surviving the pandemic as an airline, several theories were incorporated. Now when I look back 6 months on, my current successes are future applications, and future positions. I’m under the application process already, so I have been able to apply a lot of those learnings, that subject matter expert knowledge and apply that to some of those questions and applications.

Is there anything you would do differently?

So looking back, I think the only thing I would have changed, is that I would have started earlier, I had a previous leader in Qatar at the time, even two years before I undertook the studies, he said that this was something I should undertake, it’s going to complement your hand-on experience and climb the corporate ladder, but more so understand the actual academic theories, concepts of what it actually takes to apply at work. So, I wouldn’t call it a regret, the only thing I would change is doing it earlier. And that would be my advice to other students, start now. There is no reason to procrastinate. I think people by nature will always put something off and I would say to them, start today.