An aviation enthusiast inspired by a video game has become the first student to graduate from the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Aviation program. Tim Carney was fascinated by planes at an early age and like many children, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pilot – of sorts.

“I used to always walk into my dad’s office and watch him play Flight Simulator on the computer,” Carney said. “Once I got a little older, I started to jump on board and have a go myself. That’s what kick-started my interest in aviation.”

The sky was the limit for the former Aviation State High School student when he enrolled to study Aviation at USQ Springfield in 2016. Tim was a member of the first cohort to be accepted into the newly developed program and is now the first USQ student to graduate with a Bachelor of Aviation. “I’m incredibly proud and honoured to be the first graduate of the Aviation program,” Carney said. “I’m extremely grateful to USQ and the support and opportunities given to me.The lecturers were always happy to go out of their way to help me. That high level of personalised support is what makes USQ such a great university to be a part of it.”

Unlike most of his fellow students who studied to become pilots, Tim majored in Aviation Management. The course combined his interests in aviation and business, and taught him how to apply leadership and management skills to different areas of the aviation industry. The 23-year-old is currently working towards obtaining a graduate position. His long-term ambition is to move into a senior management position within the booming aviation sector. “I’m really excited to see how airports and organisations in the aviation industry operate and to start applying the skills and knowledge I gained from my degree, to my career,” he said.

As the first graduate of USQ’s Aviation program, Tim sets a high standard, something Aviation Professor Paul Bates hopes other students strive to reach. “Tim was an exemplary student and didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the program,” Professor Bates said.“What really stood out was his dedication to learning and the positive impact he had on not only his fellow classmates, but everyone he came in contact with at the University. I am delighted to see Tim graduate and wish him well in his future career.”

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