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01 April 2009

So You Wanna be a Pilot?

By Daphne Siew Li

Note from Blog Team: Daphne, we just had to tease you through email but you made the grade. Congrats on girl power at work. We think you might go the distance. With that, that will be shortlisted ones that we will announce today. Watch this space to see if your turn is next.

Why I wanted to become a pilot? I wanted to fulfill my dream and also because I’m the type of person who wants to live my life to the fullest and also enjoy what I do as people say “You’ll be working your ass off for the rest of your life (well up to u retire though)” so why not choose something that you love to do? I love traveling to different countries to experience their cultures and of course as a typical Malaysian , to try food all over the globe! HAHA! Well, I’m not that fortunate to try those stunts so well, being a pilot does give me that advantage and of course the feeling of being up there in the skies makes a person feel at peace and the symbol of freedom. Dressing up in that uniform makes you feel honored and it’s also something to take pride in. That’s why, I would rephrase myself that I was actually inspired to become a pilot rather than dreaming of becoming one since young.

“So you wanna be a pilot?” My reply : Of course! I wanted to venture into the world of aviation ever since I watched the TVB show “Triumph in the skies” (for commercial pilot). The show depicts the progress of young applicants vying for a spot to be the selected few and finally they are in the cadet pilot training facility where they go through months of “torture” though actually is quite interesting and fun. They are actually tested in various ways and of course like in any other fields, they have attend lectures and exams while making friends and also learning to work as a team. By watching the show, I had the opportunity to imagine how life a future pilot would be and was determined to follow their footsteps although I would guess in reality that it could differ. Nevertheless I was prepared for the challenges ahead!

The devastating point was when I related my will to my mom, she was silent at first and then went on to tell me all those conversational thinking that “flying is dangerous”, “being a pilot, your life is high risk..you could die anytime” and of course the stories of planes crashing frequently nowadays and also the incident of the terrorists which hijacked the plane and crashed into the infamous World Trade Centre in the US, often referred to as the 9/11 incident.. My mother then coaxed me into taking up Law as she did not have the opportunity to have a proper higher education during her time which was supposed to be her dream of becoming a lawyer. I, being a filial child just nodded my head and agreed to it. And off I was sent to a premier school of law straight after my SPM days where I spent 4 ½ years since A’Levels till now which I’m in my final year degree Bachelors of Law. Though I succumbed to my parents’ wishes, I did not give up my dreams to pursue a pilot’s career in which I’m still hopeful that I can achieved it after obtaining my first degree.

My dream was a faded one up until recently when I heard about my friends talking about the route to becoming a pilot at Airasia where I felt fired up and start inquiring about it from my friends. One day, during my daily routine of waking up and reading the newspaper while eating my brunch, I was reading about the “dream job” that the Australian tourism had advertised and when it was first advertised, I was interested in applying for it as I was the adventurous type and love the beaches and of course I was aiming for the gold too :) and so anyway, I flipped the page over and instantly my heart skipped a beat! There I saw it in front of me the headlines about Airasia having a competition and rewarding 10 finalists who would be chosen to be groom to become P-I-L-O-T-S!! I was overjoyed and one cannot imagined how I was overwhelmed with joy seeing that but my joy was short-lived as the applicant would have to submit a blog post which I would regard myself as not being much of a blogger and my level of confidence just went down the drain…sigh.

I didn’t do anything at first because I felt that I wouldn’t stand a chance. On the other hand, I also heard news from my auntie who is working with Malaysian Airlines (MAS) that Aviation Law is something that I could venture in after I finish my degree. I gave it some thought and agreed that it was an interesting field to venture into and it sounded kinda rare as I have not heard much about lawyers in that field. I felt that was the closest thing I could come to in achieving my dream. In my thoughts there’s some consolation prize for me where I could be at least be near the stuff that I love to do and that I could be part of an Airline company (where planes are around).

I related my dreams of flying to one of my friends online which I came to know only recently too and there she was encouraging me and in a way pestering me to give it a shot and who knows I may hit the jackpot! So here I am writing to you guys and hoping to be one of the few chosen to realized this dream together as I would be need your patience and guidance along the way to groom me to be a P-I-L-O-T someday :)

Another show was that of “Flyboys”, where it was about the war between the Allied Forces against Germany, and the show was primarily focused on the fighter pilots which during that period, there was no high-tech jets. It was those olden type of planes with propellers with machines guns installed to gun down their enemies. Their lives were at great risk because it was way before the invention of parachutes! So even if you weren’t shot but your plane got most of the damage then it’s your choice of taking the pistol you have and point it at your temple or going down with your plane…aiks! It may sound gruesome to you now by my explanation but I find it a very noble occupation to be in, be it to fight for your country, peace or just doing your duty. It’s something to be proud of and I salute the pilots for their bravery and in turn I would love to imagine that happen to me (well not in terms of going to war..though I wouldn’t mind when duty calls) but in modern times as present, to be saluted for my flying ways. It’s a double bonus also since female pilots are rare, as it’s always seen as a male dominated field. I dare to be different!

  • Vethakumaran

    You go girl! Congratulations…

  • Low

    u know what i love about AK, cos they hire girls as pilot =D

    congrats, wait for me, i’ll be your batchmate

  • Chee Keong

    OMG damphne!!

    congrats!!!
    looks like we’re the lucky ones for the first day!!!
    congrats!!!!!!!

  • Daphne Siew Li

    haha!
    thx everyone!
    i was quite dead when AA called, stressing abt my finals. Then i quickly called back to double-check that i didn’t get prank on April fools day! LOL!
    Thx AA! now i gotta wait and at least less 1 worry on my mind :)

    THX AA for my early b’day present surprise since mine falls in April too :P

  • Lap Seak

    I hate you, you have taken my second place. Huh!! haha.. just kidding la. Anyway, congrat to you also for the first girl have been shortlisted. But your blog quite long and spend very long time to read. never mind, that is your passion to be a pilot.

  • Kong Sun

    They called you? What did they told you on the phone?

  • Chee Keong

    daphne, don worry…
    i definitely understand how u feels…

    when you’re punching the keyboards, the passion flows and is channelled into ur blog..
    i felt that..
    hehe…

  • Daphne Siew Li

    Lap Seak,
    sry, i know it’s a bit dull :(
    but blogging is also abt the way ppl express themselves in words albeit some may post pics.

  • AirAsia Blog Team

    We told her and Chee Keong congratulations and that they were shortlisted. Why didin’t you ask us directly? Don’t worry people, both have only been shortlisted but not one of the ten yet. Or are you intimidated by their entries?

  • Chee Keong

    well, i don think we’re allowed to say who called, but well, yea, AA blogging member called and informed us…
    email as well…

    its very thoughtful of them…

    haha…
    i received the call after daphne..

    i was actually like OMG when *someone* introduced…
    haha..

    i think daphne also was la..
    haha..

  • Kong Sun

    Hahhax… No ma. I was wanting to ask did the blog team call them like the way Hitz.fm call people on the Gotcha program. that will be very interesting.

  • AirAsia Blog Team

    We wanted to trust us but we would not be taken seriously since its April Fool’s day. Maybe the rest of the candidates better beware. We have been known to be nasty.

  • Kong Sun

    Wow, everyone better watchout already. hahaha

  • Chee Keong

    haha…
    well, the caller was actually very nice…

    explained and congratulated us…

    *whew*

    now, i am only hoping for the best to be one of the 10…

    anyway, i am still excited about it…
    haha…

  • Chu

    i feel the ughhmmmm in Daphne….when i read that you watch that drama…wow…very famous!!

    Congratulation again!

  • Hare

    Congrats 2 u for being short listed, the next may be me, yah!!!! ^^

  • Dominic

    An early congratulations Daphne, it is good that you realise that a movie is just a movie. Reality is very much different. Nevertheless you will have fun with AA, assuming the best of course :)

    I am very much interested in your Aviation Law thingy – I stand corrected but I believe that in Malaysia, we do not have any qualified Aviation Lawyers. Hmm… you sure you don’t want to go there as it would also make you different? :P

    Best of Luck!

  • Wan Siong

    Congrats Daphne..
    It’s nice to see the fairer sex to have an equal ground to compete within a male-dominant career.

    Siew Wan Siong

  • Gurubaran

    wow,,,congratulations both of u that have been shortlisted!
    I hope i will be joining u guys soon!!!!

  • Daphne Siew Li

    Chee Keong,
    how u know they called me first then only u? o_O
    but hopefully we can be the one of the 10 then can be colleagues :) *watch out for my back oh!* :P

    Kong Sun,
    haha! AA already answered ur Q ler

    Chu,
    thx! y? u also watched that show ar? nice ma..it really shows u the process on how they achieve it minus those other drama la! keke :P

    Dominic,
    Hmm, i’m not sure of the statistics here in M’sia but i heard from my auntie that in MAS, the have either 3-5 lawyers helping them in that division only. That field i’m also not familiar with as in, it’s not widely known so yea, that’s also another area to venture into when i retire from flying! haha! coz my priority would be flying 1st of course :)

    Wan Siong,
    thx for ur support!

  • Chin

    wow…ConCongCongratulation boy and girl!!! Cherish your chance!!! be prepare for the next step! All the best to you…

  • Brian

    congrats Daphne..lucky girl u are…pilot ,a dream,a goal,a passion…

  • Hare

    Wow, girl power joining the team, meh. Well, gud luck to u Daphne!!!

  • Chee Keong

    haha…
    brian, that is my quote…
    hahahaha…
    kidding anyway…

    daphne,
    well the caller told me that he called u first before calling me..
    haha…
    i think that we both received the same e-mail from them..
    hehe..
    i am no one to watch ur back, but i am definitely someone to tap ur back and tell u “We will soar into the sky and be a good pilot after we graduate” (that is if we both are in the final 10)
    *fingers crossed*

    :P

  • Chin

    Oh… six more seat left… I have to fingger crossed too… I want it!

  • Chee Keong

    well, basically, most of us here wants it very much, and for my case, very badly as well..

    haha…
    but i do believe that the selection team is having quite some ahrd time too..

    of all the shortlisted, we’re all equally good..
    now, basically, we’re hoping and waiting for the reply of the selection team and the panel judges to decide…

    all the best chin!

  • A

    Is ‘post sent for approval’ a good thing or is it just a kind way of telling that you have been rejected? because mine has been sent for approval for a looong time. and yee sent his post and the next day he got shortlisted.. pls let me know.. thanx

  • Chee Keong

    manny, post sent for approval means that the blogging team is processing and ur post has already been received by them…

    the blogging team will then choose 2 out of all the blogs sent in by all of us with the ‘post sent for approval’ to be published…

    yee may be lucky but don worry, i think the blogging team has already read urs as they’ve promised to read every single blog…

    now, just pray hard that urs will be published..

  • AirAsia Blog Team

    Manny, its still pending because we have not shortlisted that as an entry. It means that we are undecided with your post. We will not reject any posts of the candidates until after the competition.

  • A

    that means that the post is not as good as the others.. ok, nvr mind.. cheers

  • AirAsia Blog Team

    Hey Manny, the order of those shortlisted does not mean anything. We put up the deserving ones at the order we have decided. Its more than just how attractive a post is. We are also looking at the people behind the posts.

  • Daphne Siew Li

    it doesn’t mean if 4 entries r published that would make it 6 seats remaining. It may well be more than 10 shortlisted candidates which would be qualified to be selected to be the 10 finalists in the end :(

  • Kien Fui

    Congrats Daphne, your post is just wonderful… i really hopes female could stand a equal chance to be a pilot with male. Good work!!!

  • Lee

    Congrats Daphne ! Let us believe girls can do as well as boys !!! Everyone stands an equal chance ~ Hope that I can get to know you one day and be colleagues ~

  • Daphne Siew Li

    Hihi there!
    thx for the wishes!

    Lee,
    yay! hope to c u in person in the near future then we all can meet up and “yum char” lol :P

  • Chee Keong

    haha…
    daphne, count me in for the yum cha session..
    haha…

    maybe can ask derek along..

    =D

  • Daphne Siew Li

    haha! yea sure sure!

  • Wai Weng

    Daphne: Your blog is really inspiring. Congrats and all the best :)

  • Haansel Ananth

    Congrats Daphne.Thanks for the comment and also all the best for the next level.

    Regards,
    Haansel.

  • Lee

    Hi Daphne ,

    The interview is just around the corner … looking forward to see you soon … would you mind to leave your e-mail address to me ? I am always glad to know friends sharing the same dream with me !!! ( my e-mail address is physics_newton@yahoo.co.uk ) hope to hear from you soon :)