From Art History to First Officer

For some folks, being a Pilot is a lifelong dream. For others, it’s a little more complicated of a journey. We sat down with Republic Airways First Officer and LIFT Academy graduate Jules Hurley to learn more about how a career change led her to LIFT Academy and eventually Republic Airways.

The Scenic Route

Jules’ journey to becoming a Pilot started just like everyone else’s – with an Art History degree. After starting her Master’s in Architecture, she realized that the path she was on wasn’t right for her. “I dropped all schooling,” she remembers. Jules worked at Whole Foods for five years while still trying to find a career that made sense. “I was exploring all my options. I was open to everything.”

When two of her friends found jobs in the aviation industry, Jules began looking into what it takes to become a Pilot. “I did my research, and LIFT stood out,” Jules said. “The pathway to Republic was the kicker. I didn’t want to finish training and be lost looking for hours or trying to get a foot in the door.”

After her discovery flight with LIFT Academy, Jules was hooked. “It was my first time in a small plane and behind the controls. At that moment, I thought, ‘I need to make this happen.'”

The Fast Track

Though her career path to LIFT Academy might have been meandering, she never slowed down once she started her training. From day one, Jules was eager to advance. “I spent two years finding the right flight school, so I didn’t want to waste any more time.”

Jules found it easy to get her hours in at LIFT. “You could almost always find a plane.” With a large fleet of aircraft and dedicated maintenance crews, students like Jules have the resources they need to advance at the pace they want. “That’s one of the big benefits of LIFT. It’s big enough for you to have those resources and that support, but it’s small enough that I knew everyone in my class by name.”

In one month while working as a CFI with LIFT Academy, Jules even logged 150 flight hours. “That’s a lot of hours for a Pilot anywhere,” Jules explains. “I was always moving forward. There were never any big gaps and I always knew what was next.”

The Destination

Even after all of her hard work, she barely slowed down, taking only two days off before starting at Republic Airways. “Over two to three months you have to wrap your head around a whole new airplane.” She was up to the task thanks to her training at LIFT. Jules puts it simply, “I felt prepared to walk into Republic.”

Because of Pilots like her, that connection is only strengthening. Jules recently signed up to be a Mentor to future graduates like herself. “LIFT got me here. I made a lot of friends. I had a lot of support. I want to give that experience to future Pilots.”

If you’re interested in how LIFT Academy can be the first step toward changing your career path, learn more about flight training programs.