Category Archives: BCom. Aviation

Cloudy outlook clears as Lean’s studies take him higher

New horizons have opened up for commercial airline pilot Lean Janse van Rensburg. Where once the outlook was cloudy and visibility limited, his studies at The Da Vinci Institute have given him fresh perspective on life, work and his place in the world.
Grounded and jobless

“After 1Time airlines went bankrupt in 2012, I couldn’t find another job in flying. South Africa has a small aviation market and there were about 90 other pilots looking for work at the time,” he says. “I’d always wanted another qualification in case I lost my medical licence and couldn’t fly, so in 2013 I enrolled at Unisa.”
That didn’t work out, so he kept himself busy doing odd jobs until he happened to see a “random” Facebook advert for The Da Vinci Institute. “I contacted them and we sat down and they reassured me I would get all the necessary support as a student.”
In March 2014, Janse van Rensburg signed up for a BCom degree in Aviation Management. All went well – so well that his average at the end of his first year was 85%.
Looking up

Things started looking even better in 2015 when he joined Safair as a pilot and was earning a salary again.
Then he ran into a hurdle – the Management of Systems module he had to complete for the second year of his Da Vinci studies. “I didn’t know what was going on. I contacted my lecturer Greg. We sat down and he made sure I understood.”
Meanwhile, back at Safair, he was starting to be noticed. “Every assignment I did for my studies had to be work and industry-related. As a pilot, I hadn’t been exposed to finance, marketing, sales and how the operations run, but through Da Vinci, I plugged into these areas. In the process of learning about my company and industry, the company learnt about me.”
Intriguing discoveries

During his research, for example, Janse van Rensburg discovered that flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town with Safair was only R1 more expensive than going by train, and R35 cheaper than going by bus.
He brought this to the attention of management, who liked his suggestion that the company start targeting its marketing at travellers who normally travel by train or long-distance bus.
Other assignments brought him into contact with other areas of the business, opening up all kinds of new possibilities. “I’ve been asked if I would be interested in becoming involved in sales, scheduling, the technical department and even the pilots’ union.”
Now in his third and final year, Janse van Rensburg says he feels “more relaxed” than before about the future. “I know there are opportunities to expand my possibilities of where I could work if I couldn’t fly.”
What’s more, Management of Systems, once his worst subject, is now his best. “The penny has dropped. When Da Vinci talks about how everything is connected, it’s not just philosophy. I really am seeing the bigger picture and how everything fits together.”

Curiosita Colloquium: 27 October 2015

Guest Speaker: Robert C.H. Garbett | Managing Director | Professional Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd

Topic of discussion,“Business and Love”
Mr Robert (Rob) C.H. Garbett is managing director of Professional Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd and managing director of Professional Aviation Security & Risk Management (Pty) Ltd. These companies provide service in the logistics, air cargo security and training industries and are both registered security organisations. Professional Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd also provides a consultation service covering the purchase and sale of Jet and Turboprop aircraft. He holds an A Grade Security rating with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).
Rob is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and previously served on the IoD committee responsible for environmental affairs for over seven years. He is a member of the Council of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), and Honorary Director for Life of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA). He has been intimately involved with the SACAA Civil Aviation Regulations Committee (CARcom) over the past eight years and currently represents the interest of CAASA and JCCI members on both CARcom and the SACAA Industry Liaison Forum (ILF).

His commercial experience extends over fifty years in the cargo industry including experience in the clearing, forwarding, air freight, air courier and aircraft operation fields. He has held various positions in the forwarding industry including that of Operations Director of Micor Airfreight (Pty) Ltd and was a shareholder, and managing director, in Advertising Deadlines and Freight (Pty) Ltd, a company specialising in the domestic air courier business. Rob has also operated cargo aircraft over the last twenty years and has specialised in air cargo security for the last ten years.
He is an active member of the Pelindaba Working Group who are opposed to the development of energy derived from nuclear power. Rob’s leisure activities include anything which contributes positively towards the environment, the bible, horses and squash.
PhD Student Speaker: Pieter Du Toit: Principal Consultant – VNI Consultants

Topic of thesis, “Leadership thinking and operational risk management: A holistic model based on aviation (air traffic) perspectives.”

Pieter Du Toit is the owner and manager for VNI Consultants. He has over 18 years of business consulting and training delivery experience and is strong in the Strategic-, Human Resources-, Risk Assessment-, Safety Management-, Project Implementation- and Leadership Training arenas.

Having consulted in almost all industries he has wide-ranging experience and knowledge of large mining operations in the gold-, platinum-, coal-, copper-, zinc, lead- and diamond mining fraternities. Some of his VNI Consulting assignments have been with Air Traffic and Navigation Services SA, Glencore (Int. & RSA), Xstrata Coal SA, Accenture, Royal Sechaba, Goldfields (Int. & RSA), Transnet SA, Impala Platinum, Anglo Platinum and -Gold, PharmaNatura, PEP Clothing and Above and Beyond Concepts. Pieter is also experienced in Aviation and has been granted the rank of Captain in the South African Air Force.

During his consulting career he has developed strong business relationships with other Consulting Firms to whom he provides support and shares expert knowledge on various organisational matters. He is also a member of COMENSA (Coaches and Mentors of South Africa). Due to his passion for the training and development of people he was instrumental in initiating a training academy facilitating a diploma in leadership and management development (NQF 6). Pieter is currently busy with his PhD at The Da Vinci Institute in Modderfontein, Johannesburg.

Copy of Robert C.H. Garbett’s speech:

Links to the video session, for those who missed the session.

Curiosita 27 October 2015 Part 1 of 2

Curiosita 27 October 2015 Part 2 of 2

Tristan Keeley, 3rd year BCom student shares his experiences at Da Vinci

Tristan Keeley is a BCom Aviation student at Da Vinci and is currently on his third and final year. He presented his Word Based Challenge to guests, fellow colleagues and associates on 26 March 2015 at Da Vinci.

We caught up with him afterward to hear of his experiences.

“My journey started at Da Vinci because I wanted to have a degree to my name in order to further my career in the field of aviation.

When I started the BCom degree I had very little knowledge of business management and other subjects such as technology, innovation, systems and research.

Through doing this qualification, it is has afforded me the opportunity to expand my knowledge into these different fields and also become much more aware of the operations of business.

If I look back at my assignments from first year and compare them to the assignments I have submitted in 3rd year, the change in my thought processes and writing styles has changed tremendously.

This just shows me the amount that I have grown and developed as an individual. I am very pleased that I studied at Da Vinci and have been taught by some of the best facilitators in the industry.”

Tristan, We look forward to seeing you at Graduation 2015