Robin graduated from Balmoral Hall School as Head Girl in 2007. After graduation, she pursued a Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies in Commercial Aviation Management at University of Western Ontario (Western) and shortly after obtained a commercial pilot licence, including multi-engine and instrument flight ratings. She began her career as a pilot with Keystone Air Services in 2012, and then moved to Calm Air International in 2015. Robin has always been a high achiever and has quickly advanced her career from Assistant Chief Pilot at Calm Air to Director of Aviation Programs at Exchange Income Corporation. She is a new mom of Aster Rose born on August 5, 2020 and is pursuing her MBA in Aviation at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
“For many aspiring professional aviators, pursuing post-secondary education isn’t an obvious choice,” shares Robin. “A degree isn’t required to earn a commercial pilot licence, nor do many air operators and airlines necessarily seek pilots who have one. My academic experiences, though, are what have opened doors to the management opportunities that I am fortunate to have been offered — even though they weren’t part of my original plan!
“Although the cockpit of an Arctic-bound commercial aircraft makes for a pretty neat office, my leadership and development roles have been the most fulfilling for me, none of which would have been realized without first pursuing academics.”
Her advice? “The direction that your path will take often isn’t obvious from the beginning, so prepare yourself the best that you can for unexpected turns. All industries can be challenging to break into, but this is especially so for ones where women are traditionally underrepresented, as in aviation. Accept help with open arms when it’s offered, and be sure to extend a helping hand to the women following in your footsteps.”
Asked about her early influences from life at Balmoral Hall, Robin recalls: “When I enrolled for Grade 4, I was quiet and shy, but anyone who knows me will agree that I didn’t stay that way for long! My time at BH encouraged my confidence, taught me work ethic, and left me with so many lifelong friends and memories. My husband, Brock, and I hope to offer our daughter, Aster, the same opportunity one day soon!
“BH empowers girls to speak up, to try new things, and to take on leadership roles in a supportive, female-centric environment. The leadership positions that I was encouraged to hold as a BH girl ranged from Grade 5 class president, to volleyball team captain, all the way to Head Girl.
“Through these opportunities, I gained the confidence to take on leadership positions in a male-dominated industry and to create similar opportunities for aspiring aviators in my current role managing Life in Flight™ – a pilot career pathway program.”
Reflecting on her professional journey, Robin muses: “For me, aviation has always seemed cool. Watching Top Gun with my Dad. The thrill of taking off and landing on family vacations. A love of exploring new cities and cultures. Turning interest into a career as a pilot has allowed me to explore Canada’s North – a part of the country that few people are lucky enough to experience – and to meet and work closely with fascinating people. Best of all, I now get to share my passion for the industry and inspire the next generation of aviators.
“The most meaningful and memorable experiences throughout my career have all revolved around connecting with people; reuniting families by air, delivering essential goods to remote communities, and, most recently, offering a pathway for students to become career aviators.”