When David Myrick, a 33-year-old Navy veteran was at the Waco Airport, the plane he had been hired to fly awaited him.
Recently graduated from Texas State Technical College, and already licensed as a private pilot, Myrick was on a journey. Both literally and figuratively.
After eight years in the Navy, he had returned home in 2015 to pursue a career in aviation. As he was waiting for the flight to begin at the Waco Airport, something caught his eye.
“I was walking through the airport and saw this ad for A&M-Central Texas and the aviation program,” he said, admitting he hadn’t known about it before that day.
A young woman seated beneath the ad noticed his interest and began a conversation with him. She, too, was an Texas A&M University-Central Texas student.
“She was sitting right below the sign when it caught my eye and she started talking to me about the university,” he said.
Enrolling in the aviation management program in summer 2016, Myrick found his niche.
“Aviation was something I have loved my whole life. This program was the answer to a prayer.”
By 2018, he had only a year to go before receiving his bachelor’s degree, so he took proactive steps to prepare himself for a full-time job search, uncertain about how long that might take.
He needn’t have worried.
Reaching out to Career and Professional Services at Texas A&M-Central Texas, he spoke with Amanda Olson, a Career Services coordinator, and reviewed job opportunities, did practice interviews, and received coached about the job search process.
In no time, they had identified a position with Frontier Airlines: an aircraft on ground buyer), responsible for supporting maintenance with critical part requirements, sourcing aircraft parts and coordinating logistics.
He applied, completing the preliminary interview work online. Little did he know then, that in less than two weeks, he’d be hired.
“It was kind of unexpected and really quick,” Myrick said. “I applied on a Monday and I was interviewed the following Monday after. I was offered the job the next day, and I was in Denver, reporting for work within the next 10 days.”
Even better, Myrick said his new bosses are already talking about moving him up within the next year. Still, he is humble, as he steps into his new career, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
The Texas A&M-Central Texas aviation management program is completely online, so he’ll still graduate in 2019, as planned.
“I believe that there are little things that happen to us in life — here and there — that we have to be brave enough to see and seize upon those moments,” Myrick said. “Mine was a banner ad and a fellow student who opened the door to my undergraduate degree.”
Angel Newhart, TSTC statewide aerospace department chair, remembers Myrick as a focused student.
“There are just students who come through and you can tell that they are self-motivated, disciplined, and ready,” Newhart said. “We’re thrilled for him.”
Pointing to the articulation agreement between TSTC and Texas A&M-Central Texas which allows students to easily follow an outlined curriculum, Newhart noted the vast majority of her graduates from the aviation program appreciate that they can take the next logical step to an undergraduate degree in aviation – online.
“Our graduates get into a career very quickly, and the vast majority of them are focused on fulfilling flight-time requirements,” she added. “The partnership with A&M-Central Texas lets them know they can take their TSTC hours from here to there, but the cherry on the cake is the ability to complete the undergraduate degree completely online just like David Myrick did.”
Jim Fullingim, an associate lecturer in the aviation program at Texas A&M-Central Texas, described Myrick as extremely sharp, noting his military service and numerous deployments including Japan, Korea, the China Sea, and Persian Gulf.
“He’s disciplined and well-prepared to make significant contributions to team at Frontier Airlines,” Fullingim said. “He’s very, very sharp. There’s no telling what he’s going to achieve.”