John Roberts, Commercial Pilot

I used to work for a UK mobile retail store. Although I had an idea for the gaming industry my real passion lay elsewhere, due to my being Captain of the Royal Air Force Reserves at Southampton University. I once entered a flight competition and won a trip to Co-pilot an RAF jet, which was the best moment in my life.

Thanks to Graham Turner, a business mentor at Finito, he saw that I really wanted to become a pilot and discarded my every excuse as to why I shouldn’t pursue my real dream.

He helped me to put a plan together, researching the qualifications which were needed for me to join a commercial training program. Under his guidance, I applied to Oxford Aviation and was accepted. I then secured a pilot role at EasyJet.

Graham helped me practice my interview skills and techniques over Zoom calls to improve my confidence.

I was accepted into the program and became the best candidate in the group having been originally selected from thousands of applicants. lt looked good and everything was going to plan. However, the final stage required me to have a medical and to my great surprise I received the news that I had been rejected because of a heart condition – paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

EasyJet withdrew their offer and suggested I needed to seek medical advice from a cardiologist. I underwent a simple heart operation that reset my heartbeat. Unfortunately, I then had to wait a year before I could be assessed.

In the interim, I took the opportunity of continuing my studies. In October 2019, I was accepted by City Jet and passed not only with flying colours, but all 14 exams first time.

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