Home / Diary of an Apprentice: Alexandra Dubois, Paint Shop

Diary of an Apprentice: Alexandra Dubois, Paint Shop

Apprenticeship, Basel, Europe, Maintenance, Sustainability

Meet some of our apprentices as they progress and develop in their careers at Jet Aviation. First up is Alexandra Dubois, an apprentice in the Paint Shop in Basel, who explains how she came into this career and what she has learned so far.

Hi Alexandra, thanks for taking the time to offer us an insight into life as an apprentice in the Basel Paint Shop.

Firstly, what inspired you to work at Jet Aviation?

I was actually looking for an apprenticeship as a painter in Basel, I was mostly looking at jobs in car garages but then the offer at Jet Aviation popped up. I came for the trial, and was immediately surprised and fascinated by how this whole world of aviation functions. I guess we don't think that there are so many jobs related to aircraft, it's a bit of a secret world, so I was intrigued straight away.

Why the Paint Shop?

Previously I worked for 10 years as a waitress. I wanted to change careers completely to something more artistic, and after looking around I found Jet Aviation, and it was more aligned with what I wanted to do creatively.

What aspects do you enjoy the most, and what’s the most challenging?

I have never done anything like this before in my life, everything was new, which was exciting and challenging at the same time. In the first couple of months there was so much to learn and it seemed quite overwhelming, and then, little by little, I got into the routine. The job is challenging both mentally and physically, but I like that there are so many different people with different roles around the facility that have to work together to make the project work. I have also enjoyed working in such a multi-cultural environment.

“I like that there are so many different people with different roles around the facility that have to work together to make the project work. I have also enjoyed working in such a multi-cultural environment.”

Was there anything that surprised you about the job?

I didn't realize that painting could be so technical. It's not just painting with one color all the time, depending on which aircraft and look we're going for, we have to adjust the paint type, the techniques we use and the temperatures: there's a lot of chemistry involved! I was surprised how much you needed to know and the variety of jobs there are even within the paint shop itself, every day there's something different, painting signs, technical markings, repairs etc.

What advice do you have for someone starting an apprenticeship?

Be patient. It took me quite a lot of time to get to know everyone, where to find things, how to work around people, and do your job at the same time. It takes a bit of time to get to know the facility and the people, but have trust and it will fall into place.

And anything specific for young women looking for an apprenticeship in aviation?

Not really, the team is basically like family now. At first they were very courteous of me as the only female in the paint shop, being very nice and bringing me ladders and things, but over time I started to blend in with the group and now I am just the same as everyone else.

Thanks Alexandra! To learn more about our commitment to supporting the economic growth of our local and global communities by providing equal employment opportunities for everyone, including training and development for young people, click here

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