Home / Diary of an Apprentice – Mateo Ospina

Diary of an Apprentice – Mateo Ospina

Apprenticeship, Basel, Europe, Maintenance

Meet some of our apprentices as they progress and develop in their careers at Jet Aviation. This month, we interview Mateo Ospina, an apprentice in the sheet metal shop in Basel, who explains how he came to this career and what he has learned so far.

Hi Mateo, thanks for taking the time to offer us an insight into life as an apprentice in the Basel sheet metal shop.

Firstly, what inspired you to work at Jet Aviation?
I have been passionate about aviation since my childhood. Aircraft have always inspired me, and that is the reason why I chose to do my apprenticeship in this trade. Learning how to maintain and repair an aircraft, working on each part, and being able to do it with my hands are what motivated me when applying.

Why the Sheet Metal Shop?
I really enjoy working with the sheet metal team members. Everyone is very approachable and happy to teach me something new every day. Producing a wide range of materials with utmost attention to detail and care is something that interests me. I love the contact with sheet metal parts and elements and the proximity to the aircraft in the hangar. There are so many techniques to learn and such a wide range of materials to work with, that it’s very exciting to work in this shop.

As a dual Swiss-Columbian 16-year-old apprentice, I also enjoy working in a multinational environment. There is always something to learn either professionally or personally.


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“Being able to step back and see what I have made is very rewarding for me. I love working with my hands and seeing a piece coming to life.”

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

Being able to step back and see what I have made is very rewarding for me. I love working with my hands and seeing a piece coming to life. Each material and part is very unique, but when they are all assembled together, it enables an aircraft to fly, and to me that’s very exciting. At the same time, aviation requires precision, and this attention to detail is challenging to learn – but rewarding.

Was there anything that surprised you about the job?
I didn’t realize the amount of safety and security measures that are in place. Safety is the number one priority, and making sure that everything we do is safe is sometimes a bit overwhelming as a beginner in this industry, but at the same time it gives me a good feeling as I take my job very seriously and I want to help the team succeed in their jobs. It’s nice and reassuring to work in a safe environment.

When I am given small projects, I like to challenge myself and strive to do better every time. At the moment, I support the Quality and Safety department here in Basel. The team asked me to manufacture special metallic boxes for specific aircraft components to be isolated when they are removed to follow a unique recycling path. It is nice to work on a variety of projects for multiple needs.

What advice do you have for someone starting an apprenticeship?
Take control of your energy level! It is very important to ensure the right balance between school, work and private life as you can get tired very quickly. My recommendation is really to get the right amount of sleep at night on a regular basis to ensure you can be more productive and alert during the day, especially as the days start quite early!

Where do you see yourself in a few years’ time?
I see myself as an aviation specialist with some experience and knowledge gained along the way. I am passionate about this field and would like to pursue my career in this trade.



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