Nelson Perez graduated in 2019 with a B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management, with a concentration in Tourism Development from the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. He now works at ATP Flight School, the nation’s largest flight school, providing students with the most efficient path to a successful airline pilot career.
What has your journey been like after graduating NYU?
After graduating from NYU, I moved to the Phoenix area to attend ATP Flight School with the goal of completing flight training and eventually flying at a major US airline. I went from zero hours to holding my Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor certificates in just over 8 months. After completing the program in March, I became a Flight Instructor at the school, giving me the opportunity to develop others into professional pilots.
Can you talk about your current role at ATP?
Currently, I am responsible for training students in ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Path and ASU’s Professional Flight programs, and preparing them for FAA practical exams so they can earn their pilot certificates. I make safety-focused decisions, instill consistent professionalism, and help students achieve their potential in both the classroom and the cockpit. I teach students at all levels of training; Private, Instrument, Commercial and Instructor.
What are you passionate about in the work that you do?
I am passionate about aviation and sharing my knowledge with others so they can also succeed with their aspirations to become pilots and join the industry. As an instructor, I am able to mentor and shape future pilots I will interact with for many years when we are all working together in the industry.
In what ways has your NYU experience had an impact on your career and shaped who you are today?
My NYU experience allowed me to interact with people from all over the world, and I was in a location where I could take advantage of many internships and opportunities to explore all facets of the hospitality industry. With support from the amazing faculty at the Tisch Center, I was able to develop and grow into who I am today. I’m glad I used all my resources and made so many meaningful connections that last to this day.
What career advice would you give to NYU students?
Talk to as many people as you can throughout your college career, regardless of their industry. Figure out your strengths and find opportunities where you can maximize your impact on the organization. Be open minded in terms of where you will end up and what you will do. You might figure out what you want to do years before graduation or only a few weeks before! Always seek out all the opportunities out there, and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.