Class of 2021: Jaden Sorbie
Sport and entertainment management graduate wants to fly jets for the Air Force
By Page Ivey, email@example.com, 803-777-3085
Jaden Sorbie wasn’t really interested in her “family business” of flying — at least not when she arrived at the University of South Carolina campus with a goal of working in live event management. While she was not all that interested in actually flying the planes, she did love the travel opportunities growing up as the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of pilots.
Before arriving at UofSC, the Tarpon Springs, Florida, native decided to join the South Carolina Air National Guard to help pay for school. Her older brother — who is also a commercial pilot — works as a crew chief in the Florida Air National Guard.
All it took was a year of working with the pilots in the National Guard and Sorbie was hooked. Her goal now is to become a pilot for the military. She began flight training with a private aviation company during the pandemic and will continue her training there after graduation while she awaits an opening for a pilot slot in the National Guard or Air Force Reserve.
There have been a lot of classes where we talk about risk management; that is a huge thing in flight school. I have a checklist for flying and almost every item says ‘as needed.’ A lot of it is judgment calls.
Jaden Sorbie, sport and entertainment management graduate
From there, as they say, the sky is the limit.
“After working with the Guard and getting to know the pilots, I saw a side of aviation that I didn’t see growing up,” she says. Her family predecessors in the field flew for private industry. Her father, who has flown for several commercial airlines, has been a pilot with JetBlue for 20 years.
While her future plans may not require the detailed knowledge of her sport and entertainment management degree, she says what she has learned in her four years at South Carolina is very applicable to her career plans.
“I feel like I am using my major,” she says. “A lot of my classes have focused on professionalism, etiquette, business communication, I have used that a lot in my job in the National Guard.
“There have been a lot of classes where we talk about risk management; that is a huge thing in flight school. I have a checklist for flying and almost every item says ‘as needed.’ A lot of it is judgment calls.”
Outside the classroom, Sorbie got a lot of experience that will help her in her future endeavors by serving as vice president of risk management for her sorority Alpha Chi Omega — a position that changed markedly during the pandemic.
“In the position pre-COVID, we were able to plan several events and not have to worry about social distancing and financial issues that are a problem today,” she says.
In addition to all that she has learned at UofSC, Sorbie says she is grateful for how helpful advisors and others at the university have been in helping her complete her degree requirements while also fulfilling her National Guard obligations.
That help included reworking her schedule to accommodate training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and finding alternate assignments to meet her internship class requirements when she found out on short notice that she had to do temporary overseas duty.
“My advisors have been very helpful throughout my college career and supportive of the fact that I have a different circumstance than most college students and I legally have to put my job before everything else,” she says.
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