Interview with Blaise Bazimya, a former AviAssist intern

AviAssist Foundation is proud of our first Rwandan intern who recently graduated from UTB university in Rwanda. Here is an interview with Blaise Bazimya about his experience working with AviAssist Foundation.


How did you first get involved with AviAssist Foundation?

The first time I heard about the AviAssist Foundation was in 2015. I met Mr Tom Kok (the director of AviAssist Foundation) during his visit to my home village. As we talked about his work in Rwanda, he introduced me to the AviAssist Foundation and aviation safety. It was my first time hearing the word “aviation safety”. Later, he gave me some books to read, such as the FAA Blaise and Tom Kok talking.. pilot’s handbook, education about aviation in secondary schools (AOPA), and SafetyFocus (AviAssist Foundation’s magazine).

After completing high school in 2016, I started working with AviAssist Foundation in December 2016 as an intern. I was thrilled because it was my first time working in the aviation sector, and sometimes I was shy and nervous at that time because I used to meet various people with a high profile in the aviation sector. As time went by, my confidence was growing, and I came out of my comfort zone. 


How has AviAssist helped you with your academic achievements?

With AviAssist, I have had significant achievements academically. I have managed to complete IATA’s Air Law course and a bachelor’s degree in business management. Because of the experience I gained working with AviAssist Foundation, such as report making and communication skills. I was among the top three winners of the UTB writing competition. I was awarded for being part of the editing team of UTB’s graduation magazine. I also wrote a blog, and it got published in the magazine. I think AviAssist not only helped me with my academic achievements, but also helped me develop my business skills and experience.


Do you think you would be where you are today if it had not been for the help of AviAssist?

AviAssist took me to another level at which I am, in terms of education and building my business experience and knowledge capabilities through mentorship by the Director of AviAssist (Tom Kok). Most of all, AviAssist introduced me to the world of aviation, trained me and gave me all the necessary and required skills related to aviation and business. If it were not for AviAssist, it would not have been possible for me to achieve all this.


While working with AviAssist, did you do any of our courses? 

During my work with AviAssist, I got a chance to attend a number of AviAssist courses. My favourite was the Human Factors in aviation course. This course helped me learn about stress management, problem-solving techniques, safety culture and Just culture, risk management, and teamwork.

While, Airlaw helped me understand better the freedoms of the air, the Chicago conventions and drone regulations. I also attended other courses that gave me more knowledge about aviation, such as the aviation incident investigation course, to mention but a few.

Blaise on his graduation.

How do you feel about being AviAssist’s first Rwanda intern who graduated from UTB university in Rwanda?

I feel delighted and grateful to have got where I am in education and building my business capability for this achievement. I have had ups and downs during my studies, but I had to work hard. On the other hand, studying Business Management and working in the aviation industry as an intern is fantastic because I have gained various experiences at the same time.


Would you recommend an internship at the AviAssist Foundation to others?

I strongly recommend AviAssist Foundation. For over 20 years in Africa, the foundation has done a tremendous job promoting safety awareness and professionalism. Through research and training offered by AviAssist Foundation, I believe they have made countless contributions to Africa’s aviation industry. And in the near future, Africa will have highly experienced aviation professionals and the safest skies in the world due to the services offered by the AviAssist foundation.


Lastly, what’s the one thing you would like others to know about the AviAssist Foundation?

What I would like others to know about the AviAssist Foundation are two things: the first one is SAFETY. Most of the time, when I hear AviAssist Foundation, I hear safety. This is because the main focus of AviAssist is to promote safety in the African aviation industry and professionalism. The second thing is how AviAssist gives youth opportunities to gain knowledge by providing internships and seminars.