#GradStories Tom Lynch, Pricing Analyst, Avolon
What’s your name, job title and employer?
My name is Tom Lynch and I'm a pricing analyst in Avolon.
What does Avolon do?
So simply we rent out airplanes to Airlines all over the world, so we own just under a thousand airplanes and then we have 150 airline customers all around the world. An average week involves a lot of financial modelling, so modelling out all the cash flows to find out what return we're making on various deals and there's also a lot of market analysis, so analysing the various supply demand dynamics in the market to try and estimate what rent we should get for each aircraft. Our commercial team, they're the touch point for the airlines and they go out building relationships with airlines all over the world and then when a deal comes about then we get involved and we start and start all the modelling and start finding out what return we're going to make.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
Interpersonal skills are huge. Every day we work with people from every team across the business, so you need to get on well with people. The other one for my role in particular is Excel skills. A lot of my day is spent on Excel and it's a very powerful tool once you know how to use it.
How did you get into your job?
I undertook the master's in aviation finance in the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and Avolon is one of the sponsors and as part of that agreement they offer internships, so I started in Avalon as an intern and then I subsequently got a full-time contract out of it.
What do you love about your job?
I love working on deals, so it definitely keeps you on your toes and ensures that you don't get bored.
What is the number one skill students should develop if interested in this career?
I'd say just a good work ethic. I'd say the vast majority of the other skills and knowledge can be learnt on the job but a good work I think it's something that takes years to develop.
What is the structure of the graduate programme?
The graduate program is structured, so it has three rotations so there's three four-month rotations in three different departments, so it'll give you a really good overview of the industry. The rotations will be over pricing, credit risk, treasury legal and commercial.
What are the misconceptions about the aircraft leasing industry?
A misconception could be that straightaway you'll just be traveling the whole time living on an airplane but there's a huge amount of back office work and the commercial team and the sales guys all have a huge amount of experience so you definitely need to come, in earn your stripes and then hopefully you’ll transition over to the commercial side.
What has working in Avolon taught you?
There's a massive emphasis to be very well-rounded so although the work is very serious and it's hard work, there is a big push on extracurricular activities and just having the craic.