Career Path: Anca Mihalache
Anca Mihalache, VP of engine trading at APOC Aviation, tells LCRAB magazine about her career journey.
Download a PDF of the article from the Spring 2021 issue of Low-Cost & Regional Airline Business magazine.
Tell us how you got to be where you are today.
My father is an aircraft engineer and I have been part of this exciting world ever since I was born. In early 1990, after the revolution, when Romania became an independent democratic country, my father started working as a technical director for an American airline that started an AOC in Romania.
He would sometimes take my mother and I to different industry events with the owners of the airline and I remember those special experiences fondly. We are still friends after all these years.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
I love the busy, fast-paced, international environment. It is exciting and enables you to make friends with people from all over the world, people that you would definitely not have met otherwise. After a while, when you have spent many nights and weekends working together, your customers (or your competitors) become your friends.
I also enjoy the fact that although aviation is a global business, it is still a small world – especially the after-market and engines in particular, which is my special focus. Often when I see a plane flying overhead, I smile as I think of the people on board going on holiday or visiting their families. It is so interesting to feel part of the industry that makes that possible.
And the bit you like least?
That would be in an engine leasing transaction when the two parties don’t agree and there needs to be unfriendly redelivery; and of course, this Covid-19 situation where we can’t travel to meet our customers or participate in industry events.
What would be your alternative career?
I also have a Bachelors’ degree in Marketing & PR (on top of my International Trade degree) and actually this is what I started to do after university. So, I would probably work in the media. I also have a blog as a part of my passion for writing and marketing.
Talk us through your daily routine, or those things that can happen in a day.
I am not a morning person and I don’t start working early. When I wake up, I read my emails immediately – a very bad habit I know – and this sets the tone for the day. Then I prepare for my meetings that are usually before lunchtime.
In the afternoon (when I am the most productive) I get to talk to customers, solve issues and make a lot of calls. The afternoon is my favourite part of the day.
In aviation there is never a dull moment, there is always something happening. On the plus side, projects close faster than in other industries and you have the sentiment of fulfilment more often. But on the minus side, you frequently experience a lot of stress that comes with closing an engine leasing deal successfully.
What is your favourite destination?
Italy, for sure.
How do you see the aviation market developing in the future?
I believe the pandemic has changed the aviation industry forever and the way we flew in 2019 can no longer be considered normal. Today is the new normal. Our industry will find new ways to cope because flying is, and always will be, very much part of our lives.