AT COMMUTEAIR, WE HAVE GREAT PEOPLE WITH GREAT STORIES TO SHARE.
As a regional airline and United Express partner, we play an important role in connecting people and communities to the world via United Airlines’ global network, but we’re also a critical step in the careers of those working in the airline industry. Our “Featured Crew” series tells the individual stories of standout members of our team whose hard work makes our organization unique.
We’re taking this opportunity to share a story from one of the standout members of our diverse team: Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist – Christina Krivokucha! Christina discovered her passion for recruiting after having experience in a number of different aviation roles including HR management and Airport Operations…and in her own words, “Can’t be stopped!”
What first interested you in a career in aviation?
Starting my career in Human Resources was a bit of a fluke – I started out doing payroll for Walmart and they brought me into HR and that’s where I fell in love with it. I’ve actually had the opportunity to do just about every function within HR at some point in my career, so I know what it’s like to be in some of those other roles because I’ve been there – It can be stressful!
Eventually I found my way into aviation working as the HR Manager for the Hudson Group and worked at both the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Hobby Airport (HOB) in employee relations. But it wasn’t until I started working for CommuteAir in 2021 that I changed roles again and found recruiting! I was originally nervous about getting into recruiting because it was never my strong point. Though after I started, I realized that recruiting is actually a big strength and now it’s the only thing I want to do! I love being able to find people, let them know what we’re about, bring them into our team, and then get them onboard. It’s been so much fun for me – we get to travel and meet new people!
Describe your journey to becoming a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist.
Quite literally, COVID is what got me into CommuteAir! The slowdown in air travel eventually caused us to get furloughed at the airport level, so I was looking for a change. CommuteAir was one of the only airlines growing during 2020 and they reached out to me and offered the TA specialist role!
When I started, I came in as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, and it wasn’t long before a management spot opened up for our then Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist to become a Manager. He reached out to me and said, “I want you to be my new Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist.” Being a senior recruiter is a lot of responsibility because I have found out parts of this job that I never knew existed. I face problems I never had to deal with before, and now that I get to work through those challenges, it gives me a better understanding.
As recruiters, it’s so important to get face time with the industry because we truly are the first people that most see or meet from CommuteAir…we’re the ambassadors of our airline and they’re going to talk to us first! And that’s one of the big things I tell people when we go to the schools that we visit is that, as a student or applicant you’re thinking about impressing the hiring managers, but the first person you always have to impress is your recruiter!
One of my favorite things about this role are the relationships you build within the organization. Everywhere I go people remember me and conversations we’ve had – I can remember things about their kids or their families, and it really just bonds us on a completely different level.
What’s been your experience being a woman in aviation?
I love it! As a recruiter we attend so many events, but my favorite one of the year is the Women in Aviation International Conference – I will die on that hill to go to WAI! It is the most amazing experience you could ever have. The people that you meet, the connections that you make – it’s fantastic. I had about seven different schools come up to me and ask about our A&P program, and you can tell they really want you to be there. We did a photo shoot with some students at an A&P school last year and four of their students were at the WAI conference and all of them remembered me!
It’s great that we’ve made those connections can bring it all together between the crew side and the maintenance side…and it’s not just women. Everybody thinks that it’s because it’s called women in aviation, it’s women-only. There were so many gentlemen there and they were amazing!
When I first started recruiting, one of my biggest fears was entering this sphere as a woman – Because I hadn’t met many female recruiters in aviation, most of the people at the airport that I met were all male. To my surprise, I have met so many more female recruiters than I expected and was shocked at how many female Recruiters I see on the Maintenance side.
I could never leave – it’s too much of a family unit here and I literally get along with everybody that I work with!
What advice would you give to future aviators?
Find what you truly love…And go for it. Know that you’re worth everything and you can do anything you want. Because that was the biggest problem for me and what held me back until I met my husband. I was always told things like, “You can’t do that. You don’t know what to do.”, but my husband always told me I could do anything and to never sell myself short. Having that support system really helped me step out of my comfort zone and I was able to achieve things I didn’t think were possible – Like getting my graduate degree. I’m always glad that I took some chances, because if you don’t go looking, you’re never going to find what you really love. If I hadn’t taken this chance I never would have discovered the world of recruiting. I tell my son to follow his dreams every day – and he is!