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Alumna Jessica Noor: Flying High

UMD alumna Jessica Noor  
UMD alumna Jessica Noor works as a marketing copywriter for Cirrus Aircraft and is learning to become a pilot.  

“Would you be interested in learning to fly a Cirrus?” Ben Kowalski, Cirrus Aircraft vice president of marketing asked me when I was being interviewed for their marketing copywriter position. I had never in my life thought I would fly an airplane. I told him, “Of course I would!” Who wouldn’t want to fly an airplane?

Lo and behold, they hired me and on my first day orientation, human resources told us that they encourage all employees to learn how to fly at Cirrus Aircraft. On that note, I signed up for an opportunity of a lifetime with the Cirrus Flying Club to become a pilot right then and there.

I admit I came to Cirrus knowing absolutely nothing about airplanes. Now, slowly but surely, I’m learning. The hands-on approach to learning works best for me. Coolness aside, I’m becoming a pilot so I can become a part of the audience that I write for.

Getting a better look into what their lives are like is extremely important because that way I can write and do my job better. I know I’m not going to be able to purchase a Cirrus aircraft anytime soon, but I sure can learn how to fly one! And an FYI, flying is a lot easier than you’d think. Because Cirrus really is the best in its class, and I promise I’m not upselling.

When you’re flying a Cirrus at 4,100 feet, the experience is like a breath of fresh air. Flying really is a different kind of escape. I feel so comfortable in the pilot’s seat being in control, and I actually feel safer flying than driving in my car. Also, you’ve never seen how beautiful Lake Superior can be until you’ve seen it from the air.

I love my job, and I love where I work. As Cirrus’ marketing copywriter, I write about our incredible aircraft and the amazing people that fly them every day. I definitely don’t take my job for granted. I know not everyone gets the chance to go flying on their lunch break to eat fish tacos in another state or gets to meet people who fly from all around the world. I’ve got a pretty sweet gig.

Though, one thing I know for sure is that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the connections I made while attending UMD. The lessons I learned and the advice that was given to me brought me to where I am today.

As the first person in my family to go to and graduate college, this was a whole new world for me. Being a young adult, all of that made me feel incredibly small, but my professors and advisors built me up. Giving me the confidence that I was a great writer and giving me the skills I use every day at Cirrus.

Communication Instructor Barb Titus was my “university mother.” The most encouragement, fulfillment, and nurturing that I received during my college career came from her. Before her professional communication class, I hadn’t really thought about what made me different from the rest. During one of her lectures on making our resumes stand out, Barb asked the class, “What inspires you?” Such a simple question made me realize – I have a great passion for what I do.

Learning about general aviation is hard work, but learning in life never stops. I’m willing to go the distance for my career. I’ve decided to stop saying, “I can’t do this because of this or because of that.” I’m here to experience life and become a pioneer in my profession. As one of the pilots at Cirrus has said, “Excuses don’t make champions.” And as the saying goes on campus, “Those who can, Duluth.”


Written by Jessica Noor, July 2015. Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing with a minor in communication. She graduated from UMD in 2013 and has worked at Cirrus Aircraft since March 2015.

For more information about UMD's Writing Studies program, visit the College of Liberal Arts website.

For more information about Cirrus Aircraft, visit

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