Taking Flight

Henning Schymik’s MSU Denver education helped his career soar to unimagined heights.

By Amy Phare

Publish Date: October 17, 2014


Henning Schymik is senior vice president at XJet in Colorado.
PHOTO: Chris Schneider

When Henning Schymik (B.S. aviation technology ’00) earned his degree, he had no idea how his career would take flight.‌

“Some people think if you want a pilot career that you just need a license, but MSU Denver gave me a background in more than how to fly a jet,” said Schymik, who shifted from flying to pursue the business side of aviation. “My education gave me a much broader background and helped me grow into a career I never imagined,” he said of his new role as senior vice president at XJet, a luxury aviation service provider based out of Colorado’s Centennial Airport.

Schymik’s love of flight began at an early age with remote control airplanes and gliders that led to a lifelong pursuit. “If you asked me 10 years ago, I’d say the only thing I want to do is fly,” said Schymik. “Through XJet I discovered that there is far more to do with my life beyond flying airplanes. I absolutely love my job now, and there’s a purpose to it. I love every day.”

Like so many students, college transformed Schymik but his takeaways are different than most. “College is a big experience — kind of a journey moving away from home. But having that experience at MSU Denver, it was much more goal-oriented and purpose-driven,” he said.

And MSU Denver continues to prepare aviation students for success: In 2015, the University will break ground on its new 142,000-square-foot Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building, integrating the study of advanced manufacturing disciplines into a single, new program.

“Colorado is really growing in the aerospace and aviation industries, and there is a lot of growth coming to the Denver area,” Schymik said. He is experiencing that growth first-hand as XJet enters its next phase, expanding its club locations globally.

“We often think we have to follow a path because of our families’ expectations or outside factors, but in the end, it’s all about finding your own path,” Schymik said. “I have more to give in my life and now I see my purpose. You just never know which turns life will take. Sometimes we may be too focused when we should be open to life’s opportunities.”