Spring Break with my Friend Stella

Hi all!

As I mentioned in my last post, the northeast of Canada and the United States received a lot of snow at the beginning of last week. Winter Storm Stella cancelled and delayed thousands of flights while airlines and airports were working on reestablishing operations. I spent the first part of the week home, in Montreal.

The winter storm arrived on Tuesday but snow continued to fall until Wednesday. I basically shoveled snow for three days in a row. On Tuesday afternoon, my mom and I tried to take the car to go buy salt at the store. We wanted to melt the snow in the driveway which is in a hill. It never happened since we didn’t even pass the first stop sign on our street. The car got stuck in the street that was covered with snow. After a few minutes, we just decided to go back home as the streets downtown would be slippery and narrow due to the snow. The snow on our street eventually got removed a few days later.

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The snow plow truck pushed the snow on the sides of the streets making walls of heavy snow. The snow blocked the sidewalks and the entrance to my house.

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We weren’t able to even pass the stop sign with the car because the ice and snow between the car’s tires and the asphalt was making the car slip to the right of the street in the snow walls.

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Snow piles make the streets in the city very narrow.

I remember when I was a kid that I always loved snow storms. I’m sure you have an idea why? Because schools sometimes closed due to the snow fall! But that rarely happened as school only cancelled once or twice per year. In Canada compared to some parts in the United States, it has to snow a lot to make classes cancelled for the day. A few inches of snow won’t make you stay home for sure!

And you, what did you do for spring break? Did you go skiing or did you enjoy the beach and the sun in the south? In my next post, I’ll talk about what I did for the rest of the week. Hint: it involves a mountain!

Nicolas

A Little Piece of Home

I thought I would have a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) this week. I’m bundled up in 20-degree weather, while my friends enjoy Spring Break and the perks of attending school in Florida. I was fortunate enough, however, to have someone bring a little bit of warmth my way.

Working at Space Tango, has been undoubtedly exciting, but sometimes I get a little homesick. This week my boyfriend, Malik, sacrificed the warm weather to spend time with me and learn more about our shared passion for the aerospace industry. Although we both miss Florida weather, he was excited to step foot in the Space Tango office.

My boyfriend Malik, and Aerospace Engineering student at ERAU, takes a picture with one of the first TangoLab facitlities.

My boyfriend Malik, an Aerospace Engineering student at ERAU, takes a picture with one of the first TangoLab facitlities.

He had an opportunity to speak with the entire team and get a walk through of our mission operations with CEO Twyman Clements. Even though it was a relatively slow day in the office, Malik was still thrilled to see firsthand what it means to work in the industry. From 3D printing to CAD, he saw everything he was studying boil down to one place.

Being away from friends and family isn’t easy, but invite someone close to you to share it with. It makes time move a little faster when you remember how unique and invaluable your opportunity is to work with a company you love.

⋆ Dani

Real World Application

“When am I ever going to use this?” This is a common question that I have asked from time to time, especially in high school. Thankfully, I have begun to ask this questions less and less as I have worked my way through the business classes.

Many of the professors explain from the get-go how we will use what we learn through real-world application and talking about their experiences. However, my Airport Management Professors has taken it to a whole new level.

My Airport Management class is a three hour evening class that is once a week; it is taught by an adjunct professor who is an alum and currently works full-time for an airport planning firm. It might sound like a bore, especially at that time, but he keeps it very entertaining which means that class passes very quickly.

The first several lectures we learned the basics such as the process of the airport master plan, how airport projects are financed, the FAA, and what goes into the design of an airport. Just last week, we spent the whole class talking about one of the projects he is working on, and it connected all of the dots. We watched a recording of him presenting to the public during a city meeting, and after all of the previous classes, it was easy to understand the presentation and what was going on. He also brought in real drawings and plans to show us what the Airport Master Plan (a book with all of the current stats of the airport and plans for the future) as well as the actual drawings for a new airport terminal.

We also begin each class by discussing current events; it is a great way to start off the class because we are talking about relevant topics that are going on the in the aviation industry. Unfortunately, this is something that a lot of professors do not really pick up or do in class.

It is professors like him that remind me that I made a very good decision to attend Embry-Riddle.

Unforeseen Advice

I walked into the Space Tango office with my usual to-do list of intern tasks, but I didn’t know that I would be adding new goals – like starting a retirement fund.

I’m only 21 going on 22 and my mentor is 25, but she said that she’s already begun saving and there’s no reason I shouldn’t also. Before I knew it, it was the Morning Show with Ellie and I was receiving the most helpful advice since I started working at Space Tango.

Ellie, along with the occasional input from other coworkers, told me about their saving plans, credit scores, and we even talked about stocks a little. These are all things you don’t really learn unless the “right time” comes around. I just didn’t think it would be in the Space Tango office.

I’m a Communication and Marketing intern and I have 6 weeks left. I expected to gain first-hand experience on advertising, public relations, and business tactics in the aerospace industry. In the time that I have been here, I learned more than I expected. My coworkers have shown me not only the reality of the aerospace industry, but the reality of being an adult. The Space Tango team takes the time to make sure I’m adjusting well to a new environment because they understand that at one point this was all new to them as well.

CEO Twyman Clements takes a break from reorganizing the office to show me microscope glasses.

CEO Twyman Clements takes a break from reorganizing the office to show me microscope glasses.

When I began my internship, all of my questions were oriented towards my area of study, but I have to remind myself that my mentors are just people. They can provide more than just feedback on your work, but a new perspective on life. What should we really be paying attention to? Why do we work as hard as we do?

There’s so much more to take into consideration then we think, and it’s a lot easier to have the people that have gone through it tell you how it went than figuring it all out on your own. I’m not alone, and being an intern isn’t unfamiliar. We all have to start somewhere, so don’t be too serious. Ask questions outside of school and work. Learn about the people around you and it may just start to feel a little like home.

⋆ Dani

Winter Storm Stella – Travel Tips

As some you know, Winter Storm Stella has made its way to the northeast of the United States and Canada. It is the worst snow storm of the season and some areas got up to three feet of snow! The worst of the blizzard came yesterday but it is still snowing here where I am in Montreal, Canada. According to FlightAware, close to 6,500 flights were cancelled by U.S. airlines yesterday. Today (Wednesday), flight operations are getting back to normal slowly but there are still 1,000 cancellations and more than 3,000 flights delayed.

Checkout the video above and learn how airports remove snow on taxiways, runways and other movement areas!

Thousands of airport and airline employees are working very hard and doing their best in order to get passengers safely and as quickly as possible to their final destination. If you are flying in the next few days, look at your flight status before heading to the airport. Your flight(s) might have been delayed or cancelled.

If you flight is delayed or cancelled, stay calm and be patient. Do not be angry at the airport customer service employees. Airlines and are not responsible for weather related delays. The employees are just trying to help passengers to get to their destination. I doubt that they will be willing to help you more if you shout at them!

Airlines are receiving more calls than usual during this period so the wait time will be very long. Your best bet might be to try to contact the airline via social media, such as Twitter. They might be able to assist you. Once your flight has been cancelled, some airlines have a system that automatically rebooks you to the next available flight.

If you don’t have to go anywhere, just stay home and stay away from streets as some of them are still covered with ice and snow.

Until next time!

Nicolas

Me, Myself and I

Hello readers!

My name is Maryam Gracias, and I am a junior majoring in Spaceflight Operations with minors in Flight, Aviation Safety and Human Factors. This is my first blog ever! A little about myself, I was born and brought up in Dubai, UAE but my family and I moved to Bradenton, FL five years ago. I played professional tennis at IMG Academy in Bradenton, where I also graduated from high school with Highest Honours. It was a huge culture shock coming to America, and the transition was not easy. Now that I live in Florida, I love to camp, spend time at the beach and of course, go to Disney World! I am the first person in my family to be involved in the aviation industry, and I am currently working towards becoming a pilot. After earning my degree, I want to join a good organization where I can prove my capabilities, talents and contribute my skills. 

I am currently a Flight Safety intern at Delta Air Lines. So far, it has been such a great experience! I have met tons of people who are passionate about the industry. I will be going to Pittsburgh for the Aviation Safety Infoshare in April, and Delta is paying for my flight AND hotel! The Infoshare is basically a place where all airlines come together and share confidential information, so whatever happens at the conference, stays at the conference! Participants can attend the Infoshare only if they work for any airlines. I am super thrilled that I got selected to go with Delta. I have never been to Pennsylvania before, so I am excited!

I am a very adventurous person, and I LOVE travelling, so I try to go somewhere new as often as possible. I got selected to go to Cuba for Spring Break as part of the Ignite Research Program at Riddle. My research topic will focus on how Delta’s flight operations resumed back to Havana after the suspension of US air carriers into the country. I can’t wait to blog about it and tell all my lovely readers about my wonderful experience!

I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing spring break!!!

Until next time,

Maryam

The Perks of Being an Intern

We put hours and hours into our resumes, elevator speeches, and internship applications. It’s A LOT of work, but the results are pretty sweet.

  1. Preview of Adulthood
    My number one and favorite thing about having an internship is the independence you HAVE to maintain. It’s a taste of life after college, but a little bit easier. It’s a small stepping stone towards everything you’re studying. For me personally, it’s reminded me why I’ve been working so hard. It’s helped me refocus on my goals. I have this newfound motivation I honestly can’t put into words, but I’m glad I stayed up late to get a few extra eyes on a resume and made appointments with Career Services for interview tips. Internships ease you into a the job market. It gives you a taste of what it’s really like to work for that big dream company of yours while still having the caring guidance of Embry-Riddle to let you know ‘what’ and ‘what not to do.’ It’s just enough adulthood.
  2. Work in your unexpected dream job 
    Work at your dream job if you can, but don’t overlook those other companies! The smallest company may end up being where you really belong, or maybe the company you always thought you wanted to work at isn’t what you expected either, but at least you know at the risk of nothing at all. You still get the experience from the company, and now you have a better idea of what you want out of the workplace. I always knew I wanted to work in the aerospace industry, and I had a list of top three companies. I promise you, Space Tango was not on that list until now. The people, the company, and their mission all suit my interests. Sometimes we find ourselves in the most unexpected places, but it’s where we were meant to be.
  3. Networking
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    Kris Kimel, Chairman/Co-Founder of Space Tango and President/Founder of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC)

    I’ve written about this before, so I won’t talk about it too much, but I can’t stress how valuable networking will be for you early on. While interning, you meet people from the industry that can help you open more doors. I’ve met people from all kinds of different companies in aviation and aerospace because of my intern position with Space Tango. Take the time to get to know them with lunch, coffee, or just a quick meeting if they have time to learn about them (Hint: successful people doing what they love enjoy sharing their story).

  4. Wanderlust

    This one is aside from your position and work, but wanderlust is very real. If you’re like me, you may begin to crave a change of scenery. When you land an internship, and it doesn’t matter where, take the time to really explore! Enjoy it. Lexington, Kentucky isn’t my dream destination, but I’ve made the most of it. I’ve used it as an opportunity to try new things. I go cycling with coworkers now throughout the week, my roommates and I enjoy boxing classes on the weekends, and when funds permit there are a ton of local restaurants to indulge in. I’m an art- lover and LexArtLexington has an abundance of street art sprinkled throughout Downtown, so I spend my weekends searching for painted walls. Really take the time to find the beauty in your host home.

⋆ Dani

Minors are a Major Deal

Minor courses of study don’t get enough praise. I’m currently minoring in business administration and space studies to complement my Communication degree. My initial intention was to take something I was interested in that was sensible for my field, and they certainly are, but I didn’t recognize the true value of them until working with Space Tango.

Space Tango works to scale down customers’ experiments to fit in what they call CubeLabs for microgravity research on the International Space Station. As a Communication major, it’s difficult to see how I piece into this puzzle of research and design. My minor, however, in space studies (SP) provides me with the background information to keep up with the engineers during our meetings. It’s a puzzle piece to the bigger picture.

CubeLabs waiting to be tested in a pressure chamber.

CubeLabs waiting to be tested in a pressure chamber.

SP courses that I have taken gave me an overview of mission history, rocket and propulsion systems, ISS configuration, and so much more. If it wasn’t for my SP minor, then I wouldn’t be as valuable as I am now in the aerospace industry and I wouldn’t be able to effectively market their brand to prospective customers.

My business minor ties it all together. I can keep up with our director of business operations and even devise my own marketing plans that reflect the industry and the company. It’s like being a triple threat in the job market. I have so much more to offer as an intern and, one day, as an employee.

My skills are flexible and it’s all thanks to my minors! I think finding such minors are especially beneficial for flexible degree programs such as Communication. We can fit anywhere, but if there’s an industry you want to work in then cater your education towards it. Especially during internship season and applications, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. What are your strengths? What sets you aside from others? Don’t overestimate the power of your minors. Take the time to find one or two that accommodates your interests or pieces you into your dream industry.

⋆ Dani

You got the internship… Now what?

It’s that time of year again, when students are getting phone calls informing them that they received that long-awaited summer internship. Of course, students get so excited when they hear the news, but often forget to think about the other impacts of getting an internship. So, based on my experiences, I wanted to share some insight into the factors you should consider when you are thinking about internships.

1. Location

Sure, New York City may sound great for the summer, but if it’s not your home state, there are definitely things to consider.,, Like, where are you going to live? The city is expensive, but if you live further away, you’ll have to commute longer. If you rent an apartment, are you able to get a short enough lease for just the summer? Does the company provide housing for interns?

2. Compensation

There are paid and non-paid internships. Of course, both are great experiences and look great on a resume, but let’s be honest, we all need some compensation to be able to survive the summer. Although most internship compensation packages are non-negotiable, make sure to evaluate how much you will be paid in relation to the cost of living in that area, especially if you’ll have to rent an apartment.

3. Position

Maybe you didn’t get your dream internship position, but you did get a position at your dream company. Don’t be frustrated that you won’t be working on what you had hoped. It is great to just get your foot in the door. So, do your best, and learn all that you can. When that full-time position you’ve wanted opens up in a few years, you’ll have the upper hand, since you worked in the company already.

4. Internship Program

Some companies have well-established internship programs, others may have one or two interns for the entire company. There are different benefits to each. With a well-established internship program, you’ll be able to network with other interns and have tours, luncheons, and meet-and-greets. In a smaller company with a few interns, you will be able to network with full-time employees within the office, become noticed by managers, and possibly be able to rotate throughout different departments.

Of course, there are many other things to consider when deciding if the internship is right for you. However, I wanted to give some brief insight into the major points. I wish you luck with all of your future internship endeavors!

Until next time,

Lindsey

 

Spring Industry/Career Expo Re-Cap

On Wednesday, March 1, the Embry-Riddle Career Services team put on its first-ever Spring Industry/Career Expo, and it was a huge success. Right around 3,000 students, Alumni, and guests attended the event, and there were 109 different organizations represented, including the FBI, GoPro, Lockheed Martin, Delta, and many others.

I am so proud to be a member of the Career Services team and have the opportunity to help put on the Expo. The Program Managers in the office truly work tirelessly to plan and put on this event, but those who attend make it all worth it.

It truly is my favorite event of the semester; it allows employeers, students, alumni, and guests to just see how connected our university is with the industry. While we are Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, it is not just aviation companies that recruit; Boston Whaler, Ryder, FBI, Secret Service, and many other non-aviation related companies all recruit as well. Plus, all of the employeers were extremely nice and willing to give advice for helping pursue your dreams, and you can learn a lot about different companies that you may not normally hear about.

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Inside the ICI center as the booths are being set up

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The student entrance

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Dotting the last i and crossing the last t so we can check organizations in!

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Sure, we may hold the Industry/Career Expo where our basketball and volleyball teams play, but you would only know that if you look up!

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We even had our own SnapChat geo filter!

I am already counting down to the Fall Industry/Career Expo on October 12, 2017!