President’s Day Weekend

Approaching Toronto-Pearson International Airport on a beautiful Saturday around noon.

Approaching Toronto-Pearson International Airport on a beautiful Saturday morning.

During the President’s Day weekend, I flew back home to Montreal to see my parents and some friends. In some parts of Canada, some people also got to enjoy an extra day off due to Family Day.

I left Florida early Saturday morning just before 07:00AM instead of Friday, since I have an evening Biology lab that ends at 8:45PM. At that time, it is too late to catch a flight, unfortunately.

I arrived in Montreal around noon after I had a connecting flight through Toronto-Pearson. I texted my mom earlier in the day and asked her to bring my winter coat. When I got out the plane, I didn’t even need it since it felt actually warm for winter. It was about 45 degrees and there were no clouds in the skies. I guess I picked the right weekend to visit!

My aunt was also in town for a business trip so we had a family dinner in the evening. The next day, I met with a friend who is currently applying for college. I tried the best I could to convince him to come to Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Like me, he is also an “avgeek” so I told him ERAU was a perfect place to study aviation. Hopefully, he’ll come for a visit and see for himself.

Overall, it was a fun relaxing weekend and I already look forward for Spring Break!


Adapt and Overcome

I’m nearly 7 weeks into my internship and the most valuable skill I’ve learned thus far is the ability to adapt. Not only is Space Tango a start-up, but the companies we work with expect reasonable turnover times. I myself am the current point of contact for all press and media information in-going and outgoing. I have to have all the information ready for public release and company distribution.


Although delayed a day at the last minute, Space Tango successfully launched experiments on SpaceX CRS-10, pictured above.

However, working with launches can be unpredictable. Just as quickly as a launch date changes from week to week, I have to be able to update the press kits and all news information. Most recently, CRS-10 launch date and time was changed a week before launch. Space Tango was informed as soon as possible, and most conveniently, the day we were all to begin our travels to Cape Canaveral. The team got a chance to sleep in a little, but as soon as they arrived to the office to reevaluate their mission timeline it was calm chaos.

It sounds like a contradiction, but it was one of those “you have to be there to understand it” situations. Flights couldn’t be changed and all the equipment was packed. Some experiments that we carried had to be kept cold. Despite the finite details that all had to be kept in mind while planning around the launch change, everyone was so calm. They adapted to the situation.

In the end, things don’t always work as we may hope. We do, however, have to be ready to accommodate to changes. More so, you can’t fight the facts. Accept change as it comes and work accordingly.



SpaceX CRS-10 awaiting launch.

On February 19th I didn’t just watch a random launch off the Space Coast. I watched the SpaceX Falcon 9 liftoff along with Space Tango payloads. I was a part of the launch and I am now an even bigger part of the mission.

I think I vastly underestimated how great it would be to work for Space Tango. I genuinely thought it would be more of me shadowing someone and learning from what they accomplish. Almost 8 weeks in and it has all been hands-on. I have control, I have input, and because of this I have experience.

I got to experience first-hand the role a public relations specialist plays in an important event that can vastly affect a company’s image. I was constantly on stand-by. All of Space Tango’s social media was up on my computer ready to publish posts. Press release templates were prepped and my phone never left my possession. I had to be on call the entire weekend to ensure that we covered content accurately and effectively for the launch. It was STRESSFUL, but it was so very real.

Just a few of the payloads that were launched on February 19th. Inside these cubes are the respective companies’ experiments.

For the next few days Space Tango, and myself, are waiting for the Dragon capsule to berth with the International Space Station. At that point, I’ll get to publish another press release and begin live updates on all social media about the payloads/experiments.

It’s a time consuming internship, but it has shown me that this is definitely where I was meant to be.

Spring 2017 Industry/Career Expo Preview

Hello there!

Thankfully my classes this semester are very easy, and I survived my first round of tests with all solid As! However, things are beginning to pick up, especially with the first-ever Spring Industry/Career Expo.

For the last two years, Career Services put on a small event in the Spring known as the Government Agency and Non-Profit Career Fair; this was typically a smaller event with mostly government agencies and non-profits attending, but it was still a really popular event.

Although Career Services was planning to have a similar event this Spring, Hurricane Matthew had some other plans as we had to cancel event. Rather than go two academic terms without an Industry/Career Expo, Career Services announced that it would host its first-ever Spring Industry/Career Expo March 1st! One of the best parts of the Spring Expo is that we have a section just for government agencies and non-profits at the big Spring expo!

So, things around the office are beginning to become very busy, and they will only get busier. 108 companies, government agencies, and non-profits will be attending the Expo in just about two weeks, and we have been full for quite some time. Some of the companies recruiting this year include GoPro, Qatar Airways, U.S. Secret Service, Delta, Bombardier Aerospace, and many others! You can see a full list of the companies here.

The Industry/Career Expos are probably my favorite thing about ERAU; it amazes me how many connections the university has with industry, and alumni go on to do some pretty amazing things!

Stay tuned, it’s going to be a busy three weeks!

Don’t Get Behind

Last week was so busy and it felt like it was finals week. I had a total of four exams during those five days, including three exams on Wednesday.

I had a test in Social Responsibility and Ethics in Management, Aviation Labor Relations, Elements of Biological Science and Business Quantitative Methods. Most of the tests I had were multiple choices. My Science exam was take-home and it was online so it was not that bad!

Before last week, I didn’t really have a lot of work to do, but I can now say the workload officially kicks in.

Don’t Get Behind

Do your homework and other assignments in advance instead of doing everything the day before it is due. If you don’t understand a question from the assignment, you’ll have time to either meet the professor or send him or her an email. You won’t be confused and on your own at midnight before the assignment is due the next day. Sometimes, the homework can look easy at first, but it can require more time than you think to complete it. It happened to me a couple of times where I thought simply answering questions from the textbook would require less than 30 minutes. I was wrong.

I’m not saying you have to study weeks in advance before an exam, but you shouldn’t teach yourself the material the day before the test. I think the best way to learn the material  is too study a bit every day. Writing stuff down also helps you to remember it.

On the days you don’t have anything to do, think about if there was anything you could do to get ahead of the game. This is my piece of advice for this week.

Until next time,


Being Organized Pays Off

With five weeks of school completed so far this semester, I seem to have found a pretty nice daily routine for myself. This is important, well at least to me, because it’s good to establish a schedule for you life. I’m sure as you know, once things pick up in the semester, everything starts building on each other making life a lot more stressful than it already is.

Is this illegal? Not quite sure.

Is this illegal? Not quite sure.

In addition to being more organized, I’m also trying to cut back on my procrastination. It took me a while to realize that the more you get done early, the more free time you actually have to spend. Whether you spend your time going to the beach to take photos, hanging out with friends after school, or maybe working at your other jobs, school comes first and it’s important that all of your school work is done first.

Rip McKay. So many great memories freshmen year.

Rip McKay. So many great memories freshmen year.

I suggest keeping a small planner with you and note all of the homework assignments, quizzes, tests, and projects in it. It’s really handy to see how your week is, school work size, and it’ll definitely help you plan out your week.

Probably another useful tool I have is a daily schedule I made with Excel! It shows me not only when I have classes and when I have work, but I budgeted my time accordingly to ensure that I don’t get sidetracked. However, it’s sadly only as good as your will to not get distracted.

I wish I had some updates about some cool things that happened recently, but sadly I don’t. I hope that changes with soon!

The library recently had a book sale, and they actually had a lot really neat stuff!

The library recently had a book sale, and they actually had a lot really neat stuff!

New Residence Hall

I mentioned in one of my last posts that I had the opportunity to move into the New Residence Hall in January. I was an RA (Resident Assistant) in McKay Hall, which has now been replaced by the New Hall (it doesn’t have a name yet). Because of my RA position, I was automatically moved into the New Hall for the spring semester!

I know everyone is excited to see what it’s like inside! I’ll start by going through some features:

  • Two laundry rooms on every floor
  • Two lounges with TVs on every floor
  • Multiple study rooms on each floor
  • Large 1st floor lounge with pool tables and multiple tvs
  • Large 1st floor study area
  • Vending machines

Next, the most important part, what are the rooms like?

  • Four residents per suite, two residents per bedroom
  • One toilet, one shower, double vanity (all in separate rooms)
  • Closet for each resident
  • Microwave
  • Mini fridge
  • Kitchen storage cabinets
  • Ceiling fans
  • Carpet flooring

This hall was definitely designed with students in mind. There are so many places to study, socialize, and even do laundry! Residents have been enjoying this hall for about a month now, and are loving their new home.

As of right now, there aren’t any specifications on the ERAU website, so I took a few pictures to showcase the New Hall.


Hallway inside the New Hall


Laundry room on every floor


Lounge space on the first floor


Study area


Hospitality area on the first floor


More lounge space

I hope these pictures gave you a better idea of what the New Hall is like! If you want to see it for yourself, come visit us on campus! Take a tour or come for Preview Day, and we’d love to show you around.

Until next time,


Rolex 24 Weekend

Last weekend was Rolex 24 Weekend in Daytona. The Rolex 24 is a 24 hour race at Daytona International Speedway. It happens once every year in

There are many different types of cars which come to race, which is part of what makes it so exciting! This year there were Ford GTs, Cadillac Prototypes, Nissans, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins, BMWs, Acura NSX, Porsche 911, and Corvette Prototypes. I’m not very knowledgeable about cars, but I do love to go to

This was my third time at the Rolex 24, and it was probably my favorite of them all! I bought a two-day infield pass that allowed me to walk around all the display areas inside the track. I love looking at all of the old race cars that are on display throughout the weekend. There were also tents for all of the different manufacturers in the race. Although it was pretty cold all weekend, it was still a great time!photo-jan-28-22-16-47

This was one of the most hyped Rolex 24 races because retired NASCAR driver, Jeff Gordon, was racing for the Cadillac team. I had seen Jeff Gordon race in the Daytona 500 before, so I was excited to see him get back on the track at Daytona. His team was in the top five the entire race, and in the last few minutes of the race they pulled into the lead! They ended up winning the race and taking home the prized Rolex

I hope you enjoy these pictures from the weekend.


Until next time,



A Little Reflecting

A few months ago, I completed an interview with Smithsonian’s Air and Space magazine about a little project I did back in high school and how I became interested in aviation. After seeing the article in print two weeks ago, it has caused me to do a little reflecting, 16143024_1084699398323013_5019602681819311292_nespecially since I am set to begin the next chapter of my life at the end of 2017.

My earliest memory goes back to being four or five years old on a plane going somewhere and coming to the realization how much I enjoyed flying and airplanes. As I grew up, I began to learn as much as I could about aviation through books, aviation websites, and talking to airline employees. Yes, I was even the kid who made up his own flight schedules.

Five years ago, I was a sophomore in high school, I wanted to take my interest in airlines to the next level. However, I quickly learned that airlines like to hire people with college degrees or some college experience. So, I decided to find something I could do myself to expand my knowledge and become a little less bored.

At the time, United and Continental were merging, and I noticed that many fliers had questions about the combined fleet, but there was not one central place to get information. So, I created a website that tracked a lot of information about the fleet one plane at a time. For example, I had links to seat maps and a lot of information on configurations, in-flight entertainment, power outlets, ETOPS/Over water certification, which planes were in modifications, what type of seats aircraft had, and much more. Yes, I recognize that I was a big AvGeek but still am very much so to this day.

It was pretty fun meeting United fliers and hearing how helpful the site was, but eventually, I got bored and wanted to diversify. So, I began working with Airways magazine as their Social Media Director and eventually began writing for them. This allowed me to expand my horizons and learn a lot more about different airlines all over the world.

In the Fall of 2014, I had the amazing opportunity to begin the next chapter of my journey as a student at Embry-Riddle which has allowed me to expand my knowledge about aviation and business a lot more. My favorite class this semester is Airport Management; it is taught by a ERAU alum who also owns his own airport consulting firm. The class is once a week and is about three hours long, but those three hours fly by (pun intended). He has so many stories and makes learning fun, and he has a lot of advice to offer.15442170_1050133665112920_7587882564656404909_n

It has truly been a great and unique experience, and especially if you are looking to go into the aviation field, you are in good company. If you don’t believe me, come visit campus, and time it to when one of Delta’s MD-88s roar down the runway and take off as you’ll see most people stop and watch the aluminum bird take to the skies. Even after college, ERAU seems to have a very strong Alumni network, and after meeting dozens, all have been very helpful and interested in working with students.

In about 10 months, I am very much looking forward to be joining the Alumni network, and in less than a year, I am very excited to achieve my dream of becoming a full-time employee at a major airline. It’s crazy how time flies by.

Business Capstone Class Simulation

What would be your first impression of a class which starts with the following lines on the syllabus: “In this class, you will be running your own company as part of a student team. You will be stressed, confused, mad and frustrated. You will make mistakes. You will also have a lot of fun”? You would probably feel scared right?

This syllabus excerpt is from the Strategic Management class. If you are a student with a Business major, you will have to take this class during your last semester at Embry-Riddle.

As stated above, we are running our own company as part of a computer simulation. Our class is evenly divided in six groups, so my group and I compete against five other teams. In the simulation, we create and sell a product. We have to manage many aspects of our company, such as research and development, production, marketing, finance and human resources.

We are currently in the second practice round. There are a total of three practice rounds before things get real. Even though it’s only practice, we put effort and hard work because we want to learn as much as we can before the simulation starts and we get graded on performance. Our group meets on a weekly basis to take decisions for the company that will be applied for the following round. Every round corresponds to a new calendar year.

Even though we just started the simulation, I am very excited about it and I hope to finish high in the ranking! I will give an update later on how our company is evolving.

Another Simulation!
I’m doing a simulation in another class this semester! This one is in Aviation Labor Relations where the class is a mix of lectures and the simulation. This simulation is not done on the computer but rather during class time.

Let me briefly explain how it works. All the students enrolled in the course work for an airline named “Blue Star Airlines,” based in Daytona Beach. Students can work in the management team, as a pilot, as a ramp worker or as a mechanic. For the main purpose of the class, there are also other positions related to unions, such as an ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) representative and a IAM (International Association of Machinists) representative.

I “work” in the management team as Supervisor of Ramp Operations. I selected this position because I have always been interested in airline/airport operations.

There are many issues we have to deal with. In the past week, one of my ramp workers was injured while working on the ramp. This week, there were concerns about pilot duty time FAA violations. Next week, we will have a vote on whether each department of the company wants to join/form a union.

I think simulations are fun and a different way of learning the course material. It’s great to do something else than listening to class lectures for a whole semester. And you, have you taken a class before that involved some sort of simulation?

Until next time!