Nicolas

About Nicolas

Sophomore

Aviation Business Administration

Nicolas – Intern with Montreal International Airport, Finance Department
Major: Aviation Business Administration
Hometown: Montreal, Canada Campus Involvement: Airport Management Club, National Business Aviation Administration, International Student Programing Council and student assistant in the College of Business
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Its worldwide reputation, opportunities and everyone’s love for aviation

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.

IMG_0940

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.

IMG_0941

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.

IMG_0942

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

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

Last Minute Career Expo Tips

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY! For those of you who are attending the Industry/Career Expo, I have prepared a few last minute tips that you can use before, during and after the event!

C5sO3kGWAAE-9OK

I got my Fast Pass!

Before
Here is a list of things you can do before the event:

Fast Pass pick up: Today is the last day to get your Fast Pass early to avoid long lines at the day of the event. Stop by Career Services with your Eagle Card to get your Fast Pass. It just takes a few seconds!

Download the Embry-Riddle Career Fair Plus app: The app is available on Google Play and the iTunes App Store. You will have access to the list of employers, which includes their company description, the job positions available, and any type of work authorizations required. The app also offers a map of the fair so you will not get lost the day of the event.

Do some research: Get to know the companies you are interested in working for. Navigate on their websites to know what jobs are currently offered and what are the requirements. Review the job requirements and qualifications. Companies want you to show them that you are interested in working for their company.

Review your resume: Take a look at your resume one last time to make sure that it is properly formatted and free of spelling errors. Click here for resume tips!

Practice interviews: Practice your elevator speech that you will use to introduce yourself to the employers. Make good impression. Additionally, get together with a friend and simulate an interview. Practice answering questions about the company or about the position you would like to work for. If you are applying for a particular position, go look on Glassdoor to see if there are any sample interview questions. Click here for other interviewing tips and sample questions!

Attend the info sessions: You should attend the information sessions of the companies you are interested in. From past experience, many of them gives you important tips such as how to approach an employer and how to shake hands. Below is the schedule of the Company Information Sessions prior to the Industry/Career Expo.

Overall-Expo-Company-Info-Sessions-1

Spring 2017 Company Info Sessions


On Site
Dress Code: During the event, you should look professional. You should wear clean, pressed business attire and be properly groomed.

What to bring?: You should bring your EagleCard, a notepad/portfolio to take notes and to hold copies of your resumes, a list of the companies you are interested in, and business cards.


After
Following the event, you may want to send thank you notes to the employers you had significant interaction with or whom you interviewed with.

It’s definitely okay if you don’t get an interview during your first year of college. I used my first time at the Expo as practice. I did not get any interviews, but I went to talk to the various recruiters to get more information. You can ask them what the company is looking for to hire students. They are usually looking for extra curricular activities, clubs and past work experience. Use the following year to boost up your resume!

Hope this helps!

Nicolas

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!

Nicolas

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,

Nicolas

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!

Nicolas

Spring Industry/Career Expo Calendar Unveiled

Last week, Career Services published its calendar of activities and events to prepare students for the Spring 2017 Industry/Career Expo. The event, which brings more than 100 companies to campus, will take place on March 1, 2017.

16113160_10155078802466454_3449723334113938168_o

*All rooms are subject to change

You should take advantage of what Embry-Riddle has to offer to successfully prepare its students for the event. As you can see, most of the events will happen in February. At the beginning of February, there will be a few RefreshER presentations that will go over resumes, expo tips, interviewing and elevator speech and engaging employers. On Fridays, a few Career Services advisors will be available in the Student Center during lunch for quick questions and for resume reviews. There are other workshops that will only take place once during the month, such as the Portfolio Workshop and the LinkedIn Workshop.

Do you want to know the steps on how to be well prepared for the Industry/Career Expo? Check my Preparing for the Industry/Career Expo blog!

As we get closer to March 1, 2017, Career Services will publish the Company Info Sessions schedule. The sessions are usually held the two days preceding the Industry/Career Expo.

If you have misplaced your pass (from the Fall semester) to access the Expo or if you are a new student to the university, then you can get your pass starting on February 2 between 8:00 and 17:00 in the Career Services office.

Good luck on all your work preparation!

Nicolas

First Trip of the Year

I started off my first day of the year by travelling to London-Heathrow for a family week vacation in United Kingdom’s largest city. I think the winter season is a good time to travel to Europe because there a lot less tourists than during the busy summer season. Streets are less crowded and the wait time to do some activities is reduced. The temperature during winter varies between 0oC (32 F) and 10oC (50 F). We were lucky to get a few sunny days during our stay.

Below is my Top 5 of the things I love to do or see in London.

London Eye

The London Eye is one of my favorite attractions in London. The 135 metres (443 ft.) high Ferris wheel was completed in 2000. It was first sponsored by British Airways for many years, but now Coca-Cola took over the branding.

The London Eye

The London Eye

From the cabin, you can see most of the city from above. You can see the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Shard just to name a few. One wheel rotation takes 30 minutes so you will have plenty of time to take pictures and enjoy the view.

If you would like to experience London with a 360 degrees view, regular adult tickets sell for £23 (US$29). When it is crowded and there are long queues, you can purchase a Fast Track Ticket for £32 (US$40).

Tower of London

img_3505 img_3528

The Food

You will eat well when traveling to the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. London is a multicultural city with people speaking over 300 different languages. You can basically find a variety of food from all around the globe. I love the food in London!

Poached Scottish salmon with fennel, grapefruit and dill pickled cucumber.

Poached Scottish salmon with fennel, grapefruit and dill pickled cucumber (Starter)

img_0187

Braised jowl of Tamworth pork with bacon marmalade, cider pickled cabbage and apple (Main course)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Harrods

Harrods is a luxury department store with more than 330 departments. There, you can find  almost everything such as restaurants and a bunch of stores. I visited twice in a week!

2c6a718700000578-0-image-a-6_1442507398217

Big Ben

Big Ben, also known as the Elizabeth Tower, is the famous clock in London!

img_3440

I hope 2017 brings you to new exciting places!

Nicolas

My 2016 Travel Map

In 2016, I traveled more than 108,000 kilometers and spent more than 148 hours in the skies! Here are some of the best trips I had over the past 12 months. The ranking is not in order of best flight experience but is rather based on chronology.

map

My 2016 Travel Map

1. Flying All Over America in One Day
In February, I flew for fun with my friend touching the East Coast, the West Coast and the North of the United States in less than one day. We flew from Orlando to Orlando via Atlanta, San Francisco and Minneapolis.

My ride from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

Flew this type of bird (Boeing 767) between Atlanta and San Francisco and between Minneapolis and Orlando.

2. First Business Trip
In May, I flew on my first business trip just a few days after my first day as an Aircraft Programs Intern at Air Canada. I travelled from Montreal to Seattle for a week.

I got upgraded in Business Class from Toronto-Pearson to Seattle-Tacoma.

I got upgraded in Business Class from Toronto-Pearson to Seattle-Tacoma.

3. Customer Delivery Test Flight
While I was at the Boeing Everett Factory with Air Canada, I had the opportunity to fly on their brand new Boeing 777-300ER (C-FKAU) that was going to be delivered a few days later. We were only between 10 and 15 people on the plane for the flight that lasted a bit more than 2 hours.

img_7816

View from the jump seat while climbing out of Paine Field.

img_7826

The Boeing 777-300ER has a wingspan of more than 212 feet.

4. Flying on the Bombardier CSeries Before Commercial Entry Into Service
At the end of June in Montreal, I had the chance to fly on a Bombardier CS100 aircraft during a 45 minute flight for the media. The state-of the-art aircraft is very silent and offers a wide body feeling in the cabin.

img_1314

FTV5 (Flight Test Vehicle Number 5) with the SWISS livery.

img_8225

View of the CSeries wing after touchdown.

5. Flying Across the Atlantic to Ireland
After my internship was done, my family and I flew to Ireland for a week vacation.

Starter: smoked trout Niçoise said with roasted garlic aïoli.

Appetizer on the flight to Europe.

6. Weekend in California
During Labor Day weekend, I traveled to Los Angeles for a few days.

IMG_9005

The famous Hollywood sign.

Plane spotters love to take pictures at Los Angeles International Airport.

Plane spotters love to take pictures at Los Angeles International Airport.

7. First Time in South America
I flew to Argentina for my first time during Thanksgiving break. This trip from Florida to the Southern tip of the world required many flights.

Boeing 737-800 of Aerolineas Argentinas at Ushuaia airport, the world's southernmost airport.

Boeing 737-800 of Aerolineas Argentinas at Ushuaia airport, the world’s southernmost airport.

What were your best flying memories of 2016? Share them with us below!

Happy Flying!

Nicolas

Holidays Travel Tips

Here are a few travel tips as we go through this holiday season:

Before The Trip
Pack light: You should only bring the necessary stuff you need for your trip. If you are allowed a free checked-bag on your airline, use it instead of bringing a carry-on. This will accelerate the boarding process and reduce delays at the gate.

Carry-on: You should pack your travel documents, medication, car keys and spare lithium batteries in your carry-on or in a bag as your personal item. If you are bringing liquids, they should be 100g/100ml (3.4 oz.) or less. Make sure your carry-on luggage has the right dimensions and weight depending on your airline. Many air carriers are strict about this and will make you check your bag if it’s too large.

Bringing gifts?: If you are carrying gifts onboard the aircraft, you should keep them unwrapped until you go through security. It’s just easier for the security officers if they have to inspect your gifts.

Flying international?
: If you are flying out of the country, make sure you have all the documents you need to enter the foreign country such as passport and visas. Ensure your passport is valid and is not expired prior to your trip.

24 Hours Before The Flight
Check-in: One day prior to your flight, you can check-in on your airline’s website or on their mobile app.

Flight status: Enable your notifications on your smart phone so you can know the status of your flight. If it is delayed or cancelled, you will know before heading to the airport for nothing. Winter weather delays can be expected even if you are not flying to/from the north as your inbound plane and the crew might be coming from Minneapolis for example.

At The Airport
Arrive early: If you are flying early in the morning or out of a major hub, definitely arrive early before your flight. There are a lot of people at the airport checking-in for their flights, dropping their bags and going through the security check point, which means longer wait times. Early for me means between 2 hours and 3 hours before departure.

Security checkpoint: To expedite security, I would recommend that you put your phone and wallet in your bag or your carry-on. You’ll have less loose items in the bins that you can lose. If you have a laptop, put it in a separate bin. Keep your boarding pass and ID with you as you go through screening. If “TSA Pre” is written on your boarding pass, just put everything in your bag and go through the walk through detector with your shoes and belt.

Boarding the Aircraft
Boarding time: Only go closer to the boarding area when your boarding zone is called so you won’t block any passengers in line that are boarding an earlier zone than you. To increase the odds your flight leaves on-time, only board when it’s your turn. I was boarding a flight earlier this week and a passenger tried to board during  Zone 1 while he was Zone 5…

Onboard: If you have a carry-on, store it with handle out or wheels out to make space for everyone on board. If you have a winter jacket, don’t put it next to your carry-on. Squeeze it on top of your carry-on or put it under the seat in front of you with your personal item.

Comment below if you have other good #traveltips to give to our readers!

Happy and safe travels!

Nicolas