Summer Life – Delta Air Lines Internship

 

Delta World Headquarters

Hey all!  I hope everyone is having a great summer as we fly into the month of June.  My month of May was quite eventful; I wrapped up finals at the beginning of the month and then headed up to start my summer internship at Delta on May 12th.  I’m working with the great folks in the Network Planning department where a large group of individuals plan where and how we are going to fly all of the routes that are out for sale to the public.  The process isn’t as easy as saying you’re flying from point A to B at this time, it is a very choreographed process with tons of steps between deciding when and where to fly and how they are actually going to do it.

Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.
Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.

My internship started off very quickly as I quickly became acclimated with our scheduling software, Sabre AirVision.  The product is very easy to use and not only contains the flight schedule that we are working with, but it also generates reports on things such as flights that may have the same number as another (duplicates, which you cannot have on the same day) and hours that airplane types and crews will fly (we only have so many airplanes and pilots and crews are restricted by the FAA on how many hours they can fly in a day).  I cannot imagine scheduling flights without a product such as this one.

Network PlanningPutting together the schedule is quite a challenge because of dozens of things that the normal traveler doesn’t see.  Things such as performing overnight maintenance on our fleet and keeping the number of flights coming into and out of a hub within max limitations is a very hard task due to the number of flights that we are trying to fly in a day.  The Delta system is based around a hub-and-spoke style layout and every hub has special characteristics that the folks in Network Planning have to keep in mind.  No one flying on an airline likes delayed or cancelled flights and it is our job to make sure that every flight gets off the ground as planned, on-time through major planning months before the day of the flight.

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must!  I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must! I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

One great perk of interning at Delta is the flight benefit package.  A normal intern has the opportunity to non-rev, or fly anywhere in the world for minimal or no cost at all as long as there is an open seat in the cabin, aka a non-revenue generating seat and passenger for the airline.  So far I have worked at Delta for three weeks and have gone home to Indiana twice and to New York City, Myrtle Beach, and Daytona Beach all once.  Being an airline intern definitely has its perks other than gaining awesome experience behind the scenes.  I cannot wait to use my non-rev benefits to travel around the world!

6Delta World Headquarters, known as the G.O. by employees, is an awesome place to work and I am extremely honored to have been chosen to work for and represent such a well respected and successful entity.  Stay tuned for blogs in the coming weeks and months from here in Atlanta!

 

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

The Magic of Flight

There is just something about flying that excites nearly every single human-being.  I think flying is as magical as it is because of the simple thought of flying through the sky, in any type of flying machine, with nothing supporting it up there except the nothingness of the air around it.  Some folks don’t like to fly, and some, like myself, absolutely love to get in an airplane.  For those that don’t like to fly, they still look up at every airplane in amazement, because flying is indeed an amazing and puzzling thing.  Whether it be actually flying the machine or just sitting in the back enjoying the ride, I always love to go up into the wild blue yonder.

The sights you see in aviation are second to none to anything else in this world. Nature is always seen in its finest moments and it truly is just man and machine up there.

Over the past few weeks I did quite a bit of flying back home in Indiana and I met another young man that was just as crazy about airplanes and flying as I am.  We ran into each other at the famous Sporty’s Pilot Shop near Cincinnati, Ohio and were both there trying to find new toys to enhance our flight bag.  He was just starting his flight training at Ohio State and it was neat to see a young 18 year old that was so passionate about aviation about to start his dream career.  The same passion is shared among most all students here at Embry-Riddle.  I am an Aviation Business Administration major here, as a lot of you know, and most students in this program have a good idea of where they want to end up, meaning they know what company they want to work for and what they want to do there.  These students may or may not be pilots, but they too feel that magic when they’re dealing with the “business of flight” as we like to call it.  They love to see the flight schedules come together and deal with the daily operations of aircraft manufacturing and airline planning and management, it is just a great thing to be involved with.  The same goes for the engineering students here.  They, in a way, make this magic happen.  They dream up and create the machines that the businessmen and women finance and the pilots fly.  But at the end of the day, they’re inspired by this magic, the awesomeness per se that is felt when you see a machine going through the air.

Some of the best experiences I have had in aviation haven’t come in a flying-for-hire environment in big airplanes, they came in small airplanes with friends such as this picture depicts. Shown here is a typical “backyard” style fly-in, with this one held near Muncie, Indiana at Dalton Field.

Here at Embry-Riddle, you can study about everything aviation.  From designing the airplanes in the College of Engineering, to financing and managing the business end in the College of Business, to actually flying them in the College of Aviation, and to making sure safety is assured in the College of Arts and Sciences, the students of ERAU are definitely immersed in everything aviation.  Every one of the majors at this university have an aviation flavor intertwined in the curriculum, and it all comes back to this magic of flight.

Happy flying,

Kyle

When Are We Ever Going to Use That?!

How many times as a high school student did you say, “When are we ever going to use that?!”  I know I must have said it hundreds of times, and even say it sometimes now as a junior in college!  When you look back on it, it’s all about gaining a specific way of thinking so to speak, and all of the hard work you put in is definitely worth it.  Thinking back, I can remember many Calculus lectures with Mr. Paul Keller and many days in AP Anatomy with Dr. Lance Brand back at Delta High School asking myself why on earth would we ever need to learn this stuff, but it all comes down to learning to put your nose to the grindstone and grit your teeth to finish the job.  As a student in Mr. Glaze’s engineering classes in high school, I often wondered why we needed to keep such organized class work and practice our class presentations so often, but those are things that I do every day here at Riddle.

Presenting the 2010 Delta High School IMSTEA SuperMileage entry as a junior in high school.  I never thought that I would carry that presentation experience into my daily college career!

As a student leader here, I often speak in front of peers and faculty members about many various topics and the experience gained in high school makes it that much easier every time the opportunity arises.

Another example of mine that I use often is my career in racing.  I have worked as a driver coach and tuner in karting for a few years now after a short, successful driving stint and I must say that, even though aviation and racing might not be the same industries at all, they are quite similar! Management and interpersonal skills are key in both arenas and I carry experiences from my flying over to the race track and vice versa.

I would have never imagined that racing would have taught me so many other useful skills that I use in my daily life. Here I am driver coaching at a national kart race in early 2013.

I hope you guys have enjoyed this blog as much as I have, and next time you wonder when you’re ever going to use what you learned by doing that 10 page research paper you dreaded so much, just think about the set of skills you carried away from it to put to good use in the future.

Happy flying!

Kyle

Goodbye island life

This is probably the only blog from an Embry-Riddle student who started two first days at this University, 5 years apart.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that one year ago, I was a Key West trolley tour guide.  I entertained tourists with facts of the island and repeated the same corny jokes to them every day, sometimes with a few originals.  Chances are good that if you visited Key West and rode on an orange and green trolley over the past year, I was your bus driver and guide.  I also drove the Key West haunted tours, a type of meet and greet with Key West characters like Robert the doll as well as the other types of spirits….not necessarily the ones found in haunted houses.  I found myself living on the island by accident.  I went to be a dog sitter for two weeks and ended staying almost a year!  You might say I caught what the locals call the “Keys Disease” and it’s hard to resist.  People come for a visit but never leave.  It’s said on the island that if you show up to work every day, you have a job.  If two weeks later you’re still showing up on time, they’ll make you the manager.  Well, sure enough, the dog left town with its owner and I stayed.  As well as being a tour guide, I worked other side jobs such as newspaper delivery boy, bakeshop dishwasher, and event security (a.k.a. bouncer).

The island life was a relaxing and good one.  It is hard to resist the sunniest place in Florida with the least amount of rain.  It ‘s truly Paradise except, endless renditions of Jimmy Buffett songs blaring down from Duval Street.  One day I woke up with one more hangover and realized I wasn’t moving forward with my life.  It was time for me to progress forward on my flight plan for life.

This was the culmination of a restlessness that I tried to resolve, and it brought me through many different experiences.  These included several semesters at a state university, a shopkeeper in South Beach, and an unpaid Internship for Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in DC.  This was right after I withdrew myself from Embry Riddle; I wanted to try something different in life. But my passions drew me back.

On August 27, 2012, my second first day of college began.  Once again excited to be making progress, living in campus dorms, and starting from where I had left off, but more focused on my degree: Aviation Business Administration.  In one week, I will be curing my desires, dusting off the backpack and train hopping across Europe to appease my wandering soul.  In one month, I will be attending classes with the Study Abroad program in Berlin, and in one year, I will be an Embry-Riddle alumnus. It’s a long way from the old island life, and it feels great!

November 2009

They were right; at the beginning of the semester, I remember being told that time would slip away much quicker than we would expect, and in less than two weeks, this fall semester will be coming to a close. It’s a time of reflection. Did I get everything I wanted out of the classes here? Is this the right college for me?

Embry-Riddle is specialized in aviation, and when I enrolled, I had a general idea of what I was getting myself into. To answer the question, Embry-Riddle’s business school is a perfect fit for me, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the classes I’ve taken, the people I’ve met, and the degree of aviation specialization classmates and teachers put into their work.

At Embry-Riddle, there is a sense of community that’s new to me, specifically at the college of business. Familiar faces in classes quickly became friends, and friendly faculty / staff always have their door open for questions and help that has helped yield success. Recently, I’ve been trying to take a more active role in our sports teams by attending and cheering with The Flock. So far, I’ve only gone to soccer and basketball games, but I will try to attend other sports in the forthcoming spring semester. The school is very spirited, and The Flock / Pep Band do a great job of getting the crowd cheering for E-R-A-U.

Thanksgiving break was this past weekend, and I was fortunate enough to fly back home. There, I enjoyed my family’s famous stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes with roasted marshmallows on top. It’s always a treat to go home, but I’ll be back in just under two weeks.

Next time I’ll cover my experiences with finals.

Until then,

Jonathan

November 15, 2009

These past two weeks reaffirm why I came to Embry-Riddle specifically to pursue a business degree. Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the career expo, as well as an industry advisory board meeting, and speak directly and ask questions the insiders. This weekend, I toured Orlando-Sanford airport with the Airport Management Club (AMC). I’ll give a recap of both. 

Embry-Riddle is well known for the high-caliber pilots it produces – yet, what is Embry-Riddle’s reach in the aviation business community? It extends a lot farther than I thought. The College of Business’s industry advisory board, or IAB, consists of 19 members – all with unique backgrounds and a willingness to help and advise the College of Business and its students. I was able to talk to a few of the members, and I asked how often the Embry-Riddle name appears in the aviation business world. I learned that many of their colleagues and superiors are Embry-Riddle alumni; making it a prominent name in the industry.

At the career fair, I spoke with several companies about future internship opportunities. While most companies are not interested in freshmen quite yet, the recruiters were eager to share information about the opportunities available. At first, it’s difficult to walk up to a recruiter and spur a conversation, but once you make that leap and introduce yourself, the fear disappears.

After the career fair and the IAB meeting, I’ve come to have a much higher respect for the people that taught me the importance of networking early on. Knowing people in a specific industry can start conversations, and it gets your name out.

Many of the IAB members stressed the importance of internships. At an internship, students have the opportunity to network and learn. Additionally, internships help build a resume; one of the first things recruiters ask to look at.

This past weekend, I toured Orlando-Sanford International Airport with the Airport Management Club. We toured the domestic and international terminals, the ramp, and the airport’s firehouse. Every airport is unique, but Sanford stands out, as it’s partially privately held – a rarity for U.S. airports.

In addition to the tour administered by Sanford’s VP of Operations, a few of us were able to take a tour of Sanford’s air traffic control tower. There, we watched the air traffic controllers clear an Allegiant Air MD-83 for landing – they have the best view on the airport.

I’m a bit shocked there is less than a month left of the semester. I’ll be posting another update in two weeks.

Until then,

Jonathan

October 3, 2009

Tests are rolling by and the semester is nearly half over. Each week my agenda seems full with homework and club meetings, but there’s always the weekend to look forward to. As I’m just about settled down here, the weeks are flying by, and every weekend I try to do something fun. Usually, I’ll go flying with my roommate. Sometimes a few friends and I will drive to the beach or another city in Florida. Daytona’s location allows for easy access to attractions in neighboring cities – like Orlando and Jacksonville.

Last weekend, I flew with my roommate, and his instructor, to Marathon airport, located on the Florida Keys. I sat in the back, but who could pass up an opportunity to fly for free – and to the Keys? We grabbed dinner, and then flew back at night.

Weekends end fast, but I look forward to Mondays. This past week I had the opportunity to present a current event in the aviation industry for my principles of management class. As I’m passionate about aviation business, I couldn’t ask for a better assignment. It’s assignments like those that remind me of why I came here.

One of my favorite aspects of the college of business (known as the COB) at Embry-Riddle is the opportunity to spend vast amounts of time researching key issues in the aviation industry. Even in my Introduction to Computer Based Systems class, we’ve spent time focusing on new technology in airports.

This past week, I spent some time meeting with a professor to go over several questions I had about material we covered in the class. Not only did the professor answer each question I had, but also she made sure I understood the answer. The professors here seem to always have their door open, making it easy to get help.

Fall break is less than two weeks away, and I plan on going home to see family and friends. I’ll have a post up following my flight back up to Pennsylvania.

Until then,
Jonathan