Finding ERAU, World Suicide Prevention Day and 9/11

The Question of College: How I Found ERAU
High school students, usually seniors, are constantly being hounded with the question of going to college. Parents get worried and students get frustrated. What to do, what to do, what to do. I can tell you from experience that I was in the same boat not too long ago. Here is where it started. Ever since I was four years old, I wanted to be a famous singer/actress/dancer. I ate, slept, and dreamt about being on stage in front of thousands of people performing my heart out. I had my first musical production of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” when I was in fifth grade. That followed with a myriad of productions all throughout middle school and high school. Some of which included: “A Christmas Story,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” In high school I took part in Senior Thespians and was in an elite group of singers that performed all around Broward County. Being swept up in the luxury of “fame,” I was never focused on getting an education and I never really enjoyed going to school – especially high school. This was until spring break 2013.
My family and I were heading to St. Augustine when my dad mentioned going to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The next thing I know, we were at the gates of KSC. The word “EXPLORE” in big blue letters was sitting on top of the entrance gate and seven rockets sat behind it. The moment I walked through that gate and saw those rockets I knew I had to do that. Now let me clarify, I didn’t know what “that” was at that moment. We spent the whole day at KSC meeting the people that worked there as well as an astronaut. By the end of the day, I was walking out of KSC in a blue NASA astronaut flight suit. That is what I wanted to do: I wanted to become an astronaut.
Two and a half years later I come to find myself at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach studying Human Factors & Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Biomechanical Engineering as a double degree, an officer and/or member of multiple clubs/organizations, involved on several projects, and working towards my ultimate dream of becoming an astronaut. On top of all that, I have managed my own website and social media sites interacting with people from all around the world sharing our love for space and knowledge.
skye and dad 1
My Dad and me at NASA 2013
So what is college to you? Building the next rocket to go to space? Creating a booming business that you will one day become the CEO of? Becoming the next Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride? Whatever it may be, a STEM degree, business degree, or anything else, you will find what you are looking for as long as you have a passion and drive behind it. That is how I found myself, my career, and ERAU. You can do the same.

World Suicide Prevention Day
Yesterday, September 10th, was World Suicide Prevention Day. Students, faculty and staff had the chance to write messages on colored flags that were put in the (the lawn in front of the Student Center). “Hope” and “love yourself” were just some of the words written by students and faculty at ERAU. With something as little as messages on colored flags, it speaks volumes.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1 (800) 273-8255 –
every eagle
Forever Remember 9/11. 14 years later we remember what happened on that tragic day back in 2001. Innocent lives were lost, and hearts were broken. We will forever remember their bravery and sacrifice. We will forever remember each one of the lives lost on that tragic day. They will never be forgotten. Together we stand as one. Never forget.

Weekend Traveler

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before” -Dalai Lama

I love this quote because it seems to be my motto as of late. These last two weeks have been full of travel and I am excited to say that the next few weeks will be, too!

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Savannah, Georgia with the Women’s Ambassador Program. I traveled with one other Ambassador and an Admissions Counselor. We drove up to Georgia Friday afternoon and spent the night touring around Savannah. For those who have never been to Savannah, it is absolutely gorgeous! The old architecture and the Spanish moss are best seen with your own eyes. The evening was very cold, however we did stop in Barracuda Bob’s Restaurant to get some warm food. We walked down River Street and downtown Savannah. Of course, we had to stop in Paula Deen’s Restaurant and store. We also saw very cool art shops, boutiques, and hotels. The next day we went to a local high school for Girls in Engineering Day. We got to speak to so many young girls about their passion for math, science, and engineering. It was so inspiring to see girls who already know what they want to do for their future careers!


Old Building in Savannah


River boat on River Street


Paula Deen Store


Georgia Peach in the Georgia Visitor Center


Jessica and I at the Girls in Engineering Day


Jessica and I on the Florida-Georgia State Line

After a long drive home from Savannah on Saturday, I got to spend Sunday at the Daytona 500! It was probably one of the best sporting events I have been to. All year I have driven by Daytona International Speedway while it was under construction and empty. Then, I finally got to be inside when it was packed full of crazy NASCAR fans. My boyfriend and I walked over to the Speedway around 10:30AM, since it was almost impossible to drive anywhere. We spent the morning looking at all of the vendors and just enjoying the sights and smells of the 500. Kid Rock and Phillip Phillips both sang and of course, the USAF Thunderbirds did a flyover. Once it hit race time the crowd went wild! The race was full of excitement from start to finish and in the end, Joey Logano took first. Needless to say, I will definitely be going again next year!!

At the Daytona 500

At the Daytona 500

Turn 2 at Daytona International Speedway

Turn 2 at Daytona International Speedway

Last weekend, I traveled home to Seattle, WA with my boyfriend for his brother’s wedding. We left on Friday afternoon and arrived in Seattle at 11:30PM that night. We had to stop in Salt Lake City, UT for a layover, which was a lot of fun. (I love exploring airports!) The funny thing was that our flight from Salt Lake City to Seattle was practically empty! The aircraft was a week-old 737ER which only had about 50 passengers on it! So of course, we each took our own row and spread out.

Empty 737!

Empty 737!

The next day was wedding day! We drove up to the University of Washington in Seattle to take pictures and set up. The wedding was beautiful and I felt so blessed to witness it. Afterwards, the reception was in an old Naval Hangar in Seattle. The reception was awesome and it was cool to be inside of a huge hangar that once held Naval aircraft.

David and I before the wedding in Seattle

David and I before the wedding in Seattle

On Sunday our flight left Seattle at 12PM, so we were only home for about 30 hours. Even though it was a short period of time, it is always great to be home! Surprisingly it was a bright, sunny weekend, which is odd for Seattle in February. All in all, it was a great trip and a very tiring one. I finally made it back to my room at 12AM, Monday morning.

Flying over the Cascade Mountains

Flying over the Cascade Mountains

This weekend I am off to Dallas, Texas for a Women in Aviation, International Conference. I cannot wait to meet many professional women who are already successful in the aviation field. Next weekend I will be traveling to Fort Myers, Florida for Spring Break! It will be nice to relax and get away from school for awhile. I will keep you updated on my traveling adventures!

Until next time,


Boeing here I come!

Hey everybody! Remember me? Well it’s been quite a long time since I last wrote a blog. When I first started doing this, I was just starting out at Embry-Riddle. Now I’m a senior!! Can’t believe how fast the time goes by when you’re working towards your passion in life.

Boeing here I come!

Not much has changed in my life. I’m still an Aerospace Engineering major with a concentration in astronautics. Except this summer, I’m here in Washington State at an internship with The Boeing Company!

Now, before I start saying anything about my job, I would just like to say one thing: you don’t know the power a good university like Embry-Riddle carries until you get out in the industry. You see, I didn’t get my internship through Embry-Riddle (although our Career Services Office does an AMAZING job at getting students jobs/internships!!). Last year, in October, I went to a Hispanics in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) conference in Orlando called HENAAC. For those of you who have previously read my blog…yes it was at Disney. Anywho, this is a huge conference where big named companies go and celebrate diversity in the field. And by big names, I mean people like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Chevron. Did I mention this isn’t an aviation conference? Yeah, great shot for us aviation geeks at getting a job 😉

On the first day of the conference, the main sponsors held hospitality suites with food (lots of it!) and recruiters and managers (hiring people!). I was one of the first ones lined up to go talk to a recruiter I had met earlier. I handed him my my resume, he looked it over, and referred me to a manager that had literally just walked in. Mind you I was standing next to students from other really good Universities like MIT, GTech, Purdue. However, when that manager saw the ERAU name on my resume, he just looked at me and said “OH! Embry-Riddle! Very good school!” I was surprised, honestly! Our University has a huge name and a very good reputation in the industry. I found out Boeing hires hundreds of ERAU students every year as interns (don’t quote me exactly on that number). To put that into perspective, here in Washington/Puget Sound area, there are around 1,040 interns total this summer. And my lead engineer is a Riddle grad too! We do stake our claim here!
Anyways, that same night of the hospitality suite, the manager called me back (mind you it was like 10 pm…). He asked me to come back to the suite. I was so nervous! What was he going to tell me? Good job, but you’re just not what we’re looking for? Nope! He wanted me to set up an interview!

So a few days later, on a Saturday, I waltzed into the career fair with an interview already set up. I had such mixed feelings about it. It was a combination of anxiety, excitement, nervousness…well everything. And when I get anxious, I tend to talk a lot. Needless to say this carried on in the interview…I felt like I was talking way too much and that I was rambling on! I was so scared at the end of the interview that I had just bored them to death. I used every tip that Career Services had provided for me, but I just wasn’t sure how well I did!
Then, the wait began. On October 26th (yes I remember the date!), I opened my email. “Boeing Global Staffing”. Huh? I opened it. My phone began to ring. Should I wait and see the email? Who could be calling me? I answered the phone. “Hello, is this Adriana?” “Uh…yes…who is this?” “Hi, this is Cynthia calling from Boeing. Have you checked your email today? We would like you extend to you an offer for an internship for the Summer 2013. You have to reply within 48 hours on your decision. The instructions are in your email.” “UH! YES! I’ll do that right away! Thank you!”
Needless to say, I accepted right after I hung up. That was 7 months ago, exactly. Today, I’m sitting here on May 26 in my apartment. I started about a week ago (May 17th). But I think that’s a story for next time…

The Boeing Company, Washington state