Unique Opportunities @ Embry-Riddle

Hi y’all!

Fall is in full swing and I am itching to get back to the cooler weather in Colorado for Thanksgiving! For those that are curious, I tend to fly out of Orlando for a better price. I can usually find a friend to drive me down to MCO so I don’t have to worry about paying for parking. In general, I can find a round-trip ticket to Denver for $250 during the holidays, and much less during the rest of the year! I do love campus a little extra this time of year for several reasons: seasonal drinks at Starbucks, not breaking a sweat when walking to class, the holiday-themed events across campus, and the general excitement buzzing around! Once we get back from Thanksgiving break, it’s practically finals and the end of the semester!

Now on to the good stuff… I wanted to talk a bit about some of the unique opportunities at Embry-Riddle! I know that this time of year can be interesting if you are in high school. You may be weighing the costs and benefits of your top schools – maybe that’s why you came to this blog! I hope to help showcase the unique opportunities we have here at Riddle. A lot of this stuff I have mentioned before, but I wanted to summarize it all together because I think this truly makes us unique.

Career Services: I don’t think having a department to help find jobs is very unique – I’m sure most college have such a thing. What I do think is very unique is that our department works so closely with the industry. My Career Services counselor is available to help tailor my resume to the needs of any company I am applying for, practice for the interview with questions used by *insert company name* before, and even help me find jobs/internships if that’s what I need. The counselors are divided up by major, so they know what you need to be doing to make yourself most-prepared for your specific career. They get to know you well and offer up advice that is truly helpful.

On-Campus Experiences: I love how many events we have on campus. Sometimes it’s a concert, a carnival, a magician or comedian, or any other sort of performance you can think of. We typically have performers who are quite well known too, such as Adam DeVine, All American Rejects, Dan and Shay, Rachel Platten, and Nick Offerman. Those are just in the past two years, so you can imagine we have a lot going on all the time! We also always have free food around campus… What more could you want? Krispy Kreme donuts, fresh lemonade, kettle corn, and much much more. I can confirm it is all AMAZING! There are also movies every Thursday – my favorite is when they’re outside!

On-Campus Jobs: I have multiple on-campus jobs. I realize this is not as unique as some of the other points, but I think it is worth mentioning. Many of us need to work, but in order to have a good work-life balance, the school offers many on-campus jobs. At most of these jobs, you can even do your homework! I think the fact that you go around campus and see students working everywhere, it really shows that we are the center here. Our input is in every department and everything. Most jobs are great to add to a resume, such as my job in the Office of Philanthropy. I utilize Excel, plan events, and work with many industry folks, so I can use this experience during interviews for examples. All my bosses are also very flexible with my school schedule. Schedules are chosen by you, based on your input. I actually just took two weeks off so I could study for my exams and my bosses were so kind and understanding about it!

Guest Speakers: We constantly have speakers on campus. They range from authors to media figure heads. I love the variety of speakers, but also the frequency. Every week it seems there is another speaker. This makes me feel better if I can’t attend one because of a project or studying. I love learning about such diverse topics, ones I never would have explored myself. This helps us students to become more well-rounded. In such a like-minded, aviation-focused environment, it’s nice to bring us back to the real world. Lately, we have heard about what Russia wants, the effects of healthy eating and brain activity, and etc. Did I mention they’re all free?

The Students: One thing that really made Embry-Riddle stand out against other schools I toured and considered was the students. I had never been in a place where there was so much passion. I knew this environment would encourage me to push myself and grow as a person and in my industry awareness. Not only did I see networking opportunities for the future, but I saw a chance to bond with many people just like me. When I heard people go on flights to get BBQ in Georgia, I was pretty much sold on the environment. If you think you know everything about aviation, wait until you get here. You learn something new every day!

The Professors: My professors are top notch. I have already written about how I think the professors are outstanding, but we forget how unique this is. Some colleges, the TA does all the teaching. Just today my professor tried connecting me with an old work partner who does the job that I am very interested in. Our professors go beyond being just a very capable and knowledgeable source, but are also truly interested in our well-being. Whether it be reminding us to get sleep or handing out extra-credit to attend career-advancing events, such as the Career Fair and special speakers, they push us to grow. I just know that with my learning style (which is very hands-on), I really appreciate the small classroom settings. My professor knows my name and offers great feedback on my work. I know I am getting my money’s worth out of this education, not just going to class because I have to!

Involvement: My ultimate favorite thing about Riddle is the level of involvement of the students. This is something I didn’t know about before becoming a full-time student on campus. Now, I love being around people who encourage me to join clubs and take advantage of all the opportunities on campus. This type of environment makes you challenge and push yourself to try new things and get out of your room. Not to mention it’s just really fun to be involved! You make a lot of friends and learn so much about yourself. Plus it doesn’t hurt that it looks stellar on a resume!

The Buildings: This one will be short. The buildings are gorgeous. The dorms are super fancy. The Mori Hosseini Student Union is so nice. It’s literally the most beautiful Starbucks ever. There’s live plants and the ceiling looks like stars. Also, the outdoor seating resembles a 5-star resort with the fanciest chairs and tables. And… There’s a video game lounge. Enough said!

Please make a note that these are things that experience and think are great. There are many more opportunities available for students that I do not partake. It may be because of available time, relevance to my major, or just that I did not know about it! I also only wanted to speak to opportunities that make us very unique and different than other schools, because we do have many great things that are general to many other Universities, and I didn’t want to bog down the good stuff!

Stay tuned for a holiday wishlist for college!

Happy hunting folks! ~ Maddie Dietrich

‘Tis the Season & Twenty

Happy November everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, as per usual. October absolutely flew by, and the semester is almost over, only about a month and a half to go. Final stretch!

I have a feeling November will fly by too, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the atmosphere is changing. Theres so much energy flowing around campus right now. Everyone is tired but very busy. We’re all rushing around in our own little worlds consumed with the list of things we need to get done before the end of the semester. At this point our routine is (for the most part) pretty well established, and we flow from this routine into the winding down portion, right before intense late-night study sessions and cramming for finals. Midterms are about over with, but there are still a lot of projects and presentations happening. The weather is dropping a couple degrees, it’s finally starting to feel like fall, or maybe just Florida’s version of winter? Did I hear winter PT gear anyone?!

Along with the cold weather, ‘tis the season for beach PTs, pumpkins, cornucopias, and you guessed it- it’s always coffee season!

Beach PT with the Bravo Bandits!

Some of my favorite parts about the end of the semester are Late Night Breakfast hosted ERSA, which is the Embry Riddle Student Association, Pass in Review (PIR) for AFROTC, and of course shout out to the teaching assistants (TAs) and all the professors hosting supplemental instruction (SI) sessions. Also, at this point, every college student knows your professor’s office hours and the tutoring center will become your best friend.

Since studying and homework take up so much time at this point in the year, my favorite study music and backtracks to doing homework to are FKJ, Masego, the Chillhop Music station on YouTube because they have (literally) hours of relaxing songs, and any beats with Alan Watts inducing knowledge and creativity into my thought process while I crank through Calculus.

It’s important to note that although the semester is getting intense, you should still try to take time for yourself at least once a week. This past week I took five minutes to watch the new animated movie trailer for The Grinch. I must say I am starting to get into the winter mood, and also I very much want to see this movie, although it probably won’t happen until winter break, but it is a great incentive to push out until the end of the semester.

Side note: I turned 20! My birthday was filled with coffee, classes, studying for tests, homework, and my physics lab (so it was pretty much an average day). Fortunately, I did manage to squeeze a few minutes to go to a pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins. It’s the little things folks.

Despite the flannel, it was about 80 degrees when we visited the pumpkin patch.

Birthday/Halloween pumpkins. Guess which one’s mine!

Will report back soon yall. Until then keep on keeping on, and in the words of Ellen DeGeneres, “be kind to one another”.

FL2K18 AFTERMOVIE

 

Every October, the biggest and the baddest descend on Tampa, FL and Bradenton, FL for FL2K. This year FL2K returns to the “House of Hook” or better known as Bradenton Motorsports Park, for another thrilling weekend of racing. This is by far one of the most thrilling annual drag racing events that I attend. Bradenton is 3 hours one way from Daytona Beach, however, it is well worth the travel if you attend next year. This film took countless hours to film and produce, but I think that it truly captures the atmosphere of the event. I am very proud to share with you this month long production of the FL2K18 Aftermovie!

Things To See on an ERAU Campus Visit

Hi all!

It is fall break and I am currently in Alabama visiting Chris. This last fall break of mine, I find myself looking back on other fall breaks. Particularly, the one in high school when I came to tour Riddle. This got me thinking that there were things I wish I knew to go see or ask on my tour. Here they are:

To begin, let’s talk about things to see/do on campus…

  1. I wish I had sat in on a class. I did this at Preview Day in the spring, but I think if you are pondering which major to do, try to arrange to sit in on a class. Try to ask before arriving so Admissions can do their best to get you in!
  2. Join a flight! Many people do not know this, but if you are considering pursuing a flight major, try to observe a flight. Weather or aircraft availability may prevent you from being able to take an observer flight, but if you can, you will get a taste for how prestigious our program is and also have a blast with the scenic views. Dress code for observing flights requires long pants and closed toe shoes. Come dressed appropriately and ask about an observer flight when you visit campus!
  3. Try the food. I think many people don’t think to do this, but it gives you a taste of your future. I recommend Qdoba, our newest addition, or Propellers, a classic. Join a lunch table (they are set up as communal) and talk to students! They are happy to share their experiences and recommendations! What better way to know the university than talking to the people who eat, play, study, and even sleep there!
  4. Take pictures on the residence hall tours! This is BEYOND helpful when you are planning for move in. I wish I had done this, but you can go visit my packing list blog for some pictures as well in case you forget.
  5. Stop by financial aid if you’ve already been accepted and your FAFSA has been filed and reviewed. Your Admissions Counselor can help with general questions before your aid has been processed. If you have questions, they can help answer them. This saves you back-and-forth emails. I’m old-fashion though, I prefer face-to-face communication, especially on confusing, important matters.
  6. When planning a time to come, try to attend Open House (next weekend) or Preview Day in the spring. Open House welcomes to all prospective students and their families while Preview Day is only for accepted students and their families. These events make touring residence halls, attending classes, and observing flights a lot easier. What I like best though, is that there are opportunities to meet and learn about campus activities and organizations. There are typically general information sessions as well. And if you’re wondering the best time of year to visit, I prefer the fall. It’s not too hot out and that’s nice considering the tour requires walking outside. Ultimately, my best tip is try to come when there are students on campus. I came on my school breaks and they happened to line up with Riddle’s breaks. Therefore my perception of the campus was that it was always empty – which is completely false. I think it’s best to see the bustling campus because that is the most realistic image, in my opinion.

While you are in Daytona, I highly recommend Tia Cori’s Tacos or Rosie’s on Beach Street for some good eats. Chicken Salad Chick is also one of my favorites, with their wide array of chicken salads (it sounds weird but it’s delicious) and yummy grape salad! Touring the race track or hitting up the massive flea market are fun things to do. And if you’re like my family, Disney World and Universal Studios are only an hour away! If time allows, try to go 45 minutes north to see Saint Augustine – a real fun spot to spend your afternoon!

If you have any questions – write a comment! I’ll get back to you! ~ Maddie

Fall Break & Breeze

Happy October everyone! October is my favorite month, and therefore it is appropriate to wish you all a Happy October. I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida.

I spent my fall break on campus working duty day shifts for my RA position, doing physics, statics, and calculus homework, and running! Although the last part may not sound like the best part for some people, the running was actually my favorite part of every day. Also fear not, as per usual I drank lots of coffee and tea.

My fall break didn’t feel like much of a break, but I am extremely thankful that I got to sleep in, or in other words have the luxury of waking up when the sun has already woken up. I must say I do enjoy being awake as the sun rises, but when I don’t get back to my room until it’s dark outside as per a typical school day, by the time I do homework, study, and get ready for bed I’m absolutely exhausted.

Even on my days off I usually wake up with the sun.

Aside from all of my responsibilities, my plants are thriving and deserve to be highlighted this week. I highly encourage succulents or cacti for dorm plants because even if you don’t have enough time to water them (me), they still do great with a little sunlight and a lot of positive energy (also me).

Some of my dorm plants!

As it is still hot in Florida, even though it’s late October, we’ve had great weather that’s been perfect for early morning beach PTs with AFROTC, which is always nice. It’s becoming the time of year when the weather is almost perfect for working out. I gauge the prime temperature for running to be when the air is cool enough that you aren’t sweating before you start working out, but not too cold that it stings your lungs. If it is cold enough that you are able to see your breathe when you exhale, I would prefer the temperature to increase slightly. Thankfully, in Florida, the weather ranges between extremely hot, mildly hot, temperate, and cool, but the cool doesn’t happen until about mid-winter, so lately the fall breeze had been extremely lavish!

Post beach PT with some of my favorite wingmen!

Currently we’re about half way through the fall semester and everyone around campus is extremely busy. Course loads are heavy, there’s lots of homework to be done, tests, quizzes, projects, presentations, and not a lot of time. In my personal experience I’m still on the journey to figuring out how to balance everything. I’ve heard so many times from professors that they encourage students to prioritize school work and really focus on their time management, and while this is true, I must counter this from the perspective of a college student- realistically there are not enough hours in a day. All we can do is try our best and hope for the best. Just keep swimming folks, will report back soon!

Check Out the New Student Union!

Hi all!

Happy fall! October begins the month of warm drinks and sweaters (yes, even in Florida because the classrooms can be chilly)! October also marks the opening of the new Student Union at the Daytona Beach campus! While I wanted to be one of the first 50 students in to get a Starbucks card or grab some free coffee and Krispy Kreme, I accidentally overslept. Hey hey now, classes at noon make it very hard to get up at 8 am these days.

Here are some pictures of the beauty!

Things I love about the new Student Union:

  1. It looks amazing and futuristic. I think this is an icon of the university. When I go home and show my friends my school, I will show them pictures of this big beauty.
  2. There is new food! Qdoba opened up and it is delicious! Chick-Fil-a now how a full menu. And the Starbucks is the prettiest one I have visited (and this says a lot since I’ve visited my fair share).
  3. The space was made for students. There are so many study spaces, computers, and socializing areas.
  4. The bookstore – please stop by! It is bigger and better than ever.
  5. There are areas specifically for space launch and airport viewing. Welcome to Embry-Riddle folks!
  6. I feel I am off-campus, which can be nice when you live on-campus. It makes me feel like I am at a fancy mall almost.
  7. There is outdoor space that looks and feels very nice. There are even speakers and lawn chairs out there!
  8. Event spaces from the future also reside on the first floor. Please excuse me while I try to find a reason to book one of those!

Outdoor dining spaces

Starbucks

Starry sky

Starbucks seating

More study/social space

Beautiful windows

Dining

Seating outside of Starbucks

Real plants!

Overall, are we finally getting that big school feeling but our small school feeling? I guess we can have it all!

P.S. Sorry for the picture quality. I will try to find a better way to upload them since they are clear on my phone and computer, just not once uploaded…

Thanks for bearing with me and enjoy!

October & AFROTC

Happy October everyone! October is my favorite month and everything about fall is also the best. I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Small (yet critical) life update: I passed the AFOQT! The AFOQT, which stands for the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test is a standardized test that all cadets in AFROTC detachments across the country take to determine if they are apt to become Air Force Officers.

Now, there is SO much more than just the AFOQT that goes into preparing to commission as an officer in the United States Air Force. Although I’m not officially there yet, the journey I’m on includes a lot of early morning trainings, leadership laboratory sessions, physical training with the rest of the cadet wing (along with working out outside of scheduled PT sessions), and of course working on the class requirements for my degree!

Being a cadet in AFROTC here at Embry Riddle has honestly been one of the most rewarding experiences and is hands down what I’m most proud to be a part of on campus. A phrase that is constantly reiterated to cadets here is that we are a family, and it’s extremely true! We workout together, we study together, we overcome obstacles together, and we get a flight of about twenty people who are always willing to grab dinner, its a pretty good deal.

Some of my favorite wingmen and I after a workout.

We recently celebrated the Air Force’s birthday and had a series of competitions within the wing between flights in events such as capture the flag, tug of war, relay races, and a poster and flag contest.

My Flight with the Colonel after a tug of war contest!

Just to clarify- the wing is composed of every cadet in AFROTC, which is then subdivided into groups, squadrons, and flights. Within flights of about twenty people there are subdivisions as well, but for right now we’ll just focus on big picture terminology.

Another exciting thing about going to college in Daytona Beach, being a part of Detachment 157, and going to Embry Riddle, is the exciting opportunities cadets have that are specific to this area. Some of my favorites are beach workouts and the Speedway run! Most recently we completed a morale physical training session on the beach where we got to workout by running and performing calisthenics right along the coastline as the sun rose. The weather here in Florida is typically in the upper 80s in October, and the early mornings are the perfect time to get exercise in, especially surrounded by a family of 400 members, AND at the beach. It really doesn’t get better than this folks, I’m motivated just thinking about it.

Flight picture after a beach PT!

Will report back soon!

DeLand Auto Cross Solo Sunday Funday

This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in my third solo Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) autocross competition, along with about 8 other Embry-Riddle students. “Solo” is the SCCA brand name for autocross competition. Solo events are driving skill competitions that emphasize the driver’s ability and the car’s handling capabilities. A driving a course is set up using traffic cones as a guide in a low hazard location, such as a parking lot or inactive airstrip. In our case we used a section of DeLand Municipal airport that is no longer used, due to the deterioration of the pavement.

Cars compete within classes grouped by similar performance capabilities.  All runs through the course are timed, and the car in each class with the fastest time through the course is the winner of that class. There is only one car on any part of the course at a time. In other words, you will never be “wheel-to-wheel” with another car. At each event, drivers will get about 4-5 runs through the course. While speeds are no greater than those normally encountered in legal highway driving, the combination of concentration and car feedback creates an adrenaline pumping experience. The SCCA annually publishes the Solo Rules to classify a full range of imported and domestic sports cars, sedans, and purpose-built race cars, as well as to layout the rules behind Solo competition. The SCCA also publishes the Stock Classifications to make it easy to determine the stock Solo Class for most unmodified cars.

Solo/Autocross is the safest and most inexpensive form of “racing” for both driver and car.  The majority of drivers bring out their daily drivers, though there are those who bring modified streetcar “toys” as well as purpose built race cars.  Almost any kind of car is welcome as long as it meets restrictions on high-center-of-gravity or rollover tendency. The courses are set up to mitigate most risks to car and driver, with the worst damage coming in the form of a rubber scuff from hitting a cone, which will come right off with a good car wash.

If you enjoy technical, skill based driving and think you have what it takes to drive in a SCCA Solo event; I highly recommend participating in an event. I will include a link below where you can sign up for future events. Come out and join your fellow students in some friendly, yet competitive, driving competition.

Fall & Focusing on Commitments

Happy Fall everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida (yes, once again).

The first month of the semester is almost coming to an end and it truly has flown by. I’ve been so busy with classes, working out, homework, RA obligations, and trying to balance my work and school life. A key aspect of being successful when having a lot on your plate that I talked about before is balance. More specifically that can be boiled down to time management, i.e. planning and prioritizing, but in addition to those is staying true to yourself and your principles.

View from my dorm in the morning, I try to start every day with a positive outlook!

When I first got to college everyone told me to sign up for as much as possible and get very involved, then once I figured out what I liked the most and what I wanted to devote my time to, to narrow down what I was involved in to only what was most important to me. Embry-Riddle offers so many amazing clubs, extracurricular activities, and organizations on campus, but realistically it would be impossible to spread yourself so thin by trying to do everything, we’re only human. A kind of time management “rule” I’ve come up with for myself that’s helped me through college and life in general is that once I commit to something, it becomes my priority.

For example, if I find out two weeks in advance that a teacher is holding a Supplemental Instruction (SI) session before a test, I put it in my calendar and commit to it. Then, (also hypothetical) a week before the SI session, I find out an organization I’m involved in is volunteering for an event on campus scheduled for the same day and time as the SI session. This now presents a dilemma, because volunteering with friends would be more fun and the organization might be something I really care about, but I have to stay true to my word. Rule of thumb: even if the commitment is only to yourself, hold yourself accountable to your commitments. Reliability is a great skill to have and now is the perfect time to develop it. When I commit to something I give 100% of my effort, and you should too!

Photo from an AFROTC event!

Outside of being extremely busy lately, I am still trying to make time for myself and keep a positive attitude. Classes are challenging, and maintaining balance is sometimes difficult too, but parting words my friends: when you look at all of your responsibilities and commitments as items you have an opportunity to participate in or complete, your to-do list becomes less of a dread and more of something you’re lucky to be a part of.

Just keep swimming folks! Will report back soon!

Escaping for a Weekend

Hey everyone! I know current students are into the full swing of the fall semester and exams are coming up; however, sometimes it is nice to take a break and escape for a while. I personally have had a lot going on in my personal life and education wise, so I was due for a little getaway.

This past weekend I went to St. Augustine, FL and enjoyed the oldest city in the U.S. I have been a few times before but I never get sick of it. There is so much to do in the city and so much history. The National Registry of Historic Places practically has a plaque on every building.

During this trip, I visited the Alligator Farm and the Pirate Museum. I also hopped on the trolley for a tour around the city. Although I have been on the trolley quite a few times, you always get a different side of the story. The tour guide I had this time, who keep in mind was a 60-year old retired cop, brought up the fact that the KeKe challenge was pointless and dangerous; and that his eight-year-old granddaughter is obsessed with social media.

Sometimes it is nice to escape from all the craziness. Especially since my other passion is animals, I really enjoyed the Alligator Farm. They have all 23 species of crocodiles known to man, a handful of different birds, snakes (ew), and of course a whole lot of American Alligators. There was one crazy guy who was fearless when in the alligator pit. To the point where he smacked them on the snout if they got to close…several times!

Sitting at a table on the top floor overlooking the second-floor dining area

It was hot out, but it was worth it. After walking around the city some more I went to the famous Columbia Restaurant. Their bread…and salad…and everything else on the menu is fantastic! I have never had a bad experience there no matter which location I go to. I was again in good company, and although we were enjoying the time away from school, we still couldn’t stop talking about it.

A lot of people say, alright, no work talk or school talk; but when that is your life, for the time being, it is hard not to talk about it. Especially coming from an aviation school, you can’t not talk about aviation.

It was nice to get away. Especially since there are so many cities close to Riddle. They are great for weekend trips and even fall break. I know we are all cramming in the books and studies all the time but it is good to take a break.

Just remember, it’s always good to have a little fun!

Until next time,

Skye