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,


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