This is last Open House I’ll ever work!
Open House was this past weekend and as I’m graduating in the spring, it’ll be my last one! It’s one of my favorite events of the semester since I get to meet lots of new people (and collect some free stuff).
My day started off nice and early since the first organization I was representing, the aerospace engineering department, started working at 7:45 AM. Students (both undergraduate and graduate) were around with professors as department representatives, answering any questions that the families had for us. Here are a few of the most-asked questions (and their answers):
Are there a lot of hands-on experiences for students? Yes! As part of the AE curriculum we have to take experimental aerodynamics, controls, structures and materials laboratory classes. My favorite so far has been the experimental aerodynamics lab since a good part of your grade (and the class) relies on your DIY lab experiment where you create your own experiment. It has to pass safety testing and be approved just like a real experiment, too. For my group’s experiment we put a model 737 fuselage in the wind tunnel!
What are the different tracks for? They are different specializations for your degree! I’m the astronautics (astro) track which means I’ll take different classes than someone in the aeronautics (aero) track. For example, I take Spacecraft Controls instead of Flight Dynamics and Control. The classes are a little more tailored towards your track for a more specialized degree.
What about internships and co-ops? How do you get one? Yes! I’ve had three internships (Summer 2020, Summer 2022, and Summer 2023) with three different companies (M3 Defense Consulting, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and The Boeing Company). I got each in a different way, but networking helps a lot- both with your professors, classmates, and company mentoring programs available to students. I would also suggest joining a professional organization and if possible, attending their conference!
After representing the aerospace engineering department, it was time for me to change shirts and represent my other organization: the Women’s Ambassadors! I walked over to the admissions building to get our stuff for tabling. We had pink ERAU tags, pink pens, and purple lanyards. We were tabling on the side of the student union next to the student government and ROTC tables, so we got a good amount of traffic.
At the Women’s Ambassadors table, I also got a lot of questions. This time, the questions focused more on the student experience as a whole rather than the aerospace engineering program as a whole. These were the top questions:
Do you like it here, and are you glad you came? Yes! I really do like ERAU and am glad I came to Riddle. It’s the perfect size for me- small enough so that professors will know you by name, but big enough so that you can still meet new people every week. I also like that you can hold leadership positions in multiple organizations!
What are the Women’s Ambassadors and what do you do? The Women’s Ambassadors were founded to increase the enrollment and retention rate of female students. We do this by working at admissions events (like Open House, accepted student dinners and regional admissions presentations) and mentoring freshman students. We also host events for female students on campus so that they have a sense of community. Our sister program, the Women’s Ambassador Mentoring Program, is run by a female professor on campus and has expanded to provide mentoring events too!
What is the campus social scene like? It really depends on what you make of it. If you don’t want a social life, sit in your dorm all day and you won’t really be bothered. If you do want a social life, you have to get out there and make it- join clubs and make friends in your classes. Campus life is definitely what you make of it.
My last Open House was a lot of fun. I love working at these events and meeting new people, but I’m also excited to graduate and move into the next chapter of my life. Attending ERAU definitely helped me get to where I’m going. If you’re thinking about coming to ERAU, definitely apply and attend Open House and Preview Day if you can! Hopefully I’ll see you there… if not I’ll see you in the next post!