Speaking at the Women in Aviation Conference

This was not on my senior year bingo card.

After months of planning, last week I spoke at the Women in Aviation conference! Our panel was titled “Internships and Co-Ops: Start Getting More Insight of Opportunities in the Aviation Sector” and we were the third professional development seminar. The panel was moderated by Isabella Gianni and I was joined by other panelists Jack Bergsman and Catherine Cummings.

Isabella was the driving force behind this panel. Over the summer she pitched the idea to me, and I agreed to participate if we got accepted. She then sent her idea to the Women in Aviation International organization, which accepted it! I registered for the conference as a speaker, which is something that I’d never done before. I’ve attended professional conferences in the past, but I had always registered as a student.

The conference was held in Orlando, which is driving distance from Daytona Beach. It was a little over an hour’s drive and I arrived around 12 PM just to make sure that I’d be there in time. I registered and got my conference badge, lanyard, and a few ribbons indicating what groups I was in. They were all out of the ‘Speaker’ ones, but I took the ‘Student’ and ‘First-Time Attendee’ ones.

The exhibitor hall opened around 1 PM, allowing attendees access to the company booths. Similar to ERAU’s career fair and the SWE conference I attended, some companies were conducting interviews for positions during the conference. I walked around and noticed that all of the major US airlines were there, and most of the major US aerospace companies were there too. Boeing had an aircraft model out!

I’m not sure what aircraft it is, but I’m assuming it’s something experimental- it looks like the X-66. Delta Air Lines also had a large model out for display. I enjoyed walking around and learning about the different companies at the conference; although I’ve done aeonautics-based internships, my focus in AE is astronautics.

Like the ERAU career fair, most people were also handing out free stuff. I saw a lot of interesting things, from socks to fragrances. I walked around the exhibition hall for awhile before heading to the room that my panel was in. Some people were already there helping get the room set up, and refreshments arrived.

The actual panel was a lot of fun! We started off by introducing ourselves, where we’d interned, and the definition of internship vs. co-op. From there we talked about obtaining an internship; where to find one, how to prepare your resume, and how to interview. We concluded by giving advice on what to do and what not to do during the internship before opening it up to general questions for the last half hour.

I loved the conference because I got to meet so many new people. I even met an incoming student there! Although my registration was good for the entire conference, I had to head back to Daytona that night since I was leaving for my final Women’s Ambassadors trip the next day. I love attending conferences because you can meet people in all stages of their professional life- I saw current airline captains and high school students there. It was an awesome opportunity meeting people, and I hope to see you one day at Riddle!

This entry was posted in 2023 - 2024 and tagged , , , , by Carly. Bookmark the permalink.

About Carly

Major: Aerospace Engineering
Hometown:Berea, Kentucky
Campus Involvement: Honors Program mentor, Women's Ambassador, Society of Women Engineers, Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Board
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I chose Embry-Riddle because I fell in love with the campus the moment I saw it through a plane window. The campus tour was amazing, and the campus seemed like a place I'd want to call home for the next few years.

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