About Jonathan


Business Administration

**Hometown:** Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
**Career Goals:** To work in the finance/business side of aviation, preferably with an airline or aerospace manufacturer.

November 2009

They were right; at the beginning of the semester, I remember being told that time would slip away much quicker than we would expect, and in less than two weeks, this fall semester will be coming to a close. It’s a time of reflection. Did I get everything I wanted out of the classes here? Is this the right college for me?

Embry-Riddle is specialized in aviation, and when I enrolled, I had a general idea of what I was getting myself into. To answer the question, Embry-Riddle’s business school is a perfect fit for me, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the classes I’ve taken, the people I’ve met, and the degree of aviation specialization classmates and teachers put into their work.

At Embry-Riddle, there is a sense of community that’s new to me, specifically at the college of business. Familiar faces in classes quickly became friends, and friendly faculty / staff always have their door open for questions and help that has helped yield success. Recently, I’ve been trying to take a more active role in our sports teams by attending and cheering with The Flock. So far, I’ve only gone to soccer and basketball games, but I will try to attend other sports in the forthcoming spring semester. The school is very spirited, and The Flock / Pep Band do a great job of getting the crowd cheering for E-R-A-U.

Thanksgiving break was this past weekend, and I was fortunate enough to fly back home. There, I enjoyed my family’s famous stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes with roasted marshmallows on top. It’s always a treat to go home, but I’ll be back in just under two weeks.

Next time I’ll cover my experiences with finals.

Until then,


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,


November 2009

Hello again! Usually the posted highlights of my time spent at Embry-Riddle come from the weekends, but this time it comes from a weekday event. This past week, I went on a tour of Daytona Beach International Airport with the Airport Management Club. We had the opportunity to speak with airport operations workers, who administered the tour. I feel like I have a new perspective of how intricate and detailed running an airport can be.

First, we toured the terminal. Everywhere we went, there was something new to learn. Justin, who worked at airport operations, explained the procedures for painting the terminal ramp, as well as the runways. Additionally, jet bridges (or Jetways) are extended to their full length to allow the jet bridges to ventilate and dry out. In Florida, as I’ve quickly learned from observing the chain on my bike, everything rusts.

We drove around the perimeter of the airport, carefully watching the swamps and water runoffs, as these areas are prone to wildlife. The airport operations workers cautiously moved a snapper turtle, from the road to the runoff, with nothing but their arm strength and a shovel. I never thought about wildlife’s role on airports, or how airports control them.

Further down the road led us to the airport firehouse, where we got a demonstration of their newest truck, capable of holding 330 thousand gallons of water (if I recall correctly). It’s amazing how fast these trucks move, considering their weight. Following the demonstration, we thanked the airport operations guys, and headed back to Embry-Riddle.

Every week, there are exciting opportunities here. I look forward to the career expo, which is November 4-5. I’ve been told that there are countless networking opportunities, and I’m hoping to take advantage of the opportunity. For my introduction to business programs class, we had to create résumés and cover letters to prepare for the event.

Take Care,


October 15, 2009

It’s fall break! I believe this is the first time Embry-Riddle has had a fall break, which makes it a convenient time to come home. I left on Thursday night and will be coming home on Monday, allowing me to spend time with my family and friends. They’ve split up the calendar quite nicely, as I’ll get to come back home in another six weeks for Thanksgiving, and it will be winter break three weeks following.

These past two weeks were so much fun, but also filled with studying. Last weekend, I went with nine friends to St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. We rented an Embry-Riddle plane, and met up with the guys in the other two aircraft at St. Augustine airport. The FBO, Galaxy Aviation, was kind enough to drive us to downtown St. Augustine, where we ate and toured historical sites (like the fort). At Embry-Riddle, there certainly isn’t a shortage of pilots with their license, and it’s easy to escape to a different city each weekend.

As for classes, I had quite a few tests and quizzes. The weekdays fly by, and the long nights of studying always pay off. Usually, I spend time at Starbucks, located in the Jack R. Hunt Memorial Library building, and get in an hour or two of studying before the test. At Embry-Riddle, it’s easy to find a common time to meet with professors and go-over material. This past week, I met with my principles of management professor, and she answered all the questions I had about the topic.

Flying home was a treat too. Daytona Beach International Airport is walking-distance away from the university, however I recommend getting a ride from a friend to the main terminal. While waiting for my flight to leave, I spotted the Dean of Aviation, Dr. Tim Brady, who I spoke with prior to boarding. Dr. Brady was very nice to talk to, and we spoke about the buildings in-progress and the Diamond Twin-Star (DA42).

It’s good to be home in Pennsylvania, but I look forward to returning to the warm weather in Florida.

I’ll have another post up in two weeks.

Until then,


October 3, 2009

Tests are rolling by and the semester is nearly half over. Each week my agenda seems full with homework and club meetings, but there’s always the weekend to look forward to. As I’m just about settled down here, the weeks are flying by, and every weekend I try to do something fun. Usually, I’ll go flying with my roommate. Sometimes a few friends and I will drive to the beach or another city in Florida. Daytona’s location allows for easy access to attractions in neighboring cities – like Orlando and Jacksonville.

Last weekend, I flew with my roommate, and his instructor, to Marathon airport, located on the Florida Keys. I sat in the back, but who could pass up an opportunity to fly for free – and to the Keys? We grabbed dinner, and then flew back at night.

Weekends end fast, but I look forward to Mondays. This past week I had the opportunity to present a current event in the aviation industry for my principles of management class. As I’m passionate about aviation business, I couldn’t ask for a better assignment. It’s assignments like those that remind me of why I came here.

One of my favorite aspects of the college of business (known as the COB) at Embry-Riddle is the opportunity to spend vast amounts of time researching key issues in the aviation industry. Even in my Introduction to Computer Based Systems class, we’ve spent time focusing on new technology in airports.

This past week, I spent some time meeting with a professor to go over several questions I had about material we covered in the class. Not only did the professor answer each question I had, but also she made sure I understood the answer. The professors here seem to always have their door open, making it easy to get help.

Fall break is less than two weeks away, and I plan on going home to see family and friends. I’ll have a post up following my flight back up to Pennsylvania.

Until then,

September 20, 2009

It’s a weird feeling – the feeling of being at Embry-Riddle for more than a month. As it is now a month into classes, there are plenty of tests and homework assignments that have kept me busy enough to forget about time. The homework load isn’t scary or difficult in any way, however the amount of studying required for classes reached a new level last week.

The first barrage of tests is always the most difficult. Each professor has their own style, and they also have their own ways of making up tests. The first test generally gives you a rough idea of the future format of forthcoming tests. Since I did not have the slightest clue as to how difficult my tests would be, I’ve put a lot of effort into studying (at least 3 hours each).

With a good amount of time invested into studying each week, the weekends come quickly. There are always great things to do on and off campus. This past weekend, I went to Embry-Riddle’s observatory for quick glimpse at the stars. Nearly a dozen telescopes were set up, each with a different star in focus.

Embry-Riddle’s student government run Touch-N-Go Productions always has something planned for the weekend. Aside from movies during the week, there are events, such as this past weekend’s Friday Night Laughs (comedy). Events like these allow you to hang out with friends, and make new ones.

Trip to Yelvington Aviation with CEO club.

I’d like to touch on my experience with the college of business this past month. Wow! And I mean it. Every Embry-Riddle business student is enrolled in “intro to business programs,” an advisor-run class that helps you with the in-and-outs of campus and the business school. We spent the first two weeks getting to know classmates, exchanging phone numbers, and genuinely discussing what each of us are passionate about. This past week we created our four year plan, which maps out the classes we’ll be taking to earn our degree. 120 credits seem like a lot to get through, but I’m excited to take most of the classes I’ve chosen. I’ve officially declared my major, air transportation, and will likely minor in communications.

As for clubs, I’ve joined a few. I plan on being active in Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (C.E.O), as everyone involved is interested in starting businesses with a focus on new and innovative ideas. I also plan on joining the Airport Management Club, which has yet to have their first meeting. On the topic of clubs, I’ve attended a number of club meetings and events, yet sometimes there are clubs that you know you will not fit in with, or you just won’t like – that’s why there are roughly 150 clubs. There really is something for everyone; if not, start one!

With weekly club meetings, studying, sleeping and time spent hanging out with friends, the weeks go by quickly.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back in a week or two.

September 6, 2009

This is one of the rare events of the week when there is nothing to do but write a blog post. No, I’m not burdened by homework or studying (yet), but there is always something to do at Embry-Riddle. Every day, there are a variety of events and club meetings to attend, making it difficult to find sparse time. This is my second week here, and already time is flying (literally). It’s unbelievable to think that I’ve moved in, and already went through two weeks of classes. Of course, new friends and a great roommate have helped tremendously. Within the first few days of living on-campus, I met a ton of people with the same passion; aviation. Meeting people at Embry-Riddle is easy. There is a common bond that usually can serve as a conversation starter or reviver: flying. However, it doesn’t stop with students – even one of the security personnel has his commercial pilot’s license.

Everyone I’ve met that works for the university has been very kind and more than helpful. Professors and instructors are very keen on why students are here, and all of them seem to sense that we already know what we want to do with our lives. With that said, professors are very good at relating classes directly to aviation, making it easy to get involved during class. Initially, meeting other business students was very difficult. However, unlike Aeronautical Science (and some of the other larger majors), there are a few people that you’ll continuously see in many of your classes. For the first two weeks, my Introduction to Business Programs class focused on getting to know other freshmen business students, making it easier to get to know peers in the business program. The College of Business seems to be a place where everyone knows each other – making it a tight knit community.

As for room and board, I couldn’t have been matched with a better roommate. Even as an incoming freshman, it’s possible to pick your roommate in advance. I met my roommate (Jeff) through a mutual friend, and we became quick friends weeks before we moved down to Daytona. Jeff, from Rhode Island, is an Aeronautical Science major. If you choose not to pick a roommate prior to moving down, I believe you’re assigned someone from your major. Having a roommate with a different major gives you another perspective of the university, and I’ve been fortunate enough to join Jeff on a flight. Having a roommate that you get along with is half the battle. Our room in Adams Hall is great. Many of the essentials, like a refrigerator and microwave, are provided. Additionally, there is a sink located in our room – we share the bathroom (toilet and shower) with the room next door. Our Resident Advisor, Brent, has been very helpful and kind. Every now and then, he’ll pop in just to say hi, and he does a good job remembering names (they’re also posted on your door – he might be cheating). He’s arranged several events, including a trip to a NASA shuttle launch and a seminar on “microwave eats,” which have helped us get to know others on our floor and improved our cooking-with-microwave skills.

This is so much more I can write, but I’ll include that in later posts. The first few weeks here have been awesome, and I hope you got a better view of what Embry-Riddle and Daytona Beach are like. Do you have a specific question? Feel free to email me at heckmanj@erau.edu


Jonathan Heckman