About Kaleigh


Aviation Business Administration

**Concentration:** General Management
**Hometown:** Sidney, Illinois
**Career Goals:** To be an officer in the United States Air Force and later on become an airport manager.

December 14, 2009

“Jack Frost nipping at your toes…” I’m back home in Illinois for Christmas break and boy has it been cold here! The temperature has dropped into the negatives if you factor in the wind chill. I’ve been wearing lots of layers—quite a shock to go from warm Florida to below freezing! However, I love being home and am enjoying my time immensely.

My cousins and I went to a museum that was all about Abraham Lincoln last weekend. I learned a lot about Lincoln and found out that as a President the public didn’t like him very much; however, that all changed the minute he died. The museum was pretty elaborate and told the history of Lincoln from the time he was a boy till the time that he died. They had two movies that were interactive and captivated the audience’s attention. Being with my cousins was a lot of fun and I’m glad I was able to be home in time to go see them.

My church had a talent show/concert and my sister sang two songs. A couple of days before the concert my sister suggested that we sing a song together. I’ve never sang in public before but she convinced me that we sounded really good together. Needless to say, I sang “Go Tell It on the Mountain” with her and had a good time.

Well, my finals went well and I think it was a successful semester. My favorite part is the moment when I’ve finished my last final and I can take a deep breath realizing that I’ve made it through another semester. Next semester, I’ll be graduating and I don’t think that it has really sunk in for me, yet. I’m only taking two undergraduate classes next semester and two masters classes. One nice thing about my upcoming schedule is that I have made it so I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Four day weekends are going to be nice—except, I have PT on Mondays and Fridays at 7am. Oh well!

Time to stop thinking about school stuff and think about Christmas! I think today I’m going to put some Christmas lights up outside, since we are having a heat wave with the temperature in the 40s!

Until next time,


November 30, 2009

St. Augustine—the oldest city in America—is a place that everyone should visit! My sister and I decided to take a mini road trip up there and see some of the sites. We purchased a ticket that allowed us to ride on a trolley and visit many of the historical places. Some of the places we visited included: the Old City Jail, the Oldest School House, and the Fountain of Youth. We’re definitely going to go back because there is so much more to see and do!

Walt Disney World was another one of our adventure sites and we went to Magic Kingdom on Thanksgiving. The park was a lot of fun and I’m glad that I was finally able to go. Space Mountain is by far the best ride because it’s an indoor roller coaster and it’s completely dark, so you have no idea what is coming up next. We didn’t get to see Mickey Mouse but maybe next time!

This break from school has been wonderful because it’s given me just enough time to relax and get in the mindset for finals. On Monday, I have my first final in my Professional Selling class. For the final, I have to perform one last sales call and then the professor will watch the videotape and evaluate my performance on a set of criteria. I think with all the practice sales calls we have done in class that I’m pretty well prepared. My Strategic Management class is going to keep me busy this week; I have a test on Thursday and the final on Saturday. In order to prepare for the test, one of my classmates and I have reserved a classroom for several hours and we are just going to review each chapter in-depth. I hope it works and I do well on the test! My other finals aren’t until next Monday night, so I’ll have some time to study for them later on.

Silver Wings had our end of the semester banquet and fall initiation ceremony the week before Thanksgiving. This picture is a group of me and some of my friends. I met them my freshman year and we have all been friends since then. Next semester is going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to heading to Seattle for our National Conference in April.

Hard to believe that I’m going to be headed home in nine days! Over Christmas break, I have to finish my application for graduate school and in January I have registered to take the GMAT. I’ve started studying for the GMAT and I’m going to have to study over break because I think it’s going to be hard. The test gives you a lot of questions and a short amount of time to do it, so you have to have a strategy when you go into take the test. I’ll be glad when it’s over with! Other than studying for the GMAT, I plan on relaxing, visiting with family and friends, and baking cookies! But until then, I better go start studying…

Until next time,


November 16, 2009

Greetings from Detroit, Michigan! I was in Detroit this past weekend for a Silver Wings conference and luckily I got a chance to see the city. We were walking around the city one night and stumbled across the set of a movie that was being filmed. If I remember correctly, they were filming a remake of Red Dawn. The picture is one of me on the set next to one of the tanks that was getting ready to be filmed driving down the street. I thought that was pretty cool to see! One thing I can say about Detroit is that the city has taken a hit since the automobile industry has been struggling; hopefully, the economy will pick back up soon. Silver Wings is a pretty unique organization in the fact that it is run completely by college students and there are some big changes that are coming in order to distinguish ourselves more. In 1998, we changed the culture of our organization and that has allowed us to become sort of lost in who we are. Now, we are trying to find our identity and in order to accomplish that some new things are going to be happening. I’m excited to be part of the staff that is going to implement these changes.

Homecoming was a fun week! I went to the parade with two of my girlfriends and got my picture taken with the Cheerio Bee and the Daytona Beach Cubs mascot. After the parade, I went to the men’s soccer game and it was the most exciting soccer game I’ve ever watched. They ended the game tied one to one and had to go into double overtime. Still no one scored, so they had to do a shootout and in the end Embry-Riddle won. The College of Business Industry Advisory Board always comes to town during Homecoming Week and what this means is about twenty professionals in the aviation industry come and talk to us students along with some of their other duties. Some of the people include the co-founder of Ryanair, the risk manager at Jet Blue, people who work for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, the FAA, and so many other companies. I was one of the lucky students who were invited to attend a dinner with all of them and I learned so much about being a leader. A tip one man gave a few of us students was make sure you always give your full attention to your boss when he is in your office—don’t answer the phone, be typing on your computer, or surfing the web. They are the only thing that matters for the few moments they are in your office. I was impressed by how much these people wanted to talk to us students and how willing they were to share their knowledge with us. I’m looking forward to when they come back next year!

The Career Expo was pretty neat and some of my friends had interviews for summer internships with Boeing and Continental Airlines. I learned some new things about the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and am hoping to apply to work there for the summer as a camp counselor. Also, through Career Services I found out about some internship possibilities at Southwest Airlines and I applied for those. Hopefully, I will have a new and exciting adventure awaiting me this summer!

Last Wednesday we didn’t have any classes because it was Veteran’s Day, so some friends and I decided to go to the Volusia County Fair. I had a good time riding the Ferris Wheel, eating some fair food, and looking at all of the farm animals. Soon it will be Thanksgiving break and I’m looking forward to not having classes for three days! Speaking of classes, they are going pretty well and we are starting to get ready for finals. Hard to believe that it’s almost that time—I better get studying!

Until next time,


November 2, 2009

Happy November! This past weekend was Halloween and because I waited until the last minute I didn’t get to perfect my costume like I wanted to. I ended up dressing up as a witch, but I’m going to start working on next year’s costume that way I’ll be ready! Silver Wings and Arnold Air Society went trick-or-treating for canned goods to benefit one of the local food banks. We collected a good amount of food and everyone had a fun time.

Last Thursday, I was given the opportunity to miss class and drive to Orlando for the National Business Aviation Association Conference. This conference allows aviation businesses to come together in one location and showcase their products to potential buyers. My Professional Selling professor wanted us all to attend so we could observe some sales people and see how they sold their product. I got to see a lot of different companies and how they tried to entice the customer to come to their booth by different display techniques and free promotional products. For example, one booth put on a magic show and in the end gave away a bunch of prizes for audience participation. A group of my classmates and I were able to talk candidly to one company and we found out that it was one of the smallest conventions in the past three years and they blamed it on the economy. Furthermore, they stated that the aviation industry will most likely be in a recession until 2012. The good news is their company was able to get some prospective new customers out of the show, so hopefully they will survive the economic downturn. Overall, the conference was interesting and I learned some new information, so I’m glad that I made the trip to check it out.

My scooter and I took a trip to one of my favorite locations: the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. It was a beautiful day and I hadn’t rode my scooter for awhile. During my freshman year, I made my first trip to the lighthouse and was impressed by the magnificent size and beauty. I’ve always enjoyed lighthouses and this was the first one I was able to go inside and climb to the top. I think it’s about 200 steps to the top and once you are up there you can see for quite a distance. I had a fun time and enjoyed having the break from homework.

Homecoming and the Career Expo are this week. I’ll have to fill in you in on the details in the next entry. Also, I have been invited to have dinner with the College of Business Industry Advisory Board which I’m looking forward to. This week is also when many companies provide information sessions and the two that I’m planning on attending are Continental Airlines and U.S. Space and Rocket Center. I’m looking forward to learning lots of information.

My sister is going to be here in about three weeks and I’m excited for all the things we are going to do. I’m going to go to Walt Disney World (for the first time since I was five) while she is here –I can hardly wait!

Until next time,


October 4, 2009

Happy October! I can’t believe how fast this semester is going! We are a third of the way into classes and I’ve had a test in each one. All of them are going well and I’m learning a lot of information that is very relative to the real world. In fact, my favorite class this semester is probably my Insurance class. The professor is really nice and he does a good job of teaching so everyone can understand. On the first day of class, I was afraid that I would find it so boring; however, that has not been the case at all. Another class, Professional Selling, is starting to become exciting as we began our selling role-plays. I think practicing my public speaking skills is always a good thing and this class will help me realize what I need to work on. Overall, I think this semester’s classes are turning out to be alright.

Last weekend, I was able to attend a dinner hosted by the Air Force Association and Arnold Air Society. The purpose of the dinner was to give us a chance to interact with the older Air Force Association members. I was happy to have a reason to get all dressed up! The picture is of me with my next door dorm neighbors from last year. I became really good friends with both of them and part of that is because we lived next to one another. The best part about living in the dorms is that making friends is easy and you know that people are around willing to help you. Anyways, the dinner was a lot of fun and it was an opportunity to socialize with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while.

Silver Wings got down and dirty over the weekend while helping out the community. The service project was helping to create a garden for low-income families in the Daytona Beach area. We dug up a patch of grass and turned it into a plot for some vegetables to be planted. Some of us planted broccoli, while others spread mulch around the various garden sections to make a pathway. It was hard work but we had fun and are looking forward to going back next month. I thought that it was fun to work hard and rewarding knowing that we were helping families get fresh vegetables. Community service is something that I enjoy doing and our campus is always advertising ways for students to get involved and help out.

Another first that I can now cross off my list of things to do is CAMPING. I had never been camping before this weekend and by that I mean sleeping in a tent out in the wilderness. My friends convinced me to go with them on a camping trip to Ginnie Springs. I decided to go and I had a pretty good time; however, I don’t know if I can say that I will ever do it again! The mosquitoes were pretty bad and I forgot my bug spray, so now I’m itching like crazy. I did set up a tent for the first time and it wasn’t as complicated as I thought it would be. The pictures are of me holding the tent and then the tent all setup and ready to be slept in. We floated down a river on inner tubes and that was my favorite part of the trip!

My life is busy, but that’s the way I like it. Everything is possible with good time management!

Until next time,

September 21, 2009

This past week I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and spend five days there. The reason I had this opportunity goes back to my freshman year when I decided to join a club on campus called Silver Wings. Silver Wings is a national, co-ed organization that focuses on professional development and community service. The club’s members are both AFROTC cadets and civilians and one of our purposes is to create awareness throughout the community about the military. Over the past three years, I’ve been able to develop more as a leader because of the positions I’ve held in the organization. This year I’m the Silver Wings National Treasurer and the reason I went to Washington D.C. is because we had our Executive Boards. Executive Boards are when the National Staff shares with the eleven Region Presidents what the vision is for the year. Also, our sister organization-Arnold Air Society-meets and we discuss what community service projects we will work together on amongst other things.

My time in D.C. was not just spent in hotel meeting rooms; I did get to go out and see many of the monuments. I saw the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. I had never been to Washington D.C. before and to see all these monuments was an amazing experience! Also, we did get to go to one museum-the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We decided to get a group picture taken in front of the original Wright Flyer, since our school has a replica of the Wright Flyer in front of the library. One day I want to go back, so that I can spend more time exploring the city!

One of the reasons we have our Executive Board Meeting in Washington D.C. is because the Air Force Association invites us to their Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition. When we finished with our meetings each day, we were able to go downstairs in the hotel and attend their conference. Some of the briefings I was able to listen to were from the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Air Force, and many other notable people. On Sunday morning, we were guests at the Air Force Association Wreath Laying Ceremony for fallen Air Force Association members. The ceremony took place at the Air Force Memorial and I was impressed at the size and beauty of the memorial. Also, we were included in the two formal dinners they hosted. One of the dinners was to honor the 12 Outstanding Airmen and the Air Force Band along with the Singing Sergeants put on a performance. To be able to attend the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition was an experience that I will remember for a long time.

The whole conference was a one of a kind opportunity and I’m so glad that I joined Silver Wings my freshman year. A big part of the college experience is joining organizations on campus and Embry-Riddle has something for everyone. I encourage you when looking at prospective schools to also look at the clubs they offer. My college experience without Silver Wings is one I wouldn’t dare to imagine!

Until next time,

September 7, 2009

Hello and welcome back! As some of you may know, my name is Kaleigh Sides and this is my third year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I have had the pleasure of writing a journal since my freshman year! You can take a look in the archives to read my past entries.

Let me tell you a little about myself: I’m a senior majoring in Aviation Business Administration with a concentration in General Management, I’m in Air Force ROTC and will commission in May 2011, and I hope to start working on my MBA next semester. I enjoy going to school at Embry-Riddle and the weather is an added bonus! I’m from Sidney, Illinois where snow at Halloween is not a surprise, Florida weather is nice and, if you ever get too warm you can go jump in a swimming pool or the ocean!

The summer seemed to fly by for me! I went back home to Illinois for the first two months and worked at a local ice cream shop, and then I headed to Maxwell Air Force Base on July 4th for Field Training. In order to commission into the United States Air Force, ROTC cadets must complete Field Training between their sophomore and junior years. I spent 28 days with cadets from around the nation developing and enhancing my leadership skills, learning what happens in a deployed environment, and how to be an effective team player. The whole experience was fascinating and something that I had been looking forward to accomplishing. After Field Training, I had two weeks left of summer and spent my time working and getting ready to come back to Daytona.

I was excited to come back to school and see all my friends again! This semester has been another full of firsts: my first time having my Jeep in Florida, my first apartment, and my first time living by myself. A car is not necessary to have when coming to Embry-Riddle and my freshman year I walked all over the place with my friends. My sophomore year I got a scooter and was able to go a little bit further from campus. So far I have enjoyed having my own car because it’s nice to not have to ask people for rides or have to plan around the weather when I want to go somewhere. Right now, I’m living in a studio apartment about 5 minutes from campus. I like the fact that it’s close enough to go back if I have a break between classes, but far enough to not be on campus all day, every day. After having roommates for two years, I decided that I would like to live by myself and so far I’m enjoying it!

This semester I’m taking 18 credits which equals out to be 6 classes. Since I’m in my senior year, I’m just taking business classes and I’m enjoying all of them. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I have Aviation Labor Relations and Professional Selling. My Aviation Labor Relations class is not just textbook work, but also a simulation where the class has become a company and labor unions may or may not become part of the company and every student has a role. I decided to take Professional Selling because I wanted to work on my public speaking and I heard this class gives you multiple opportunities to do so. Currently, we are making business cards and working on a 30-second commercial to sell ourselves to prospective employers. Also, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning I have Air Force Physical Training (PT) or Lead Lab (we learn about the Air Force). Tuesday and Thursday are my busy days where I have class from 8:15 to 2:00. My morning starts off with Air Force class where we are learning about leadership and what it means to be an officer. Then, I head over to the College of Business where I have Strategic Management, Aviation Insurance, and Management of the Multicultural Workforce. After class, I usually feel a little overwhelmed with all the information that I just received. In order to take all the classes that I wanted to, I had to make my schedule this way; however, I sort of like it because I have the afternoons free. I’ll keep you posted on the interesting things happening in class!

This year I also got a job working at the Embry-Riddle kiosk located in the Daytona Beach Airport. I work three times a week and answer people’s questions about Embry-Riddle or the arriving flights. I love being busy and I think with all that I’m doing this year graduation day will be here before I know it! Since many of my friends are graduating also, I’m trying to spend time doing fun things with them. This weekend I went to a comedy show in Orlando, rode on one of my friend’s motorcycle (kind of scary!), played poker for the first time and came in second place, and went bowling. Next weekend I will be in Washington D.C.—I’ll tell you more about that in the next journal entry!

Until next time,


April 30, 2009

Classes are over and grades have been posted; now summer can start…Yippee! My finals went alright and, even though I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, I’m glad to be done. My mom and sister arrived on Monday to help me pack my stuff and to do some sightseeing. We went to the beach, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, and miniature golf. I think they have enjoyed being in Daytona, but I’m so ready to hit the road towards Illinois. As my last journal entry, I figured I would answer a few common questions from a student’s perspective and give a few pointers to incoming college freshmen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a typical college day like?

This was a little different for me because I’m in AFROTC and have to wake up early for training. Also, it all depends on what your schedule is like. You will receive your schedule sometime in August and if you have any problems you can talk to your advisor when you arrive at school. Some people I knew went to class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 to 5 and then on Tuesday and Thursday would only have one class. Another thing your schedule depends upon is your major, business students will most likely have two or three classes per day. Most clubs get started in September and club meetings are usually held once a week sometime during the evening. The other time you can spend in the library working on homework, eating in the UC (Student Center), or hanging out with friends.

Do I ever get to leave campus?

My freshman year I didn’t have a car in Daytona and I still made it a point to go do fun things every now and then. The mall is within walking distance along with a few restaurants. Many people do have cars and are willing to take other students places like the beach or Walt Disney World. This year I had a scooter and enjoyed being able to leave campus whenever I had some extra time. If you are thinking about bringing a car down, it’s about $35 a year for a parking decal and there is limited parking space.

Do you ever get homesick?

I was nervous about leaving my family behind and coming some place where I didn’t know anyone; so, I made sure to bring lots of pictures and things that would remind me of home. I brought a couple of my favorite movies and music to watch and listen to when I needed to have a reminder of home. The best thing for me was being able to call home and talk to my mom and sister. However, once you get immersed in school the feeling goes away and the semester flies by. Do make sure you decorate your dorm room to look like an actual room and not just a dorm room.


  • Be positive—remain positive when things don’t seem to be going exactly the way you had hoped.
  • Get involved—many people will tell you this, but it is true. Join a few clubs and you will be able to meet so many more people.
  • Don’t hibernate in your dorm room—meeting people is a good way to keep from getting homesick. Go to the buffet or student center and eat with a new group of people, you just might meet your next best friend.
  • Don’t slack off on your homework—waiting a day or two to do your homework will just mean you have to play catch up later in the week or on the weekend. This can cause you to be overwhelmed and stressed and result in you not enjoying your time in college.

I hope that you all have enjoyed my journal entries this year and I hope that they were helpful. Good luck to everyone that has chosen to attend ERAU!
Kaleigh Sides

April 19, 2009

Only four days left of classes, yippee! This semester went by really fast and looking back on all the things I accomplished, it’s no surprise. However, the semester may be winding down but that doesn’t mean the fun stops! Next week, I get to go to Patrick Air Force Base and go for a ride in a C-130. I was supposed to get to do this last year but the plane was grounded for maintenance issues; hopefully, this year we will get to fly! My sister and mom are going to be here in eight days and I’m looking forward to that!

I’ve almost finished another semester of AFROTC! We have our Pass-In-Review Ceremony on Wednesday and that will complete the semester. On the 18th, we had Dining Out which is a dinner that everyone attends and we wrap the year up with a video and awards. We finally found out our dates for Field Training and I’ll be going to Maxwell Air Force Base on July 4th till August 1st. I’m glad that’s when I’m going because it means I’ll be able to attend my brother’s wedding. A lot of cadets in our detachment are going to this encampment, so the chances of me knowing someone in the flight next to mine are high. I mentioned in my last entry that I was waiting on approval to start my masters in a year, well I got the approval! I’m so glad because I think I’ll be able to either finish or be very close when I commission in 2011.

Last weekend, I was in Phoenix, Arizona with Silver Wings for NATCON. As I mentioned before, our Chapter was running for National Staff and we won! This means that I’m now the National Treasurer and next September I get to travel to Washington D.C. and spend five days there. I’m pretty excited about that! Silver Wings has been such a great opportunity because of the people I’ve gotten to meet and the opportunities I’ve had. If you have any questions about Silver Wings or other clubs here on campus, feel free to send me an e-mail! While I was in Phoenix, I attended my first major league baseball game-the Arizona Diamondbacks versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. I sat next to a lady that has sat in the same seats for the past twelve years! She was really nice and gave me a wonderful history of the stadium and some of the players. Next year, NATCON is going to be in Seattle, Washington and as National Treasurer I’m required to attend, but I think it will be a fun trip! At NATCON, we decided on our service project for next year-Go Green! This means that a majority of our service projects will be focused on helping the planet and becoming more environmentally friendly. We have already planned a tree planting project, road clean-up, and a camping trip for next semester.

My first final is on Wednesday in International Business, so I’m going to start studying today! Then, I have two finals on Saturday, two on next Tuesday, and my Business Law final is a take-home. I don’t think any of them should be too bad because, thankfully, none of them are cumulative. My last presentation was on Friday and it went pretty well; the teacher told us afterwards that it was A+ quality. I think my hardest final will probably be Corporate Finance; I plan on studying for several days for it. Next semester, the classes that I will be taking are: Air Force, Strategic Management, Aviation Insurance, Aviation Labor Relations, Management of the Multicultural Workforce, and Professional Selling. I think all of these classes sound pretty interesting, so I think it will be a good semester!

I hope that all of you that came to the Preview Day had a good time and saw what a great campus this is. For those of you that couldn’t come, check out the website and e-mail me if you have any questions at all. I know I had a lot of questions before I came to Daytona Beach, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Until next time,