Online vs. Regular Classes

The fall semester is just around the corner and many of you are finalizing your class schedule before the start of the semester. Have you ever thought of taking an online class through our Worldwide Campus instead of a regular one in the classroom? In my two years of college so far, I have taken three online classes. I took one class during the summer of 2015 and one this summer while doing an internship. The other class I took was during last spring semester. Classes taken from your computer can both have benefits and drawbacks.

I think the biggest advantage of an online is that you can work on it whenever you want. There is no lecture by the professor like a regular class. You don’t need to leave your home and drive to school. You can simply stay home and study. If your schedule is busy, then an online class could be your answer.

Online classes are usually cheaper than classes taught in a classroom. Students might save money but won’t have the same learning experience than in a traditional classroom.

I feel like instructors in online classes give more feedback to the students on their assignment. They have to complete a rubric evaluation for every assignments. Students can see where they lost points and see the instructor’s comments.

One of the disadvantages of online classes is that you are basically on your own. If you need help because you don’t understand something, you can’t just go ask the professor after class. You can message the instructor, but he or she might reply back a few days later. During an online class, you don’t really have classmates and you have to learn by yourself. You have to teach yourself the weekly material.

Format of an online class at ERAU

  • Review Questions
  • Discussion
  • Group Project
  • Research Paper
  • Final Assessment

All the online classes I took were business classes and their format was quite similar. Online classes at ERAU have a duration of nine weeks. Every week, students will have to submit various assignments on a date set by the instructor at the beginning of the semester. These assignments can include review questions, essays, and discussions. The review questions are pretty straight-forward. You will have to answer questions from a chapter in the textbook. Depending on the class you take, you might have to submit a weekly essay on the topic of the week. Finally, you will have to interact with different students in you class by posting and replying to a discussion thread.

Your class might include a group project. I really had a bad experience with the group project in my Business Information Systems class (MGMT 320). The instructor will assign you in a team (typically four students) and you will have to submit an essay/report. In my group, only one of the three colleagues I had participated in the project. The two of us did the whole work for our team. We tried to get the participation of the two other members by sending emails but it did not work. After we submitted the project, one member sent us an email saying that she was not able to participate since she was at a wedding. The last member seemed to have disappeared from the class. He wouldn’t be active in the weekly discussion threads.

At the end of the nine weeks, you will be required to submit a term paper that can range between 6 to 12 pages. The final assessment is due on the last day and can consist of multiple choice questions, true or false, matching, and/or short essay questions.

I hope that you learned more about online classes and that you will choose the best option for your needs. They both have their pros and cons.

Until next time!


Editor’s note: Current residential campus students must submit appropriate paperwork before enrolling in online courses through the Worldwide Campus. Consult with the Record’s Office, your advisor or admissions counselor before deciding whether online courses are right for you. 

Lots of Packing and and Unpacking

Hello readers!

I do apologize for not writing sooner – it’s been a crazy few weeks. I completed my internship with Gulfstream about a week ago and today is the first day of classes back at ERAU!

I’m just so thrilled to have had such an amazing time at Gulfstream this summer. Now that my internship has come to a close, I don’t have very busy days; I’m simply finishing reports and data collection, which is a little different from my earlier task load. I’m used to having lots and lots to do and due dates to keep track of. But now it’s very calm and simple, which I can’t complain about, really. But that still doesn’t mean I’m not busy. I’m incredibly busy when I get home. If you haven’t moved before or moved by yourself at all, you’re in for a real treat. Packing up and unpacking all of your belongings is quite a feat.

I’m sitting in my apartment now, just looking around at all of my stuff. I don’t think you ever realize how much stuff you actually have until you have to pack it all up and move. I’m currently in the state where I don’t even have boxes taped together and am just sitting, anxiously hoping that somehow all of my stuff will magically pack itself, like a spell from Harry Potter. We’re not so lucky in our muggle world.

I know that moving to a new place, especially a school where you probably don’t know anyone (just like me my freshman year), trust me when I say that it’ll turn out better than you plan. Your room will be planned out just like you wanted it to be (or even better!), your RA will be awesome, and you’ll make friends that you’ll have for the rest of your life. My best friends are people I lived with in the dorms my freshman year. They were and still are my lifeline.

I’ll keep this one brief and keep you posted with the final ending to my time at Gulfstream (for now!).

Stay tuned for another update on the first few days of classes for my last semester as an undergrad!

Blue skies,


Let Fall 2016 Begin

Hello there!Jack-IMG_6641

I spent the summer working on the Schedule Integrity team in the Network Planning department at Delta’s headquarters in Atlanta, GA. I was part of the team that was responsible for working on the flight schedule about three months before it was flown; the Schedule Integrity team (SI) is the last team in Network Planning that works on the schedule before it gets turned over to crew scheduling, Delta’s regional airline partners, and the airports Delta serves. Then, it is turned over to the folks in the Operations and Customer Center (OCC) to dispatch and deal with any issues that arise on the day of departure.

Each of the SI members manage a hub, several out stations, a few aircraft types (to ensure maintenance is built into the schedule and for crew scheduling), and works with a regional airline or two (to ensure that they can execute their part of the schedule). My primary focus was on the Cincinnati and Salt Lake City hubs, a regional airline, and helping other team members as needed. Even though everybody has their own beat, we still ended up working together as a team quite a bit when changes to the flight schedule need to be made; for example, a flight might start the day in Salt Lake City then fly several flights and end the night at New York JFK, but if we change the departure time out of Salt Lake City, the days’ flights and ultimately the arrival into JFK might change and impact slots or even ground time for planned maintenance.

Although I was an intern, I am very thankful that the team treated me like a full-time employee which was a great way to get hands-on experience and for me to know that this is what I want to do after graduating college.

Now, it is the first day of classes, and it’s time to get back into my school routine. I do miss working at Delta, but it is nice to return to campus and continue working towards completing my degree.

Until next time,



Ireland – Part 2

In Part 1 of my visit to Ireland, we visited Dublin and Killarney. In Part 2, we visited another town called Clare, located in the west portion of Ireland.

Day 6 – Travel from Killarney to Clare 

It’s about halfway through our trip in Europe. We left Killarney to visit another town called Clare. We ate dinner at our hotel that night.

Claire County

Claire County

Day 7 – Golf at Trump International Golf Links

The next morning, we drove to Trump International Golf Links in Doonberg, Ireland. It was not very cold, but it was really windy and it was raining. After the game, we had lunch at the club and drove back to our hotel shortly after. We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant close by our town.

Trump International Golf Links in Doonberg, Ireland

Trump International Golf Links in Doonberg, Ireland

View of the clubhouse from the first tee.

View of the clubhouse from the first tee.


The course borders the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 8 – Hike in Clare

During our last day in Clare, we did a hike with a tour guide and some other people from our hotel. The guide explained to us a bit of the history of Ireland. He described almost all the plants and flowers of the area. 



Day 9 – Travel from Clare to Dublin 

We spent our last day in Ireland back to Dublin at the same hotel than we were the week before. Again, we walked around the beautiful streets of the city and visited for the last time. I enjoyed walking in the different towns we visited over the past week. They all have a cool small village with small shops and restaurants.


Dublin, Ireland

Day 10 – Travel from Ireland to Canada 


Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300ER (76W) at Toronto-Pearson International Airport

It was an amazing journey, but it is time to head back home! Our flight was at 10:30 in the morning. This time we flew with Air Canada Rouge to Toronto (YYZ). We cleared Canadian customs in Toronto and then boarded our 50-minute flight to Montreal.

Until next time!


Ireland – Part 1

Now that my internship is over, I have a week of vacation before heading to Daytona Beach for my third year of university. Over the past week, I visited Ireland with my family. This is first part of a two-part story.

Day 1 – Travel from Canada to Europe

The first day of the trip was a travel day. We first flew in the evening from Montreal (YUL) to London (LHR) on an Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER. We landed the next morning in London and had a two-hour layover before catching a flight to Dublin (DUB). The flight was operated by Air Canada’s partner Aer Lingus. 

Starter: smoked trout Niçoise said with roasted garlic aïoli.

Appetizer was served after takeoff on the flight to LHR: smoked trout Niçoise said with roasted garlic aïoli.

Day 2 – Travel from London to Dublin and Arrival 

My family and I arrived at our hotel in downtown Dublin at around noon. For our first lunch in Europe, we had tea accompanied with an assortment of sandwiches, scones, and pastries. It was pretty good! In the afternoon, we walked and explored the city. We ate our first dinner at our hotel.


Walking in the streets of Dublin.


Restaurants, bars, cafés, and shops.

Day 3 – Guided Tour of Dublin 

The next day we had a private guide to show us the city and its culture. We toured the city with the guide for about three hours before heading to lunch.

Trinity University.

Trinity University


Christ Church Cathedral

 Day 4 – Travel from Dublin to Killarney

We rented a car and drove from Dublin to Killarney. It was a four-hour drive south west of the capital city. One big thing that is different in Ireland unlike most countries in the world is that people drive on the left side of the road instead of the right. It can get confusing, especially at road intersections. Also the roads there are really narrow.

The speed limit on these roads can be up to 100 km/h (62 mph)!

We arrived at our new hotel at noon. After lunch, we took a walk close to our hotel. The concierge said that the 10-kilometer trail would take us an hour but it actually took way more than that! The views were amazing though.

View from our hotel.

View from our hotel.

View of our hotel.

Day 5 – Golf at Waterville 

The next day we drove to a small town named Kerry.  We had to wake up at  5 in the morning because we had an early 7:50 tee time, and the golf course was located at about 1 hour drive from our location. We played 18 holes at the Waterville Golf Links. It was very windy and cold and we lost many golf balls.

Waterville Golf Links

Waterville Golf Links


The course is recognize as one of the best in Ireland.

In Part 2 (Days 6 to 10), I will go over the second part of the trip which brings us to a new destination in Ireland. Playing another round of golf and hiking is on the menu.


Coming to a close

Hello again readers! Another busy weekend kept me from my computer, so I’ll have a few more updates this week.

I think everyone can agree with me that this summer has flown by (both figuratively and literally). It feels like yesterday I was up in Ohio competing at NIFA SAFECON and here I am now packing up my apartment to head back to the good old DAB. So this means that people are starting to leave and the internship program is coming to a close.

To celebrate all 190 intern and co-ops’ success this summer, Gulfstream’s Collegiate Programs put together an amazing evening of networking and celebration with many directors and Vice Presidents of the company. It was an evening of remembering where we were 4 months ago sitting in our first introductory training course to where we are now, pursuing our own projects and publishing formal documents and conducting real-life tests and evaluations to further product development. They had a slideshow of pictures that all of the interns submitted from their summer adventures at Gulfstream and in the Savannah area, so it was really interesting to see what else the interns did this summer. I wasn’t the only one to visit the Grand Canyon either which was awesome to see!!

But it’s amazing to compare your experiences with others. There were over 190 different Gulfstream summers experienced and we were all in the same room to share our stories and celebrate our accomplishments. I heard about intern positions that I didn’t even know about (did you know there was a Flight Ops internship?? I didn’t!! How exciting!) and different labs and office environments and schedules. It’s pretty amazing to hear about all of the diversity throughout the Collegiate Program and the company.

There was delicious food and good music and lots of people. It was very interesting to see all of the departments represented that evening. Departments I had never heard of and groups I couldn’t wait to learn more about. I spoke with Chief Pilots, Engineering Managers and Directors, and Company Vice Presidents. It was truly an honor to be able to represent our great university within such a prestigious group.

My favorite part of the evening was the promotional video that some students put together, about their time as an intern or co-op. I love seeing how different we all are, in our majors, schools, departments, and interests. However, the one thing we all have in common is a love for aviation and a love for Gulfstream. You can’t work for a company as dedicated to aviation without loving it first. If you don’t love what your doing and what you’re a part o, then how are you supposed to perform at your optimum level? It gives you goosebumps when you realize what you’ve been a part of, even as small as an intern. I know that my projects have helped further product development in one way or another.

IMG_5850 (1)

Back to work for me (only 10 days left!) – until next time.

Blue skies,


Welcome to the Club(s)

Hello, readers!

I know that when you’re looking at colleges, you’re not just looking at your degree program, you’re also looking at the things you can do there. Some people even pick their school based upon what they can do, not necessarily what they’ll study. Hopefully you’re looking at Riddle because you’re excited to study one of our degree programs offered in Daytona, but also because of the endless opportunities the university has to participate in something bigger than yourself.

Of course, we have a great athletic department, which is greatly increasing in size as we transition to NCAA. We have fantastic teams that compete very well! I have many friends on Track and Field, Tennis, Volleyball, and Basketball. It’s a great place to embrace your sport either from high school or from just pure interest, and be able to explore the collegiate opportunities there.

We have a few sororities and fraternities on campus as well; I’m not as familiar with Greek life, but I know plenty of people who are involved and absolutely love their Greek family that they’re a part of!

In terms of the clubs we have at Riddle, if you can think of an idea for a club, we probably have it. SCUBA diving, skydiving, sport aviation, rowing, motorcycle enthusiasts, archery, gaming – whatever it is that you enjoy, we probably have it. And if we don’t, its SO easy to create your own club. If you and a few friends want to have a movie critique club and can find a faculty member to sponsor it – go for it. (We might even have a club that does that, but I’m not sure – don’t quote me on that!). Flight Team, for example, is a club that isn’t designated as an AS (Aeronautical Science) only team/club. We have HF (me!), engineers, and mechanics alike. Go out there and see what’s there and have fun. The most important thing is to find something that you love and have some fun!!

As I’ve said in a previous post, I think it’s so important to be involved in some club or team that isn’t associated directly with your degree program. You get to meet people from other degrees and other countries and nationalities that you might have had the opportunity to otherwise. You might meet the people that’ll be your friends for life. It’s also a great place to network – meeting professors and other faculty members may become your mentors, your go-to people with personal and professional aspirations. They might also give you opportunities that you wouldn’t normally have – for example, I am serving as the Region IX SAFECON President for our Regional competition this fall for Flight Team. I wouldn’t have had such the honor if I hadn’t stuck my neck out and joined the team.


Above is an image of me flying N53ER, the Flight Team’s old precision landings aircraft, the Maule MXT-7-180 Comet. Photo taken by Zack Wilkinson, Summer 2014. Another advantage of doing something outside of your major might include flying airplanes you wouldn’t normally fly!


Above is an image of Ernie flying with me up to Virginia for the 2015 Women’s Air Race Classic. You never know where your team might take you! Mine teams have taken me across the country and back, literally.

There’s a lot to be said for research though – make sure you’re participating in at least one research project while you’re in school. It definitely doesn’t have to be for all 4 years, it can be for a semester or even a summer. The knowledge you can gain simply by participating or assisting in research can have end results that you might not even a imagine (a job offer maybe?!).

It’s intimidating trying to fit into a club or group with people you don’t know – I completely understand. But my best advice is to do something out of your comfort zone and have fun! Meet new people, do things you wouldn’t normally do (like skydiving!), and enjoy your time outside of class and study time. That’s what college is all about!

Every semester, the school hosts an Activities Fair, which is an opportunity for students to see all of the clubs and teams and Greek life you can be a part of! It’s a lot of fun (you never know what cool free stuff you can find….) so I encourage all of you to check it out if you’re on campus!

Enjoy the rest of your week – back to work for me!

Blue skies,


Flight Team!

Hello, readers!

I’ve probably bored you with my endless talk about Gulfstream and Human Factors and living the life of an intern, so what about something else from Riddle?

Besides studying Human Factors at ERAU, I’m also a member of the Eagles Flight Team. The Eagles Flight Team is a part of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA). We compete at a Regional and National level against some of the best flight teams in the Nation.

It’s very important that as a student at ERAU, that you find something to be a part of that is outside of your degree program. It gives you a more well-rounded college experience. You meet people from different degrees that you wouldn’t normally meet and it gives you something else to do other than homework. You feel like you can be a part of something bigger than yourself. Plus you never know when you might be able to represent your university on a regional or National level!

On the Flight Team, we compete in both ground and flight events. For our ground events, we have what we call the Big Three. They’re named this because we can send 5 competitors for these eventsi n competition – no other ground events can have 5 people compete! They are Aircraft Recognition (Rec), Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Computer Accuracy (COMPACC). Rec is just as it sounds; we identify aircraft by manufacturer, number, and model name (e.g. Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Douglas DC-3 None, Grumman F-14 Tomcat). We’ve won First Place at Nationals for the past 7 years, so you can say that we’re pretty good at what we do. SCAN is basically like mock-cross country flight planning. You must answer 40 questions regarding a flight plan within 60 minutes. The test includes, performance, weight and balance calculations, weather knowledge, FAR/AIM knowledge, and much more. COMPACC is a math-based event, focusing on answering performance questions by using a CR-3, a flight computer. I myself am a Reccer (as we call ourselves) and a SCANimal. I absolutely love these events; what I learn from flight team in these events has truly helped my overall abilities as a pilot.

We have several other ground events that you can participate after one semester on the team. We have preflight, ground trainer, IFR sim, and CRM/LOFT that you may participate in.

Besides ground events, we also have our flight events! These include Power-On and Power-Off Landings, Navigation, and Message Drop. The goal of Power-On and Power-Off landings is to land as close to the Zero Line as possible. The lower the points, the higher you place. Navigation is about flying the perfect cross-country based upon the flight plan you plan. Message Drop is a really fun event: you drop “message bombs” (they’re just Styrofoam pieces) out of the airplane and try to get them to land on a target. It’s a lot like flour bombing, like pilots used to do back in the old days.

In my three years at Riddle, I’ve served as the Public Relations Officer and the Captain of the team. I absolutely love being with this team, practicing and competing.

I’ll post more about how you get on the team and what that entails in a later post! Just wanted to spark your interest of the amazing things you can do as an ERAU student.

Until next time….. Blue Skies!


Network Planning Internship Wrap-Up

Today is my last day as a Network Planning Intern at Air Canada. I started the internship at the beginning of May after my spring semester at Embry-Riddle. I will give a brief summary of my amazing experience.

Boeing 787-9 (Photo Credits: Air Canada)

Boeing 787-9 taking off at Toronto-Pearson International Airport (Credits: Air Canada)

Aircraft Programs
I began my first two weeks with the Aircraft Programs group. For the first week, I shadowed an aircraft program manager while he was performing his duties of post-delivery activities at an MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) close to Montreal. The airline had just received a brand new Boeing 777-300ER (77W). I tested the seats, tray tables, IFE (inflight entertainment), reading lights, and various galley compartments. The aircraft entered into commercial service a few weeks after.

Economy section of an Air Canada B777-300ER

Economy section of an Air Canada B777-300ER

The second week was very exciting as it was my first business trip. I travelled all the way to Seattle because Air Canada was going to take delivery of its 19th and last 77W. I met with the same aircraft program manager at the Boeing Everett Factory. During the first few days, we tested the systems in the aircraft, a bit similar to what we did the previous week in Montreal. We were looking for any defect the plane had before it would be handed off to Air Canada.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle (Credits: Author)

My last day in the state of Washington was probably the best. I had the opportunity to fly on the jump seat of the aircraft that was going to be delivered to us the next day. The flight had a duration of about 2h45 and included a touch-and-go and a go-around at Moses Lake (KMWH). Many tests were performed by the flight crew and by mechanics and engineers throughout the flight. The pilots extended the flaps and the slats during the flight. The speed brakes were also deployed for a short period.

Flight path of the aircraft (C-FKAU) via FlightRadar24

Flight path of the aircraft (C-FKAU) via FlightRadar24.

I really enjoyed my week at Boeing Everett Factory. I would like to come back to Seattle soon as I did not have the time to truly visit the Emerald City. I learned a lot about Aircraft Programs in the short two weeks I spent with them.

Network Planning
Right after I returned from my trip to the West Coast, I started working in Network Planning. I was part of the long-range team that planned the flight schedule about a year before it is actually flown. I assisted in planning the schedule for North America, which includes Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Network Planning works closely with other departments such as Intermediate Scheduling, Aircraft Programs, and Revenue Management.

Route Map from Air Canada's largest hub, Toronto-Pearson.

Route Map from Air Canada’s largest hub, Toronto-Pearson.

Before I started my internship, I did not know all the items that are taken into account when scheduling a flight. We need to take into consideration aircraft maintenance, turnaround times, flight connectivity at hubs, ideal departure times, flight crew duty time and aircraft types. Our team also analyzes past performance to see if we should add frequencies or put a larger aircraft on a route.

Besides planning future flights, Network Planning consists of expanding the airline’s route network. I had the chance to sit with a few co-workers as they explained me how an airlines evaluate new route opportunities. In one month this summer, we introduced 10 new international routes to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Since May, Air Canada launched 11 routes to the United States.


On June 3, Air Canada launched non-stop service between Montreal and Casablanca (Credits: Air Canada)

I really enjoyed the time I spent this summer in Network Planning. Air Canada has a great team of passionate and energetic aviation enthusiasts. I am proud and honored to have been able to play a small role in planning the schedule for the upcoming seasons.

I am proud and happy I got the opportunity to get a summer internship at an airline in the aircraft programs and network planning department. This is my second summer in a row doing an internship. Last summer, I worked as an intern in the finance department at Aéroports de Montréal, the authority that manages the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. So far, I got to experience both the airport industry and the airline industry. After experiencing both, I can definitely say that I belong to the airlines.

Last year on this same day, August 3, I said in my blog: “Now that I have experienced a job in an airport, I would like to go work at an airline in the near future. We’ll see what happens next!” My wish has come true this summer! Next year after I graduate from Embry-Riddle with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration, I wish to go work full-time at an airline. In about nine months, we will see if my dream can be fulfilled for a second time!

Until next time!


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Working for Gulfstream

Now that ya’ll have some idea of what it is that I do as a human factors engineer, you might be a little curious to see what I do at Gulfstream – or what it’s like to work at Gulfstream.

For us Riddle kids and engineers, Gulfstream is a dream company. Everyone wants to intern there, get a first job with them. In the eyes of the students, it’s a competitive company to be selected for, with high requirements and qualifications. You have to stand out of a massive crowd to be selected for a position with Gulfstream. I know I’ve wanted to intern and work for Gulfstream since 10th grade and here I am!

Your first day at Gulfstream is a little overwhelming. You got through a morning of paperwork and briefing, pictures and group projects. At Gulfstream, there is a program called Gulfstream University, which basically teaches you everything you need to know about the Gulfstream culture before you actually start your job. You spend two days with them going over leadership plans, history of Gulfstream, what it means to work at Gulfstream, and general rules and responsibilities as an employee. Gulfstream is very thorough; you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you go through training. It’s a very serious company as well. They are very proud of the work accomplished and the work ongoing. Don’t forget, we create and deliver the finest aviation experience here at Gulfstream!

I wouldn’t say that the rules and regulations that you follow as an employee of Gulfstream are strict as they are necessary. At first you might think “well why can’t I do this?” or “why does this rule exist?” They’re there to protect us, the employees, and the company as a whole. I don’t want to make it sound like there are lots and lots of strict rules – there aren’t. It’s a very enjoyable experience to be able to work for such a strong, developing company.

From my previous posts, you know that Savannah is a beautiful city and there’s always something to do! Depending on where you live in Pooler or Savannah, the offices are really close. Easily within a 15 minute drive.

Now, each department is different, so I cannot speak on their behalf – only for HFE (human factors engineering). You will have to do presentations and write papers everywhere you go – it’s just part of the job working in industry. One thing that I’ve learned while I’ve been here is that when you’re really into a project you’re working on, you can easily lose track of time and end up working 2 hours of overtime. It happens, but all that means is that you love what you’re doing!

I can’t go into too much detail about my job, like what exactly that it is that I do, but I can tell you with the utmost confidence that I LOVE working for Gulfstream and I LOVE human factors engineering. It’s the perfect combination of my passion for aviation and a great challenge. I love it!

With only about 3 weeks left, it’s sad knowing that I’ll be leaving soon! Now, I’ve had a pretty abnormal summer for an intern, competing in two National flight competitions (NIFA SAFECON and the Air Race Classic), but if you only do the internship, it’s 13 weeks of the most fun you’ll have during your summers as an undergrad (or grad!).

Can’t wait to see what these last two days of the work week bring to my desk!

Until then, blue skies!