End of the Year!

Hi everyone!

This time of year is always so bittersweet. While summer is literally right around the corner, there are still a few large obstacles to get through before the sand is in between my toes.

Finals are coming up sooner than we probably would like but for me personally, I cannot wait to just take them and be done. You could say senioritis is in full swing.

After I graduate in two weeks (that sounds crazy to say), I am catching a flight to Hawaii. We are going to see my sister graduate from University of Hawaii and have a little vacation. Then we are going to Disneyland for a day before heading back to Colorado for me to begin working!

When my family comes, we plan to eat lots of yummy food, hang out at the beach, and go to Disney World. I’m so excited but I never realized how much goes into graduating. There are meetings to attend and celebrations and having your family fly out… It’s a lot!

As all my organizations wrap up, I’m genuinely surprised how reluctant I am to say goodbye. While in the moment for the past three years I may have complained about the silly things we have to do or the “pointless” meetings, I’m now kind of already missing them. It’s not that I think they won’t succeed without me, but rather that they gave me a fulfilling sense of purpose that lit up my life! Now, I will find new things, but I will always be grateful for the people I have met, helped, or learned from.

I went to the College of Business awards ceremony last week and won the John P. Eberle award, which is essentially an outstanding senior recognition. I was so honored to win but also just sitting at the banquet and telling my professors my future plans seemed surreal. I remember being a scared freshman in their class like it was yesterday. Am I really not coming back to see them next semester?! I remember being a freshman at the same awards ceremony and being jealous of the seniors saying goodbye… Now I’m jealous of the freshman who get to stay!

Freshman Year College of Business Banquet
Senior Year College of Business Banquet

These banquets and goodbye dinners have been so sad but I do have to say I am very blessed to have such great things ahead to look forward to. I have always been the person to look forward and be more excited for the future than the past. Still, every thing I do I can’t help but make a mental note that it may be my last. I submitted a paper last week… my last college essay. Then I did a presentation… my last college presentation. On the positive side of this, it’s very motivating knowing you only have ‘x’ amount of work left. It really makes you work harder to get it done!

From the Student Government Association Banquet – Student Court

That being said, I plan to continue to write at least one more blog. I hope these have been helpful and fun to read. Maybe the top ten things I learned in college? Hmmm, I’ll to think on that. It has been so exciting to meet the readers as they come to campus and say that my blog has helped them. One reader has even joined many of the organizations I am in! I cannot explain the joy it brings me knowing I have eased some minds and inspired others to become involved. If there is one takeaway I want ALL of you to get from reading these blogs – if I can do it, so can you!

Until next time, Maddie

Finals & Finishing Up

Happy April everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, where I will be until approximately the first week of May when I pack up and move out for the summer. I must add that the spring time in Florida is particularly lovely, and aside from the occasional outlier variations in temperatures, it has been for the most part in the 80s sans the one 98 degree day and the 55 degree day (shoutout global warming).

In recent news AFROTC has officially concluded for the spring 2019 semester, and this year’s Field Training Preparation Group ended with a total of 68 real mvps. Typically in ROTC the freshman class starts out with about 200 and each year the numbers get smaller and smaller. I’m honored to have had the amazing opportunity to stick it out with my group of 68 class A citizens.

Spring 2019 Det 157 FTP Group’s last PT at the pool!

I must include that I recently went to Cinnamon Tree Cafe with one of my best friends and afterwards worked on a group project for our Modern Middle Eastern World Affairs class on the topic of the Arab Israeli Conflict in the Middle East, outside in the Florida sunshine relaxing by the pool. The weekends are my favorite.

Crepes, coffee, and presentation prep on a Saturday morning with this gem!

Something that makes me extremely happy in lieu of the dark cloud of final examinations approaching is that the basil I planted in my room a few weeks ago when I hosted the staff activity at my building’s weekly Resident Advisor meeting is thriving.

My basil babies in all their glory. The morning light they get from my window in my room is so great and they’ve really taken off.

Another really great aspect of Riddle that I’ve recently opened my eyes to, is that despite our school not being huge, it has enough people that you’re always meeting someone new, but also has the comfort of being able to spot at least a few people you know wherever you are on campus.

Even though there’s one week left to the semester before finals begin, I’m still meeting new people and making new friends, which is honestly so unexpected. It seems to be that when you’re not looking to make new friends people walk into your life exactly when you need them the most, even if you don’t initially realize it. 

Despite being very busy and stressed with classes, scheduling, and packing for Field Training this summer, I’m still finding ways to stay sane by going on runs with my friends from ROTC, having group study sessions at cafes, practicing yoga and meditating regularly, and going on walks to clear my mind. I highly recommend self care especially at particularly stressful moments in the semester.

Views from my dorm as I study.

Now, I’m off to turn in some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework and go to my Differential Equations class. Keep on keeping on folks, study hard, remember to take time for yourself even if you may feel like you have no time at all, and I’ll see you on the flip side of finals!

I Got a Job!

I am hoping this serves as my Career Fair Part II since the topics largely overlap.

To begin, I went to the Career Fair in the middle of February. Here I only handed out a few resumes since I knew I would be interviewing with some other companies soon (neither of which attended the Spring Career Fair/Expo).

I interviewed at two companies which will remain nameless for the sake of privacy. I will clue you in on the fact that one was an airline and the other is an OEM (original equipment manufacturer).

My first interview was in Dallas, Texas and the company was one of my dream companies to work for. I had done a training session with them one summer and thought the culture was so unique and amazing! When I applied online for the Crew Scheduling position I thought I would never hear back since this company is very competitive. Crew Scheduling sounded so fun and interesting to me since I love puzzles and challenges.

I flew in Thursday morning to interview and then took the company shuttle from the airport to their offices. There was a waiting room that looked much like an airport gate area and I met some other interviewees. Then it was my turn to go back and interview. I felt very prepared and the interviewers were beyond kind. They asked a lot about my background and goals. I felt confident about my answers as I trusted ERAU’s education. Then I flew to Alabama to see Chris that evening after my interview. The next day, Friday, I received a call with an offer!

I had another interview the next Tuesday with my dream company. My nerves were crazy. That interview process was much lengthier than the other. This one was 7 hours and I had to make a presentation to present to them. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end! The company did fly me out and pay for hotel, food, and transportation. I got to see my family too, since this position is in Colorado (one of the reasons I love it so much)!

The company culture at this second interview was my dream company culture. After my internship over last summer, I learned I prefer smaller companies – at least for now. This one is a startup, so I really love how fun and innovative everything is. There are so many coffee machines with fancy creamer and a whole kitchen stocked with free food. Not to mention you get a free $20 GrubHub credit everyday and unlimited paid time off! There is also a gym and locker rooms so you have a balanced life. That Friday I got a call with an offer from them as well!!!

Ultimately, I went with the offer in Colorado! I felt I had more room to grow with this company and I am truly passionate about their cause. The startup environment will be challenging and it is definitely not where I thought I would end up, but I am very excited to grow in this first career position.

The funny thing is, after I accepted my offer I began to get many other calls and interviews and even offers from other companies. Many of these were ones from the Career Fair. I say this so if you don’t hear back a week or two after the Career Fair, know it does not mean they forgot. Many companies take their time to get back to you, so be patient!

Both interviews had teams of people that were very impressed with the caliber of students that Embry-Riddle produced. Knowing that, I wish I had been more confident in myself going in because I think we forget how truly unique we are in this industry.

Around Campus

Spring is a beautiful time to stroll around campus.

And a great time to enjoy Bar-B-Que on the Quad while supporting a good cause.

Of course, spring also means finals so the library is a busy place!
Student Activities holds an Activity Fair every semester – there are so many clubs to choose from!

AFROTC & April

Happy April everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, keeping my wanderlust at bay with promises to myself that doing the little things now will allow me the opportunities to travel and do the things I want to do later.

Up until fairly recently, approximately one day ago to be exact, my summer plans were up in the air, BUT thankfully with the help of some amazing program coordinators, advisors, AFROTC cadre, and my friends I have a semi organized plan for what’s happening when finals conclude and I start the summer between my sophomore and junior year.

AFROTC officially wraps up with the conclusion of my Field Training Preparation semester on our final training day which looks to be roughly a week before finals.

My favorite girl gang and I at AFROTC’s annual Dining Out event.

After AFROTC concludes, the last day of classes for everyone is Thursday, April 25, followed by Friday, April 26 being Study Day. In my opinion Study Day is basically a super stressful holiday, where you spent the day hopping between your room, the library, study groups, supplemental instruction sessions, exam reviews held by professors or teaching assistants, and doing SO many practice problems.

Next, exams start on Saturday and run until Wednesday, May 1. After this, as a Resident Advisor, I stay on campus doing closing procedures and final preparations in the resident halls after residents have left to prepare to switch over to summer RAs and students moving in to take summer classes. My RA leave date is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7. After packing up and moving out, I’ll drive back to Virginia with my mom on May 8 and have about 10 days where I’ll be working part time at one of my favorite garden centers and working out a lot until May 17, which is GO TIME.

By that, I mean I leave for an intense fourteen days of Field Training at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. I get back to VA from Field Training on May 31, then I have a day to recoup and pack, before leaving to Tucson, Arizona!

A particularly radiating sunrise view from my dorm room, which gives me high standards for the views in Arizona.

I have the amazing opportunity this summer to once again take part in the Department of Defense’s Project Global Officer program to study upper levels of Arabic domestically at the University of Arizona for two months. I am extremely excited to take part in this truly awesome program once again and continue my Arabic studies. After last summer when I initiated my Arabic studies I’ve truly been hooked and have been trying to gain as much exposure and knowledge as I can everyday. I finish up in Arizona on August 7, then I travel back to Virginia for a few days before coming back to Florida August 11 for RA training for the fall 2019 semester and Orientation Team training. 

Side note: I recently planted some basil seeds in a cup by my window sill and they’re flourishing!

This summer will be busy to say the least, but I’m excited. Today was my grandmother’s 71st birthday and while I talked to her on the phone this morning she listed to me her full day’s schedule of events, to which I responded that she’s 71, she should relax. In response to this she told me, “No, I don’t want to relax, that’s boring” which is a philosophy that is resonating with me for summer 2019. Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on!

Break & ChocoBananas

Happy March everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida and spring break has finally come to an end. Over the break I flew out of MCO to IAD then to… El Salvador! It was truly a thrilling experience and I can honestly say I’d rather be on a beach in the sun than back into the swing of classes.

Over the break my sister, my mom, and I went to La Libertad, El Salvador and spent the week soaking up the sunshine and eating really great food. Cue the fresh smoothies and pupusas.

We surfed, we hiked waterfalls, mountains, volcanos, went to the beach, the pool, and I (of course) did a lot of yoga and napping. We stayed at a private villa called La Casa Bonita that had coconut, mango, and banana trees on the property, so naturally we woke up every morning to enjoy fresh fruit or fresh juice with breakfast. I also ate a lot of frozen bananas and mangoes covered in chocolate, also called ChocoBananas or ChocoMangos.

My sister and I on the second level of our villa overlooking the pool!

The beach in the town we stayed in was absolutely stunning, and there wasn’t even sand! The noise the tide made when it rushed out and all the water fled from the gray stones sounded almost like a stereotypical babbling brook mixed with the familiar swish of the tides. It was hands-down one of the most peaceful places I’ve been, and a definitely well deserved break from the hustle and bustle of classes and my normal routine. The noise alone was breathtaking, and that doesn’t even take into account the amazing view.

My mom and I next to the pool before we went out to dinner!

It’s always hard coming back from a totally different atmosphere and being expected to flip a switch and forget about all outside things because we’re back in “school” mode. A lot of students get sad or really miss home after long weekends or breaks. Sometimes letting yourself be consumed with all your responsibilities truly ostracizes you in your own little world and it can at times even feel a little lonely!

One thing that I definitely fall victim to at Riddle is being consumed with everything it has to offer. Most of the time I feel like Riddle is its own little island, and even leaving campus for a few minutes to go to the store or the beach is a rain check that realigns my perspective and reminds me that although being a student is a huge part of my life, it is not my entire life. I’m on year two, and still working on balancing everything and figuring out how to not be so consumed with all I’m involved in here. It’s so important to take breaks, and breathe. Relaxing and recuperating after a long week of work and school is extremely important.

My sister and I at the top of the Santa Ana Volcano, featuring a ChocoBanana on a stick.

In lieu of nostalgia from spring break, while I try to navigate the balance between work mode and rest, I leave you from a spot at my desk on a Sunday afternoon about to work on some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework, and I hope you all take five minutes to yourselves to breathe, whether its in the middle of the day, or you schedule your evenings as time to put away your phones and laptops and decompress, you deserve it. Work hard, and rest harder. Until next time folks!

I get paid to travel for Embry-Riddle

If the title didn’t hook you, I don’t know what will!

For those of you who do not know, I am a Women’s Ambassador – which means I work for Admissions. This position allows me the opportunity to travel to Accepted Student Receptions (aka the dinners/lunches across the country where accepted students have the chance to meet other accepted students and learn more about the school).

Some previous trips I have been on with the Admissions team include: Charleston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and most recently, Boston. These trips are typically one weekend long and are completely paid for by Riddle, so it is free for me (even my meals). You also get to pick when you travel *+(out of a list of dates), so it is very flexible with school.

When I travel, I normally go with a team of 3-4 others depending on how big the reception is planned to be. These are all people who bring a unique skill to the trip. For example, one person will be from Financial Aid, one from Housing, one from Admissions, and a student (me).

This particular trip was to give a presentation about ERAU (meaning it was geared more towards recruiting). The Accepted Student Receptions are more focused on preparing students to come to school in the fall!

In our free time we like to go sight-seeing. Most of the other people from Riddle travel often and know super cool places or very delicious restaurants. In San Francisco we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf and in Boston we walked through Little Italy. In Los Angeles we went into downtown LA for a bit!

Your flights are booked for you and sometimes you even fly on the same flights as the team. This makes it super simple and easy. I have always flown out of Daytona Beach International Airport, so it is also very convenient. Hotels are also booked for you and as for transportation, either the team will have a rental car or they will Uber/Lyft/taxi with you. They also send itineraries way in advance, so you know who, what, where, and when!

My most recent trip was to Boston. I went last weekend and traveled with a very nice lady from Financial Aid. In Boston we met up with the rest of the team (traveling from other receptions) and ate some AMAZING food. We also got to see some Boston history, like the Boston Tea Party harbor. I left Friday afternoon after my classes and then flew to Atlanta and then to Boston. We took a taxi to our hotel, checked in, and then walked to dinner.

My dinner at a small Italian restaurant. It was the best gnocchi ever!

The next day we went to the reception and met nearly 100 students and families. We did our presentation and answered questions. Students mingled and families shared contacts! I got asked a lot about how to save money while at school. I discussed how I worked for many different departments, such as Admissions and Housing! These are our versions of “work studies”. I also applied for donor scholarships often and got very involved on campus! Just like this gig where I get a stipend and free travel, there are amazing money-saving gems all around Riddle.

The view from the Accepted Student Reception restaurant!

I did homework at night to keep on track. I typically do homework on the weekends instead of during the week. Since I had known about the trip in advance, I tried to do more homework the week before. I was also able to do homework on my flight home on Sunday, but I got a bit distracted by the movie selections (Instant Family and Crazy Rich Asians are such good movies). Once I landed, I went to the Blue & Gold week (our homecoming) comedy show! It was super good!

This was my last trip ever and I was quite nostalgic. When I was a senior in high school I actually went to the Accepted Student Reception in Denver. Now, every time I go present about our school, I fall even more in love. It is so unique and we forget this when we live it every day. To see the families and students get excited and blown away by what we do on the norm is very humbling. I am just excited these students are following their dreams and will living their best lives here soon!

Ultimately, while it is fun to see new things in new cities, the best part of this job is meeting the accepted or potential students. I love helping families and the students learn more about the school or ease their minds. Some families are very excited and others are more nervous. While their technical questions are answered by the rest of the team, I am there to help answer questions about student life, how I pay for school, my experience, and transitioning into college. At the end of a reception, it feels great to know you just helped so many people!

Let me know if you have been to or are planning on going to the Accepted Student Receptions!

Best, Maddie

Commencing Break & Coffee

Greetings and salutations! I am currently blogging from a cuban coffee shop in Washington D.C. on a heated outdoor screened in porch with my sister across from me, we just had lunch at an amazing ramen restaurant and I must say folks, it’s spring break day 2 and life is good.

My spring break started at about 4pm on Friday afternoon once my Differential Equations class concluded, and proceeded to only get better. After class I went out with one of my friends to get pedicures and grab dinner at a super cute pizza place in Daytona One, which is a new shopping center across from the Daytona International Speedway, then I spent the evening packing and cleaning my room… ie preparing for takeoff.

Sandbag beach PT with a few of my favorite girl gang members the morning before spring break officially commenced.

I started Saturday morning by finishing up some laundry and last minute cleaning, followed by a road trip to the Orlando International Airport with one of my best friends. Before she dropped me off we stopped to have breakfast in Orlando at a brunch restaurant, where we got iced lavender lattes with shots of expresso, an acai bowl with fresh fruit and granola on top, avocado toast with poached eggs, and an immunity shot of fresh pressed juice before I left for the airport. 

I then proceeded to board my plane to head to Dulles International Airport, which is only about an hour and 47 minute flight, where I ran into one of my good childhood friends who was in DC for an internship and was currently heading back to Florida for her spring break to work on a conservation project in Stuart, Florida to protect the ecosystem and help the wildlife there.

Following this pleasantly unexpected reunion, I hopped into a car with my sister, and we blasted the tunes back to her house. Also a key point to mention, is that I went from 80 degree weather in Florida to 40 degree weather up north, and I’m not thrilled. Regardless of the climate change, if you are reading this and thinking, what an AMAZING start to a spring break, you are right, I 100% agree with you. 

When we got from IAD back to my sister’s house, she made an amazing vegetable and tofu ramen strip fry for dinner, we put on face masks, and we made homemade rice krispie treats to take on our next plane ride together (YAY).

Plus I got to refill not one, not two, but three essential oil diffusers, which are by the way life changing and I highly recommend. I have one essential oil diffuser in my dorm room and, to put it un-ironically, it is absolutely essential to have and is a total game changer from diffusing lavender when I sleep to rosemary when I study. I also got to light a bunch of candles around my sister’s house, which is a lavish task because living on campus, candles are unfortunately not allowed due to the fire hazard, so when I’m not at school I genuinely appreciate them. After that, we made strawberry nutella “smoothie”/cashew milk milkshakes for dessert. This concludes day one of my spring break.

Day 2: I woke up to my sister making breakfast, I leisurely got up and made the bed, then got to go around her house watering ALL the plants, which is one of my favorite things. Once I finished this up we drank coffee and ate breakfast, did yoga, checked into our flight for the following morning, and took a mid morning nap before running afternoon errands.

Current situation while blogging.

This brings us up to date in the present day moment, where I sit sipping cuban coffee while my sister works and my mom is currently en route from Virginia Beach, to DC to meet us. Our plane takes off late tomorrow morning to a tropical destination and the adventure has yet to begin. Will report back soon folks, take it easy over the break!

Why I feel prepared to graduate ft. the Career Fair (Part 1)

Hi everyone! I hope your Spring Break is upon you just like ours is upon us. Who’s ready for a week off? Me!

I wanted to talk a little bit about the Career Fair we experienced last week, but then I decided to make this a series if you will. This Part 1 will focus mainly on the Career Fair and the opportunities it provides. Part 2 will focus on the actual career-readiness I believe the vast majority of Embry-Riddle students leave with.

The Career Fair or Career Industry Expo, was last Thursday, February 28th. It went throughout the day and had hundreds of employers in attendance. There are companies for every major and recruiters for internships and jobs.

Throughout the week there are lots of presentations from companies, big and small. At these smaller meetings, they discuss who they are and what they are looking for. If you are interested in a company, I encourage you to attend their info-session and bring your resume! They are there to recruit, so be on your A-game.

Companies also come in and talk to your classes. I had a representative from EAA come explain their company and what type of positions they’re recruiting for. When Boeing came in the fall, they even told us inside tips on how to nail the interview! This extra face time is great. Come to class with resumes and try to stay to talk with the presenter afterwards if you are interested!

I encourage you to look up pictures of the Career Fair if you haven’t. It’s very hectic, but fun! You can get a lot of swag and make a lot of connections. I think even if you are not interested in getting an internship or job, it is beneficial to go and get practice speaking with recruiters. You can build lasting networking connections as well as possibly get an internship or job! You just never know. Some companies will also critique your resume on the spot, so that is very helpful too!

After the Career Fair, there are some interviews that companies host. The Career Fair is for you to learn about the companies, but come in with some basic knowledge in case they pull you aside for an on-the-spot interview! Weeks before the date, they will have a list of registered attendees for you to begin researching.

Up to the Career Fair, Career Services does a lot of resume and interview prep. There are even lessons on how to improve your LinkedIn. Please take advantage of these opportunities as they are really beneficial. One thing I wish I would’ve done, even as a freshman, was regularly attend the Career Service events. They care so much about students, but they also work with these companies directly, so they may have insider tips as well.

You can also talk to your Professors for help. I had one Professor ask for us students to turn in our resumes. She then read them and made edits! I just can’t believe what an amazing university this is – one where your Professor assigns you to bring in your resume so YOU can get help. Amazing.

Overall, while I have not directly received an internship or job from the Career Expo, but I know people who have. I still think the experience is great. I learn professional business skills and grow my network. I have been able to take my elevator speech and use it in interview questions. My aviation knowledge also grows every Career Fair – plus you get cool swag!

Go – go when you are a freshman and even if you don’t need an internship or job. You grow as a person and that should be a good enough reason alone!

~ Maddie

Inspiration at the Museums

These past few weeks have been super exciting to say the least. As an aspiring artist, I decided to take a “study in art class” as my lower humanities course. Something super cool about this class is that we go on field trips to Daytona’s local museum. The Museum of Arts and Science (MOAS) is full of incredible Florida landscape art, a fantastic collection of Cuban art, and more. I have been there twice now, and I have learned a lot about history and unique culture. I was overwhelmed by the amount of art that is currently in the MOAS.

The Museum of Arts and Science in Daytona Beach, Florida

There are two buildings that make up the museum. The main building features exhibits such as the Cuban arts exhibit. I learned the collection was donated by Batista himself during the time he stayed in Daytona. This building features many more like the early Florida exhibit, where they even have fossils. The second building of this museum is called the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum, named for the generous donors and featuring their massive collection of Florida landscapes and historic Florida art. My pictures don’t really do it justice. Physically going to a museum really does take your breath away, whether you’re interested in the art or not, because you will find that it’s more than a piece of artwork, it’s history, culture and more. I highly recommend that you go, and if you decide to, go with your Eagle Card because Riddle students have free entry.

Touching base on another museum here in Florida, I had the pleasure of going to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Tampa. It’s about two and a half hours away, but it was worth the drive. Not only is St. Pete beautiful, but it is also full of life. On Saturdays they have this huge farmer’s market full of different foods and music. But the main show was definitely The Dali Museum, seeing the art work is so overwhelming that I almost cried. You really get to see the fantastic thing that Dali was able to achieve, from Paintings, to film, fashion designs, and more. They even have a Virtual Reality feature that allows you to go “inside” his paintings.

sidewalk eatery

If you ever get a chance to visit the Salvador Dali Museum, do it! They offer student discounts for entry. But don’t just go for the museum, go for St. Pete also. It’s a great place to visit!