The Ins and Outs of ERNIE

Embry-Riddle’s Network for Information Exchange or “ERNIE” is the system ERAU students, faculty, staff and applicants use to manage university business.   

It’s no doubt that ERNIE will become your best friend throughout your college career. With ERNIE, you can stay organized, know when specific events take place, keep track of your funds, find textbook requirements, register for classes, contact professors, and so much more. I never quite realized how important ERNIE is for the students and professors here at Embry-Riddle. I’m going to give a tour of sorts on how to navigate ERNIE and explain some of the functions.

Using my ERNIE for some example screenshots, let’s review the 7 icons in the right-hand corner. This is where you will access your school email, and your OneDrive account, as well as find help, go into your settings, and see your “favorites”.

Speaking of “favorites,” let’s review the “tools” and “favorites” area located on your ERNIE homepage:

Some of your tools will be pre-populated, like Canvas and your Campus Solutions Student Homepage. You can quickly access Canvas (the learning management system used on campus to submit assignments, share documents, and access grades) in your Tools area. You can easily add more tools, like ALEKS the math placement and learning tool, RAVE, the emergency notification system, and many others. Simply click on the gear in the upper right corner to view more tools and add them to your dashboard.

Moving on to the menu that helps navigate information inside ERNIE, you’ll see some pretty self-explanatory categories: Departments, People, Forms, Training and Services. Of these options, perhaps the most useful to new students is Training. The training tab shows you how to do something in ERNIE. For example navigating to the Hunt Library, or learning to register for classes.

If you’re looking for information on tutoring, campus solutions, student employment information, or access your eagle card, you will find it under the services tab.

Your dashboard (sample pictured below) will help you to navigate to your class schedule, specific actions you need to take, and is an alternative way to access your Campus Solutions Student Homepage.

Campus Solutions Student Homepage

The student home page (pictured above) is probably the most important part of ERNIE for students. This is where you can check your funds and financial aid, view tuition due, see your graduation status, register for classes, access your academic advisor information and view your progress towards completion of your degree program. To access this page all you have to do is click the highlighted “Go To Student Homepage” link that is located in the Tools area, or the area where all your classes are shown.  NOTE: applicants who have not yet enrolled will see an “Applicant Homepage” before they are assigned a “Student Homepage.”

There’s a lot to college, but ERNIE really helps minimize some of the stress by making it easier to manage business. It really just organizes everything and makes finding things easy for you, giving you one less thing to worry about. Hope this brief introduction helps introduce you to all ERNIE can do for you.

Training & Traveling

Happy June everyone! I’m currently blogging from Dallas, Texas, where I will be in the airport the next few hours waiting for my flight to Arizona. 

Firstly, May FLEW by. Going from finals, to moving back from Daytona Beach to Virginia, then going from Virginia to Georgia, then to Alabama for Field Training, then back to Georgia, then to Virginia, now to Texas, then to Arizona, where I will reside until the beginning of August. Aside from training lasting two exhausting weeks in the Alabama heat, traveling (inclusive of packing and unpacking, then repacking and unpacking again) is also very exhausting.

I successfully got through spring semester with the highest term GPA I’ve had since starting at Riddle, and I credit that mostly to the hours I spent studying and not going to the beach, despite popular belief when I tell people I go to college in Florida.

In preparation for Field Training I cut out caffeine beforehand, which was gruesome, but you truly don’t realize how dependent you are until you pass through the withdrawals and realize that a good amount of sleep is a good substitution for a cup of coffee or tea. Nevertheless, upon completion of Field Training, despite getting 8 hours of rest every night, I was absolutely exhausted and my airport Starbucks run was very much appreciated.

My favorite part of Field Training was hands down the people. I was in a flight of twenty people that hailed from all over the country and I most certainly underestimated how quickly you can become attached to strangers in two weeks. The transition from individuals to a team to a family is literally awe-inspiring. In a nutshell, Field Training was an experience that will stay with my for the rest of my life and definitely fit the stereotype of “the most fun you never want to have again”.

The Alphacados with our amazing FTO and CTA, FT MAX 1 Summer 2019

Now that I am almost to the end of hopping around the country in such a short period of time, I am excited to go forth with my Arabic studies at the University of Arizona through Project GO, get back into a routine of class and working out, and of course explore all Tucson’s coffee shops while soaking up the sunshine & becoming aquatinted with some of the infamous saguaro cacti. Will report back soon, stay cool folks.

Endings & New Beginnings

Greetings and salutations folks. I am currently blogging from my hotel room and it’s my last night in Daytona Beach for a while, or at least until August. Tomorrow I’m road tripping back to my home in Virginia and about a week later I’ll be heading to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama for 14 days of Field Training at the first session for summer 2019. Upon completion of training, I have about a day to catch my breath before I head to Arizona for Project GO, round two furthering my Arabic studies.

Out of my entire sophomore year, and quite frankly my time at Riddle thus far, this past month has been the absolute best. Now I say best with the full disclosure that I had still had homework, quizzes, presentations, group projects, tests, and final exams, but I honestly had a great time because one: my mindset, and two: the people I surrounded myself with.

My grades this semester were the best they’ve ever been in college so far and nothing monumental changed in priorities. I’ve always put school first, but this semester I put myself first in a lot of situations too. I made genuine connections with friends that helped me to de-stress so much. I took time for myself to do yoga and meditate and workout. I wish I could tell you I got a ton of sleep this semester, but I didn’t, truthfully I had very many late nights and very stressful nights trying to grasp concepts while studying. My classes this semester weren’t easy, but somehow my outlook changed and I went from overwhelming myself with concern over grades to going with the flow and putting more focus on learning material, and also unwinding. My work/life balance this semester was something that definitely improved from freshman year. Even in studying for finals, I strategized by putting in a few solid hours of studying and practice problems, taking a break, then getting back into it. Rest is SO important, especially for your brain.

Now that the semester is over, I am spending my short break before I go off to training by reading, working out, and hopefully sleeping a lot more. Books that I’ve dove into recently are The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. I have also recently discovered my new favorite poet too, her name is Morgan Harper Nichols and her art is immensely insightful, powerful, and healing.

In other news, before leaving Daytona Beach, I had the privilege of going to brunch with some of my favorite gal pals, and I got to attend my good friend’s commissioning ceremony, where he officially became a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Brunch with one of my best friends before we part ways for the summer.
Post commissioning ceremony with this newly sworn in Air Force Officer.

Now as I prepare for my journey back home, Field Training, and a summer of Arizona heat studying Arabic, I would like to leave you with this: every ending is an opportunity for beginnings. Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on!

Last day of my First year!

My first year here at Riddle is coming to an end. Although I will be continuing to take classes during the Summer B semester, I’m still super-excited about the fact that I am about to be a sophomore, officially! To commemorate, I wanted to do a throw-back of sorts and showcase some of my favorite photos, old and new. Starting with the old:

And now the new! The Yuri’s Night event featured space activities, music, snacks and celestial viewing through the telescopes in the College of Arts & Sciences.

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!