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!

Fun Weekend Getaway

Hi everyone!

One thing I love about Florida is how much there is to do. We have the beach minutes from our doorstep, Walt Disney World down the street, and beautiful springs in our backyard.

While there is an endless amount of things to do locally, it is always fun to sneak away! Many of my friends travel the WORLD over weekends, but I am on a budget, therefore you can find me local most of the time and jet-setting rarely. This past weekend I went to Savannah, Georgia with some friends.

I was beginning to feel bored and burnt out by all I had to do, so I decided to head out of town to refresh my mind.

Savannah is only 3.5 hours away from our campus, so the drive is not bad at all. I left after a test in my 2 o’clock class and then made it to our hotel at 6 pm. The hotel was very nice and once I dropped off my bags, my friends and I left to go downtown!

My friends, Lauren and Jorge, have been friends with me throughout college. They are always so much fun and make Chris and I laugh like crazy. They are also super easy going – like us – so traveling with them is never stressful.

Lauren and Jorge drove up separately, but the short drive wasn’t bad to make by myself. Chris drove 5 hours from Alabama, but he likes driving, so I wasn’t worried.

We tried lots of different restaurants, but they were all delicious! Our favorites were Treylor Park and Tequila’s Town.

We also went to the park where part of Forest Gump was filmed and took lots of pictures! We propped Chris’ phone up against the wall and were able to snap these shots, but people were definitely judging us – haha!

We also went to a the BEST ice cream shop I’ve ever been to – Leopold’s Ice Cream. If you are ever in Savannah, I highly recommend walking the cute downtown and grabbing an ice cream.

The trip was only two days, but it felt like the perfect amount of time. When I got back, I still had time to make it to my group meetings and get homework done. My freshman-self would’ve never imagined I could make the most of a weekend as much as I just did. We got so much done and I did leave feeling refreshed.

Sometimes we need a break. That can be a walk, a workout, a Starbucks break, or a weekend getaway. Take it. Take a break because I promise you it will do you well in the end.

Overall, it was great to see Chris and beautiful Savannah with friends! It is so easy to get bogged down with school and find yourself in your dorm cranking out homework. Since this is my last semester, I am challenging myself to go out and do more. As cheesy as it sounds, we should be making memories. I encourage all of you – whether you are already on campus, considering coming to ERAU, or already packing for next semester – to go out and make the most of your time here. I promise it flies (Riddle pun intended)!

Best ~ Maddie

How to Food @ ERAU

You’ve learned about the academics. You know about the Daytona Beach area. Maybe you’ve visited campus so you know all about our state-of-the-art labs and fleet. You’ve followed Embry-Riddle in the news and on your social media. But do you know all the ins and outs of eating on campus? Luckily – Lonnie has the low down. Watch as our newest blogger fills you in on How to Food at ERAU.

Balance & Blessings

Happy February everyone! This month is coming to an end and there’s a lot of exciting things in the works just around the corner. 

For AFROTC cadets in their AS200 year everyone seems to be holding their breath until Enrollment Allocations for Field Training this summer are released. Midterms are just around the corner, and preparation for projects and presentations are in full swing, with lots of quizzes and homework sprinkled in between. Am I stressed? Yes, but I am also extremely grateful to be in the situation I am in and I am genuinely enjoying the ride.

It is so easy to get caught up in the to-do lists and the responsibilities, but once you find a balance and ride the flow of everything, it’s almost beautiful how time management works. Now folks, you may be reading this and think I’ve cracked the code, but I’m still tired all the time, so its definitely a process. I would say the things that keep me the most sane are my friends, making time for myself to workout, do yoga, just breathe, getting packages from my family, phone calls with my grandma, facetiming my mom, texting my sister… not to mention a countdown to spring break, mini countdowns until the weekend each week, and keeping tea and an emergency stash of dark chocolate as my go-to when homework and studying keeps me up late at night.

Some of my friends and I after a sandbag beach PT!

I recently got news that I was rehired for my Resident Advisor position for the 2019-2020 school year and have the privilege of staying in my same building!

In other news, my flight from AFROTC had a bonfire on Friday night that was really great. You would be surprised that the people you see and interact with in training everyday are so multidimensional. Getting to know them on a personal level outside of only seeing each other in stressful situations is really an eye opening experience. You hear everyone talk about how getting to know your people is extremely important for a well functioning team, but until you actually make an effort to do so, it doesn’t resonate how truly important this is.

And now for a few facts to help you get to know me better:

I spent yesterday in the beautiful partly cloudy 85 degree February Florida weather volunteering with AFROTC at a Track Meet with some of best friends.

I love Kodiak cakes pancakes, and making pancakes, with fresh maple syrup and some sort of nut butter spread on them. Breakfast is my favorite meal hands down, and sometimes when I’m having a bad day I most certainly eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The freedom in college is nice like that.

My new “thing” is smiling at strangers in passing when walking to class, because although everyone complains, it’s truly a good life and we’re lucky to be here.

I usually end my days with yoga and a cup of tea before bed.

Sometimes when I’m stressed I look up pictures of Romanesco Broccoli, which actually isn’t a broccoli, it’s a cousin of the cauliflower, which follows an infinite Fibonacci Fractal sequence. I discovered this vegetable’s existence last year in Paris with my sister and have been fascinated ever since. Nature is so beautiful.

Romanesco Broccoli per an ad to purchase this “broccoli” on Amazon. It’s wild looking, right?!

Will report back soon. As always, I am writing to you on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea and pancakes, I have a meeting in an hour, along with some homework I need to tend to. Until next time, enjoy the journey friends!

Friends & February

Happy February folks! Recently I’ve had the amazing opportunity to take a weekend to travel to Savannah, Georgia, in between classes and training and working, and it was a well needed break.

February is a very busy month at Embry Riddle, most organizations are doing a lot of volunteer work, there are a lot of car races happening at the Daytona International Speedway, a lot of people are touring the campus, and tons of people are visiting Daytona Beach as the weather warms up, so things can get a little hectic. The atmosphere is a definitely busy, and everyone seems exhausted and highly caffeinated. So, naturally I figured it would be a great time to take some me time and get away to clear my head and reset before diving back into reality.

Thankfully, before the chaos of all this began I had a great opportunity to travel north! I took a Greyhound bus Friday night up to Savannah, Georgia and arrived early Saturday morning, before returning on Sunday. I got the chance to stay overnight with my best friend, tour the downtown historic district a little, go by the river, do some yoga, and stop by my newly acquired favorite shops and restaurants from my visit to the city with my family over Thanksgiving break.

First on my list of things to experience was of course The Coffee Fox coffee shop, where I escaped the cold 50 degree weather and wind to indulge in some coffee and cozy up in a corner doing my Differential Equations homework. To my dismay, although it’s fun to travel, I can never seem to escape the homework.

Next I ducked out of the cold and grabbed breakfast at the Maple Street Biscuit Company where I ordered a dish called the Iron Goat, consisting of a homemade biscuit with sautéed spinach and goat cheese, along with a side of fried green tomatoes, which were absolutely delicious. One of my favorite parts about going to new places and different cities is the food. I don’t have the opportunity to get good homemade cooked food a lot at school, because I’m usually very busy, which made every bite of fresh breakfast all the more satisfying. 

Breakfast from one of the most amazing biscuit places in Savannah, Georgia!

This semester has been extremely stressful and sometimes it’s hard to de-stress living at school, where I study, work, go to class, sleep, workout, and then repeat. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunities that I have earned and, along with that, some of the few people who keep me sane through the chaos and are my friends. Most of my friends at Embry Riddle are in AFROTC, because we naturally spend A LOT of time together, in and out of training, but another one of my good friends is a resident advisor in the same hall that I live in, and one of my best friends I got to meet up with over the weekend while I visited Georgia!

Will report back soon. I have some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework I need to tend to. Spring break is around the corner. Keep on keeping on!

ERAU Family Weekend!

This past weekend was Family Weekend here in Daytona Beach. My mom and brother came to visit, but Chris also came to surprise me! When I pulled up at the airport to pick up my mom and brother, Chris was there!

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Ormond Beach (we got a great deal) and first began the morning by grabbing breakfast. I sent Logan (my brother) off with a friend to an engineering class since that is his interest. Chris and my mom came to meet my Professor, but instead of sitting in on the class, they went to go “officially” check-in for the weekend.

Of course my mom went to the bookstore and got all the goodies. She also met up with a friend from Castle Rock (our hometown) since her son also is a student! This is a picture of Logan and I. Can you believe he is as tall as me? I can’t!

When my family came to Family Weekend my freshman year, they were sad Logan couldn’t come too. Now that he was able to come, we were all very happy. It is huge for him to be able to see the school he hopes to attend, but also hopefully makes his first couple days at college a lot less scary, especially since he was able to sit in on a class.

After my first class, I took my family to meet some friends and faculty that I love. The folks I work with in Admissions even gave him a t-shirt!

Coolest 13 year-old I know!
Logan really wanted an energy drink and I really wanted to show him our cool deck… So here we are!

We also toured the school and then went to lunch. My mom went to my dorm and napped while Chris and Logan came to my last class of the day with me. My Professor was very sweet to them and they both really enjoyed the class. Logan now loves Aviation Business since my class was very fun and his morning Engineering class was more serious. I feel bad for tarnishing his view but… I’m also not too mad about it, haha!

There were many options for us on Friday and Saturday (like trivia night), but I just really wanted my family to see the campus and for Logan to sit in on a class with me. We decided to go to Disney since most of Saturday’s activities would not be super fun for Logan and because my mom had already been to most of the activities my freshman year. Plus… I mean it’s Disney!

After spending an arm and a leg, we went to Epcot. We decided to go to this park since we have not been in a long time. Logan is 13 (almost 14) now, so he has grown to like it a lot more than he did when he was way younger. The weather was great and the longest line we waited in was only 30 minutes!

Please enjoy some pictures from the weekend!

My adorable mom and I!
Just hanging out with my boys!
I was so happy Chris came to surprise me!
Epcot’s yummy and surprisingly affordable food!
Left: chocolate tasting Right: beef wellington

Sunday was the day scheduled by the school as “free time”, but my family left Sunday afternoon. So, instead we went to Orlando (since they were leaving out of MCO) and went to the outlet mall there!

I was sad to see everyone go, but I was also glad they came. It was honestly one of the greatest weekends of my life! When I am at school I greatly miss my family. Seeing them gives me the motivation and strength to continue to work hard on my studies!

Some restaurants we ate at (and that I highly recommend):

  • Tia Cori’s Tacos
  • Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Giuseppe’s Steel Pizza City
  • Neighbors Ice Cream Parlor
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Chicken Salad Chick

You go through life wondering what is all about but at the end of the day it’s all about family.

Rod Stewart

Until next time! ~ Maddie

Clubs, Greek Life & More!

I couldn’t get a lot of pictures the past few weeks due to classes. I’ve been wracking my brain to think of something to write about for this entry, and was almost ready to throw in the towel, but I had sudden inspiration to talk about clubs and extracurricular activities and how fun and important they can be.

Fall Activity Fair

Since I started at Embry-Riddle, I have been told that joining clubs and being involved is key to college life. Many professors, and even former Embry-Riddle students themselves, say that being involved can help with job interviews internships by providing leadership experience and other skills. The faculty in my major, Communication, hosted an event where Riddle graduates came to speak with us. All of them told us about how most of their internships helped lead to a job, or that landed their job because of extra-curricular activities that they participated in during college. One of them said that their interview consisted of just talking about what she did in her engineering club and another about her study abroad trip. It all goes to show that the grades and your GPA will only take you half way when it comes to the real world. Employers seem to be looking for active well-rounded people for the most part.

Embry-Riddle has a vast number of extracurricular opportunities, from cooking, to creative writing, music, engineering, all the way to clubs about cultures. Even if you somehow can’t find an interest, you can create your own club with enough people and support from the school. Also, Riddle has a ton of different sororities and fraternities. Embry-Riddle’s Greek Life isn’t like other schools where it’s bikini car washes and frat parties all night long. Here, most don’t have “houses” but live in the dorms and function more like what seems a club, and they’re a lot more professional.

So many clubs! Cars, airplanes, academics, culture, skydiving, sailing – the list goes on and on!

I’ve been searching for something I truly like. I’ve gone to the school newspaper meeting, the aviation photography club meetings and they just didn’t click well for me. Recently I met someone in the same major as me (which is rare for a communications major), and she invited me to an event to meet a sorority. At first, I was reluctant because I’m socially awkward and was nervous. But I went to give it a try, and because I was looking to get involved and push myself anyway. I was absolutely delighted and mesmerized these fantastic women. Each one had their own special role and their own beautiful personality. They supported and loved one another like family and made me feel like family as well. Being a woman at Embry-Riddle can be overwhelming. I’ve had many classes where I was the only girl and I’m only in my second semester, so seeing all these empowering, friendly, and sweet girls was amazing! I’m sure from what I heard that joining a fraternity is a similar experience.

There’s something out there for everyone and I truly with all my heart encourage you to join a club, study abroad, or check out Greek life. Not only will you have a great time, make friends, and create memories, but you’re also setting yourself up for success when you try it out. I hope this small entry will inspire some to get involved and see how it can help you on your path of awesomeness.