Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals Convention and Career Expo

Embry-Riddle is home to a series of prestigious organizations that salute the advancement of minorities within the Aviation and Aerospace industry. I, myself, have recently joined the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. Not only is our advisor the esteemed Dr. Nancy Lawrence, an Associate Professor of Aerospace and Occupational Safety, but our alumni are leaders in the industry. As a member of OBAP, I was invited to attend the 41st Annual Convention hosted in Orlando, Florida at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort.

I was in the presence of professional aviators, captains, air traffic control specialists, and even marketing professionals from the aerospace industry. The weekend consisted of collegiate series, receptions, a job fair, and a gala for the finale. Unlike the ISS Research & Design Conference I attended earlier this year, this convention was catered primarily to the students.

The first night informal and beyond welcoming. For many attendees, it was a lot like a family reunion. Minorities make up a relatively small portion of the demographic; despite these small numbers, OBAP provides an incredibly close-knit community that thrives on encouraging one another’s successes. Within in that night alone, I found myself making jokes with historically influential captains that are paving the way for young Black pilots today.

Of course, I myself am not a pilot or enrolled in an aerospace-specific program, but I was pleased to see that there was still a distinct need and appreciation for communication majors. Although I did make a few connections regarding public relations and marketing, this is an event that greatly benefits aeronautical engineers, air traffic controllers, aerospace and occupational safety, and (of course) aeronautical science majors.

Companies in attendance were FedEx, Southwest, Mesa Airlines, JetBlue, and many more. Embry-Riddle was also one of very few colleges with their own booth. Our OBAP chapter members and executive board shared with attendees information on programs and certifications offered at all available degree levels for Prescott, Daytona, and Worldwide.

 

As a senior, this is event was truly beneficial for networking, but more so perspective. This convention is cleverly crafted to make you an active individual with the aerospace industry. It was a dose of reality. The people I met that weekend are the people I hope will be working with in the future. That in itself is a huge honor – stand alongside men and women that strive for not only themselves, but the people that look up to them.

If you’re looking for more information, be sure to check out the official Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals website and DEFINITELY reach out to our school’s local chapter at obap.erau@gmail.com. You can find us at the activities fair as well on September 7th!

⋆ Dani

A Little Piece of Home

I thought I would have a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) this week. I’m bundled up in 20-degree weather, while my friends enjoy Spring Break and the perks of attending school in Florida. I was fortunate enough, however, to have someone bring a little bit of warmth my way.

Working at Space Tango, has been undoubtedly exciting, but sometimes I get a little homesick. This week my boyfriend, Malik, sacrificed the warm weather to spend time with me and learn more about our shared passion for the aerospace industry. Although we both miss Florida weather, he was excited to step foot in the Space Tango office.

My boyfriend Malik, and Aerospace Engineering student at ERAU, takes a picture with one of the first TangoLab facitlities.

My boyfriend Malik, an Aerospace Engineering student at ERAU, takes a picture with one of the first TangoLab facitlities.

He had an opportunity to speak with the entire team and get a walk through of our mission operations with CEO Twyman Clements. Even though it was a relatively slow day in the office, Malik was still thrilled to see firsthand what it means to work in the industry. From 3D printing to CAD, he saw everything he was studying boil down to one place.

Being away from friends and family isn’t easy, but invite someone close to you to share it with. It makes time move a little faster when you remember how unique and invaluable your opportunity is to work with a company you love.

⋆ Dani