Casual Science

I spent the last three years networking. I met everyone I could. Hell, I even looked into fields that had nothing to do with my interest in space. If I could at least develop a connection with a representative, then I would have a source, an ‘in.’ This year, that ‘in’ paid off.

Walking into the Space Tango office was unreal. I'm excited to be taking my first real steps towards accomplishing my goals.

Walking into the Space Tango office was unreal. I’m excited to be taking my first real steps towards accomplishing my goals.

I’m now an intern at Space Tango, Inc. in Lexington, Kentucky. I work reasonable hours for solid pay. The environment is amazing, and my coworkers are helpful. I’m also getting credit hours for this and we all know that’s a great bonus. It’s science, but it’s casual.

As a communication major at an aeronautical university, everyone wonders “how do those even fit together?” Honestly, I asked myself the same thing before I switched my major. Communication is more than writing a few technical reports or manuals. I personally would like to do public relations for an aerospace company. Ha. How often do you hear of that? Well that’s the thing; you don’t hear about it at all. Being the stubborn woman that I am, I made it an option before someone could tell me otherwise.

I knew nothing about pursuing such a career in science, so I found someone that did. The communication department is flooded with individuals that specialize in writing, speech, behavior, etc. Never forget that they were all somewhere before Riddle. My advisor helped shape my classes for my desired career path and another amazing professor shared her experience in the competitive field of public relations. This was just step 1.

Step 2 was maintaining a focus in science. I picked up a major in space studies to expand my understanding of anything aerospace (satellites, orbital paths, rocket history, propulsion, and more) and to keep me up-to-date on current events. From there, it all happened on its own. I attended open lectures, forums, anything that would provide me an opportunity for one-on-one interaction with professionals in the aerospace industry.

This was really my last “planned” step, step 3. Even if they weren’t always successful, I familiarized myself with other fields. I learned from people I didn’t think I would. This is how I met Michelle Lucas, an Embry-Riddle alumna and CEO of Higher Orbits.I made it my mission to have her remember me. I emailed her, and when I didn’t hear from her in two weeks, I emailed her again. She finally responded and the conversation flowed from there. She invited me to be a member on the Higher Orbits advisory board as she developed her nonprofit “Go For Launch” program, but I wasn’t beating myself up that I didn’t get a high end co-op as yet. I was building my resources.

I continued to casually work towards my goals as a COM major. I maintained relationships with people that I met over the last few years (astronauts, professors, research scientists, NASA employees, people those of us at Embry-Riddle dream of meeting). I expanded my extracurricular experience ranging from Greek Life to the Caribbean Students’ Association. I got a couple of on-campus jobs that dabbled in marketing. I gained leadership experience and focused on my studies. This was all while my network was growing on its own in the background. My casual encounters and skills that I continuously developed were being now discussed by aerospace professionals. I was commended for my hard work, for my creativity,and my goals. Just as I was getting a little impatient, an opportunity finally arose.

Michelle Lucas informed my advisor of an internship opportunity with a micro-gravity research company in search of a communication student to handle their marketing and public relations. I underwent an interview process and shared the portfolio of my work that I built from all my extracurricular activities. A couple of weeks later, I was invited to join the Space Tango team for the spring semester.

Twitter is one of the digital mediums I handle on a day-to-day basis. I update followers on experiments and launches.

Twitter is one of the digital mediums I handle on a day-to-day basis. I update followers on experiments and launches.

My networking paid off. I’m spending my spring semester surrounded by engineers, live feeds from the ISS, and constant news and updates on the SpaceX launches. I’m currently working on media coverage for Space Tango’s payload for CRS-10. I not only control their social media, but I develop media alerts and press releases.

My name is Danielle Rosales. I’m a senior communication major with minors in business administration and space studies. I don’t have an outstanding 3.0 GPA, but I’ve held several jobs on campus in marketing, media relations, and graphic design. I’ve developed a reliable network and have been mentored by Embry-Riddle faculty members.

I’m right where I wanted to be doing something people didn’t even think was possible. The best part of it all? Getting here was all so casual.

⋆ Dani


Preparing for the Industry/Career Expo

Are you interested at an internship, co-op, or full-time job opportunity? If yes, you should definitely attend this year’s Industry/Career Expo! The event will take place on Thursday October 6, 2016 between 09:00 and 16:00 at the ICI Center. The Industry/Career Expo is open to all Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students and alumni.

Delta Air Lines MD90 on takeoff roll at Daytona Beach International Airport. (Credits: Nicolas Bernier)

A Delta Air Lines MD90 on takeoff roll at Daytona Beach International Airport. (Credits: Nicolas Bernier)

All major airlines of the United States will be there including Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. Many aircraft manufacturers will attend the event such as The Boeing Company, Embraer, Gulfstream, Piper, and Textron. There will also be various flight schools, aircraft suppliers, and government organizations. Click here for the complete list of registered companies.

How to prepare?

  • Do some research about the employers you are interested in working for. Go and visit their websites to learn more about what they do and what types of candidates they are looking for.
  • Get your resume reviewed a few weeks before by the Career Services Office. Don’t wait until the last minute as they are very busy. Click here for resume tips!
  • Practice your elevator speech that you will use to introduce yourself to the employers. You should briefly describe yourself by saying your name and major and also your strengths, past achievements, and career interests related to the organization.
  • Practice interviewing before you come to the event. The Career Services Office offers mock interviews for current students and alumni within one year of graduation who are interested on working on their interview skills. Click here for interviewing tips and sample questions!
  • During the event, you should look professional. You should wear clean, pressed business attire and be properly groomed.
  • You should bring your EagleCard, a notepad/portfolio to take notes and to hold copies of your resumes, a list of the companies you are interested in, and business cards.
  • Following the event, you should send thank you notes to the employers you had significant interaction with or whom you interviewed with.

For more information about the event and how to successfully prepare for it, please visit the Career Services webpage.

Until next time!


December 2012

T-minus 20 days until the end of the semester!

Even though the summer is still pretty far off, I am currently I am in the midst of the long and complicated process of applying for internships.  Although I know I want to be a mechanical engineer, I am still VERY unsure of what job I actually want.  So, I am applying to a variety of different companies in order to get a feel for different projects.

In October, many companies were visiting campus to recruit students for co-ops.  I became interested in Rolls-Royce after they visited our EGR101 class and I talked to the recruiter at the SWE meeting.

Freshman are normally encouraged to go to the career fair just to check it out, but I brought my resume anyway and waited in the long line to turn it in to the Rolls-Royce booth.  I followed all the tips that I had been given by professors and recruiters and…

At the end of my short interview, they handed me an invitation to a “Meet and Greet” that night so that the recruiters could get to know me better.

That night, there were about 30 people there, and I was the only Freshman.  However, I really enjoyed talking to the other students there, some of whom had already graduated and were looking for full time jobs.

It got me so excited to start the job search!  Unfortunately, I haven’t heard any final results from any of my applications yet, but I should be hearing back at any time.

Many of you readers are applying to colleges, and maybe even getting ready to decide, so I have a few tips for you:

Explore all your options: It is important not to rule out your options too soon.  Visit all the school that you are accepted to, as long as you have the resources.  Remember that state college that you visited Sophomore year?  No, you don’t.  Go back and take a look!  You never know when a school at the bottom of your list will change your mind.

  1. Don’t be afraid to go far from home: Some people want to get as far away from their hometown as possible, others would rather be just a few minutes away.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted, and I was hesitant about going to school 1,000 miles from my family.  Yet, I have no regrets now.  ERAU is my second home and I am enjoying the freedom and learning how to live on my own.
  2. Start searching for a pre-college internship: One of the things that benefitted me the most while in high school was spending two summers in internships.  It will give you an edge with future employers, and the skills you learn are priceless!  Just Google “high school internships” to start, or ask around to see if there are high school programs at local companies.
  3. Enjoy yourself:  Don’t let your senior year stress you out too much.  Have fun and get excited for the next chapter of your life!  High school graduation is not the end, it’s the beginning.