President’s Day Weekend

Approaching Toronto-Pearson International Airport on a beautiful Saturday around noon.

Approaching Toronto-Pearson International Airport on a beautiful Saturday morning.

During the President’s Day weekend, I flew back home to Montreal to see my parents and some friends. In some parts of Canada, some people also got to enjoy an extra day off due to Family Day.

I left Florida early Saturday morning just before 07:00AM instead of Friday, since I have an evening Biology lab that ends at 8:45PM. At that time, it is too late to catch a flight, unfortunately.

I arrived in Montreal around noon after I had a connecting flight through Toronto-Pearson. I texted my mom earlier in the day and asked her to bring my winter coat. When I got out the plane, I didn’t even need it since it felt actually warm for winter. It was about 45 degrees and there were no clouds in the skies. I guess I picked the right weekend to visit!

My aunt was also in town for a business trip so we had a family dinner in the evening. The next day, I met with a friend who is currently applying for college. I tried the best I could to convince him to come to Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Like me, he is also an “avgeek” so I told him ERAU was a perfect place to study aviation. Hopefully, he’ll come for a visit and see for himself.

Overall, it was a fun relaxing weekend and I already look forward for Spring Break!

Nicolas

Don’t Get Behind

Last week was so busy and it felt like it was finals week. I had a total of four exams during those five days, including three exams on Wednesday.

I had a test in Social Responsibility and Ethics in Management, Aviation Labor Relations, Elements of Biological Science and Business Quantitative Methods. Most of the tests I had were multiple choices. My Science exam was take-home and it was online so it was not that bad!

Before last week, I didn’t really have a lot of work to do, but I can now say the workload officially kicks in.

Don’t Get Behind

Do your homework and other assignments in advance instead of doing everything the day before it is due. If you don’t understand a question from the assignment, you’ll have time to either meet the professor or send him or her an email. You won’t be confused and on your own at midnight before the assignment is due the next day. Sometimes, the homework can look easy at first, but it can require more time than you think to complete it. It happened to me a couple of times where I thought simply answering questions from the textbook would require less than 30 minutes. I was wrong.

I’m not saying you have to study weeks in advance before an exam, but you shouldn’t teach yourself the material the day before the test. I think the best way to learn the material  is too study a bit every day. Writing stuff down also helps you to remember it.

On the days you don’t have anything to do, think about if there was anything you could do to get ahead of the game. This is my piece of advice for this week.

Until next time,

Nicolas

Business Capstone Class Simulation

What would be your first impression of a class which starts with the following lines on the syllabus: “In this class, you will be running your own company as part of a student team. You will be stressed, confused, mad and frustrated. You will make mistakes. You will also have a lot of fun”? You would probably feel scared right?

This syllabus excerpt is from the Strategic Management class. If you are a student with a Business major, you will have to take this class during your last semester at Embry-Riddle.

As stated above, we are running our own company as part of a computer simulation. Our class is evenly divided in six groups, so my group and I compete against five other teams. In the simulation, we create and sell a product. We have to manage many aspects of our company, such as research and development, production, marketing, finance and human resources.

We are currently in the second practice round. There are a total of three practice rounds before things get real. Even though it’s only practice, we put effort and hard work because we want to learn as much as we can before the simulation starts and we get graded on performance. Our group meets on a weekly basis to take decisions for the company that will be applied for the following round. Every round corresponds to a new calendar year.

Even though we just started the simulation, I am very excited about it and I hope to finish high in the ranking! I will give an update later on how our company is evolving.

Another Simulation!
I’m doing a simulation in another class this semester! This one is in Aviation Labor Relations where the class is a mix of lectures and the simulation. This simulation is not done on the computer but rather during class time.

Let me briefly explain how it works. All the students enrolled in the course work for an airline named “Blue Star Airlines,” based in Daytona Beach. Students can work in the management team, as a pilot, as a ramp worker or as a mechanic. For the main purpose of the class, there are also other positions related to unions, such as an ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) representative and a IAM (International Association of Machinists) representative.

I “work” in the management team as Supervisor of Ramp Operations. I selected this position because I have always been interested in airline/airport operations.

There are many issues we have to deal with. In the past week, one of my ramp workers was injured while working on the ramp. This week, there were concerns about pilot duty time FAA violations. Next week, we will have a vote on whether each department of the company wants to join/form a union.

I think simulations are fun and a different way of learning the course material. It’s great to do something else than listening to class lectures for a whole semester. And you, have you taken a class before that involved some sort of simulation?

Until next time!

Nicolas

It’s Almost Summer!

Last Thursday was the final day of classes of the Spring 2016 semester. Friday is a study day before the first day of exams starts. The Hunt Library is providing donuts and other snacks to students in the evening in an event called “Cram With Cookies.” I have no idea why “cookies” is mentioned because they mainly serve donuts…strange.

Finals will begin on Saturday and continue from Monday to Wednesday evening. I was lucky this semester to be exempted from a few final exams. In my Airport Management class (BA 310), we did not have any quizzes nor exams throughout the semester which was fun. Instead, the professor gave us four assignments related to the airport industry, such as airport security. At the end of the semester we were assigned a large group project and a take home final exam consisting of four short essays which were quite similar to the assignments.

In my Airline-Operations class, we had a total of two exams during the semester, excluding the final. The professor would drop the lowest grade of the three exams so you didn’t have to take the final if you were satisfied with your current grade in the course.

This semester I have to take three finals: International Aviation Management (BA 426), Corporate Finance I (BA 332), and Managerial Accounting (BA 312). Like my colleague Jack mentioned in his latest story, most of the finals in the College of Business are just a regular test and are not cumulative. My only cumulative exam is in my Finance class where I will have to refresh my mind with the material we studied back in January.

This weekend, I plan to study for finals obviously and enjoy my last days in the beautiful sunny and warm weather of Florida before heading back home for the summer. On Monday, I am taking a study break as I will be flying to Atlanta to be onboard’s Delta’s inaugural passenger flight of the Airbus A321 that was just delivered over a month ago. The airline has ordered a total of 82 airframes. The first flight is scheduled to depart Atlanta (ATL) at 8:55AM and arrive at 10:19AM in Orlando (MCO). Stay tuned for a summary of the flight and some pictures!

MSN_6923_DeltaAir_A321_LandA_HR_05

Photo Credits: Delta

In the meantime, I wish all of the students from our Daytona Beach, Prescott, and Worldwide campus good luck on their finals. Go Eagles!

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

A New Semester Is Taking Off

Hello readers!

We have just started the spring semester and it’s almost February. The first few days of classes are never too busy. The professors usually go over the course syllabus, schedule, exams (oh no!), and other important things relevant to the class. For most of us, after the first week, we start to learn new material and get our first assignments. Winter break is now over and the work load starts to kick-in!

This semester, I am taking 6 classes including an online class. My schedule is very even; I am taking two classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and three classes on the other days.

I start the beginning of each week with International Aviation Management (BA 426). I already had the professor before so I know what to expect in the class and how she teaches. We started to learn some history on aviation worldwide, such as the first airmail routes, aviation during wars, and different international policies.

After my morning class, I go home for a short period of time, and then head back to campus for my last class of the day, Corporate Finance  (BA 332). As I get closer to school, I usually see an American Eagle CRJ 900 land! Like my BA 426 class, I already took the professor for this class. I took Dr. J’s Macroeconomics class during my first semester of college. He is one of my favorite professors I have taken at Embry-Riddle.

The next day is a busier day as I attend three classes in a row. I start with Airport Management (BA 310). During our last class, we took a short field trip to the AMS building close to the flight line. The building offers a great view of the Daytona International Airport. Our assignment consisted of finding different objects on the field. It was an easy assignment!

After that, I have an elective class, Airline-Airport Operations (BA 327). This class is a mix of Airline Management and Airport Management classes. We learn how airlines and airports work with each other in the industry.

My last class on campus is Managerial Accounting (BA 312). It is usually the class students take after Financial Accounting. It is not my favorite class at this time, but maybe it’ll change by the end of the semester, we never know.

The online class I am taking is Organizational Behavior (MGMT 317). There were no more seats available on the class offered on campus, so I decided to take it through the Worldwide campus. I took an online class last summer and it’s pretty much the same format than the class I’m currently taking. During this semester, I’ll write a story to describe the differences between online and regular classes. They both have their ups and downs.

On my next blog, I will go over some interesting events I attended during the winter break. Hope everyone has a great week!

Nicolas

Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

The Second Semester Begins!

Hello there!

It’s safe to say that my first semester at Embry-Riddle flew by as I cannot believe that it’s already the third week of the second semester!photo

I’m very happy to report that my first semester was a huge success on many different levels. I made a lot of new friends, interviewed for a few internships, finished the semester with terrific grades, joined two clubs on-campus (NBAA and Airport Management Club) and got very involved in the College of Business.

Winter Break

After finals, it was great to go back home to Houston, Texas for a few weeks for some R&R, to spend time with friends and family, and work a little. 9497_632518200207804_6688877303027923437_n 10646980_632517903541167_2664216326904276421_n

At the end of December, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to write about and attend the AirTran Airways farewell ceremony as I work as a journalist for AirwaysNews.com and Airways Magazine. Attending the farewell celebration is one of the most unique experiences and stories that I’ve gotten to report as a journalist. It reminded me why I am so passionate about airlines, and why I hope to join the industry soon.

What fascinates me the most is how thousands of people come together at an airline to get hundreds of thousands of people from point A to point B 24/7/365. As I flew to Atlanta the morning of the final flight, I began to wonder how many passengers AirTran has carried since starting out as ValuJet in 1993. Regardless of the number, we can certainly say they brought millions together for birthdays, weddings, family vacations, business meetings, holidays, and many other occasions. Thanks to AirTran and ValuJet employees, they helped make it possible.10670056_599294093530215_28090309397519307_n

My Second Semester Begins

Now, I’m in the middle of the third week of the Spring Semester, and I can already tell that it will be another great semester!

However, I do have a full load between Airline Management, Humanities: Introduction to Literature, Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods II, Advanced Computer Based Systems, a part-time job in the College of Business, being a member of the College of Business Student Advisory Board, and exploring Daytona Beach as well as the Sunshine State.

Stay tuned as the adventure continues!

 

The Summer of Delta: Part 2

Delta 767-400 in Atlanta.My internship at Delta Air Lines this summer has been quite the adventurous one.  Besides a very busy work schedule, I have already touched the east and west coasts, mainland Europe including Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as many interior states.  My trip to Brussels was quite the ever-changing one as I had to take the train to Amsterdam and catch a Boeing 777 ride home to the United States.  Keeping up with the rest of the aviation geeks here, being able to spot some gorgeous airline heavy metal is a regular occurrence at the world’s busiest airport.  The cell phone lot at ATL gives you the opportunity to take some great pictures, like the one above of a company Boeing 767-400, when we are using a west departure operation. Working at an airline is NEVER a boring job!

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

 

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Delta is a very dynamic place to be right now, especially since we seem to be the airline with the target on our backs.  Massive profits in recent times have set Delta apart from the rest of the industry, showing that massive growth and acquisition strategies have seemed to play out in the company’s favor. One of the biggest happenings at the company since I have been here was the recent opening of the Delta Flight Museum at the airline’s Atlanta General Offices location.  The event was well-covered on social media and news sites as well, so check it out for more information on how to see this great attraction.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

The internship has really opened my eyes to how complex an airline is.  Thousands of people are needed to get a flight off the ground, not just the six to twelve crewmembers that are in each airplane getting the passenger from point A to point B.  The typical view of an airline is one that comes from what folks see at an airport but it is really much, much more in depth.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Departments like mine (Network Planning) touch each flight at some point and build a schedule that has integrity and will be profitable, Revenue Mangement, aka ticket pricing, prices many levels of tickets with limitations depending on what days you might be traveling or how far in advance you might be purchasing your fare, Operations Control handles each flight enroute and solves any problems that might arise, and Finance provides the money needed to get each flight off the ground by financing airplanes and projects as well as daily operations.  The picture to the right shows my ride back to the US from Amsterdam, one of our Boeing 777s.  Partnerships like our one with KLM in AMS make our international operations much easier by sharing gates and ground equipment plus personnel. Hundreds of other specific departments and sectors are needed as well, really showing the complexity of the world’s greatest mode of transportation: Flight.

 

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators.

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators, including this Boeing 767.

Not only am I a business major, I also have my FAA Commercial Pilot’s Certificate and keep current in both multi-engine and single-engine airplanes.  One perk of being at Delta has been access to the full-motion flight simulators that our pilots use to train on their specific aircraft type.  We have at least one simulator or more in-house for every type that we fly except the Boeing 717 (Boeing owns those simulators).  I have been fortunate enough to fly the Boeing 767-300ER and Boeing 777-200LR sims as well as the Airbus A330.  I hope to fly the other types, stay tuned for more pictures!

I am excited to see where else my non-revenue travels will take me this summer and I will be sure to share more pictures and stories as they happen!

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

 

Summer Life – Delta Air Lines Internship

 

Delta World Headquarters

Hey all!  I hope everyone is having a great summer as we fly into the month of June.  My month of May was quite eventful; I wrapped up finals at the beginning of the month and then headed up to start my summer internship at Delta on May 12th.  I’m working with the great folks in the Network Planning department where a large group of individuals plan where and how we are going to fly all of the routes that are out for sale to the public.  The process isn’t as easy as saying you’re flying from point A to B at this time, it is a very choreographed process with tons of steps between deciding when and where to fly and how they are actually going to do it.

Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.
Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.

My internship started off very quickly as I quickly became acclimated with our scheduling software, Sabre AirVision.  The product is very easy to use and not only contains the flight schedule that we are working with, but it also generates reports on things such as flights that may have the same number as another (duplicates, which you cannot have on the same day) and hours that airplane types and crews will fly (we only have so many airplanes and pilots and crews are restricted by the FAA on how many hours they can fly in a day).  I cannot imagine scheduling flights without a product such as this one.

Network PlanningPutting together the schedule is quite a challenge because of dozens of things that the normal traveler doesn’t see.  Things such as performing overnight maintenance on our fleet and keeping the number of flights coming into and out of a hub within max limitations is a very hard task due to the number of flights that we are trying to fly in a day.  The Delta system is based around a hub-and-spoke style layout and every hub has special characteristics that the folks in Network Planning have to keep in mind.  No one flying on an airline likes delayed or cancelled flights and it is our job to make sure that every flight gets off the ground as planned, on-time through major planning months before the day of the flight.

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must!  I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must! I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

One great perk of interning at Delta is the flight benefit package.  A normal intern has the opportunity to non-rev, or fly anywhere in the world for minimal or no cost at all as long as there is an open seat in the cabin, aka a non-revenue generating seat and passenger for the airline.  So far I have worked at Delta for three weeks and have gone home to Indiana twice and to New York City, Myrtle Beach, and Daytona Beach all once.  Being an airline intern definitely has its perks other than gaining awesome experience behind the scenes.  I cannot wait to use my non-rev benefits to travel around the world!

6Delta World Headquarters, known as the G.O. by employees, is an awesome place to work and I am extremely honored to have been chosen to work for and represent such a well respected and successful entity.  Stay tuned for blogs in the coming weeks and months from here in Atlanta!

 

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

From the Cockpit Desk of Kyle Ludwick

In front of the Riddle AMS Gulfstream III.

Hey guys!  Being a student at the world’s leading institution in aviation studies is quite the task, and also quite an honor.  The experiences and opportunities that students get here are unbelievable and it’s awesome to be a part of it.  Growing up as a kid I always wanted to have that big desk in the corner office, but my first love was flying, and here at Riddle I can pursue both!  I’m an Aviation Business Administration major here at the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach campus and also have my Commercial Pilot multi-engine and single engine ratings.    Learning the “Business of Flight” here at the College of Business and juggling many other tasks makes life hectic, but there’s no other way I would want it.  Many long days are put in as I am also a Student Government Representative for the COB, a COB Student Advisory Board member, and a student assistant in the COB Dean’s Suite.  Like I said before, students at Riddle get some amazing opportunities, like the chance to tell all of you about my experiences through this blog.  I hope you all enjoy it and continue following my journey through my junior year down here in Daytona Beach!

Kyle