Embry-Riddle Career Services

It’s been another busy few weeks in Sunny Florida!

Career Services put on its second annual Government Agency and Non-Profit Career Fair and its almost time for the first test of the semester in most of my classes.

On February 11, the Government Agency and Non-Profit Career Fair took place; this Career Fair is a bit different from our Career Expo in the fall. For starters, it’s smaller than the Expo, and it is a bit more specialized which allows students to have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with government agencies and non-profits. More than 20 agencies attended the event, including NASA, the Peace Corps, the Federal Aviation Administration, Center for Space Nuclear Research, and the Federal Bureau of Investigators (FBI). Even as a Business major, it is worthwhile to attend as there are opportunities with the FBI and a few airports that attended the event.

I really enjoy being a part of the Career Services team and helping our at the Career Fair. A lot of work goes into the events, and it starts well before the Career Fair and Industry/Career Expo.

Program Managers hold “prep sessions” in the evenings to help prepare students for the events. During these mini-workshops, they assist with elevator pitches, review resumes, and provide general advice on navigating the Expo. Although, students can go to the office to schedule an appointment with their Program Manager to receive career/internship advisement, resume help, mock interviews, and many other services. Also, there are resources on the website, including sample resumes, and it is also worthwhile to read spotlight stories from alumni, Career Services staff, and even current students on the Going Places blog.

Back in May 2013, I was a prospective student who hoped to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to pursue an aviation business degree. I followed Career Services on Twitter as I wanted to start learning more about the department and some of the events they put on, and on one early Saturday morning, Embry-Riddle Career Services followed me back on Twitter. I sent a Direct Message (DM) thanking them for following me as well as to see if they had any recommendations as to who would be a good contact to learn more about the admissions process; Monday morning, I received an email from an Admissions Counselor seeing how he could best answer my questions, and he was a huge help through the whole process. I never imagined how much interacting with Career Services on Twitter could help me, and I never would have thought that I would eventually become a Student Assistant for them about a year ago.

I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with the staff and the opportunity to assist my fellow students.

Even as an incoming freshman or perspective student, the Career Services Staff is happy to help!

The Joys of Aircraft Ownership

Last January was an exciting time for me.  Not only was I coming back from the Holiday Break as a junior, but I was coming back as an aircraft owner.  A Piper PA-23 Apache, N1140P had came up for sale on the market during the last few weeks of December 2012 at an airport just a short drive from my house.  I had been looking at light piston twins for the entire fall just researching and feeling out the market, and this Apache was the airplane I had been looking to get for quite some time.

Here’s my Apache over Daytona Beach in the Spring of 2014. Light piston twins can be a great way to travel and fairly economical if you fill the seats on long hauls. Photo credit James Dingell.

The Piper Apache started out as a design from the aircraft manufacturer Stinson in the late 1940s and early 1950s.  Eventually making its way to Piper, the Twin Stinson name was swapped out for the Apache, starting the long line of “Indian Pipers.”  The early Twin Stinson had smaller Lycoming engines and an “H” tail design, not unlike the B-25 Mitchell bomber.  The Apache was really the first light twin piston engine airplane to make it big on the market as everything before it was quite large, such as the big Beech 18 Twin Beech and Cessna T50 Bamboo Bomber.

The onset of the Apache was quite a significant one as the airplane was really the first “light” piston twin to catch on in the general aviation market. It was touted as a smaller business airplane but doubled as a family station wagon as well. Just as the advertisement says, the Apache is quite the utility airplane with it’s rugged twin engine design and extremely roomy cabin.

Buying an airplane is quite easy, hand over the money or sign finance paperwork at the bank and it’s yours, but it’s the other things that make aircraft ownership rough.  Insurance has to be found and paid for and a hangar or ramp space for the airplane is also needed.  An annual inspection of the airplane is required which can set you back some serious cash and if you’re flying for hire, a 100-hour inspection is needed every, yes you guessed it, 100 hours of flight time.  Then you have the consumables: fuel, oil, oil filters, tires, light bulbs, all of the little stuff.  It really does become an expensive toy very quickly.


Annualing an airplane is quite expensive, and on a complex airplane (one with retractable gear and flaps and a constant speed prop) like this Piper Aztec or my Apache, it gets even more expensive and time provoking.

It might seem like there’s a lot to keep straight when owning an airplane, and there is, but it all teaches you to be a better manager and teaches you to take care of the equipment you are using.  In flight training, most people have total disregard for the equipment they are using, but when you own the machine it changes all perspectives about the joy of flight.  Owning a light airplane can open all sorts of doors for you.  Just driving up to a hangar and getting an airplane out and not having to schedule one at a flight school or jump through a lot of hoops to get into one and rent it is quite nice.  The disadvantages are quite minor ones, like cleaning and detailing the airplane.  If you’re going to have it, you might as well keep it spotless, right?  I have spent many late nights and early mornings keeping the ole Apache clean, and it’s quite enjoyable in itself when it’s all finished and polished up.

Owning or even just taking care of an airplane is quite the task. One of the most enjoyable parts of owning an airplane is seeing it shine and gleam at the end of a long day of flying.

 As you can probably tell, I absolutely love my airplane.  Owning one is quite expensive, but the advantages and experience that one can pull from it is priceless.  Going flying isn’t the only thing to it, the management skills and dedication needed can really teach a person a lot about life in general.  It is a great way to really experience aviation!

Happy flying,