Unique Opportunities @ Embry-Riddle

Hi y’all!

Fall is in full swing and I am itching to get back to the cooler weather in Colorado for Thanksgiving! For those that are curious, I tend to fly out of Orlando for a better price. I can usually find a friend to drive me down to MCO so I don’t have to worry about paying for parking. In general, I can find a round-trip ticket to Denver for $250 during the holidays, and much less during the rest of the year! I do love campus a little extra this time of year for several reasons: seasonal drinks at Starbucks, not breaking a sweat when walking to class, the holiday-themed events across campus, and the general excitement buzzing around! Once we get back from Thanksgiving break, it’s practically finals and the end of the semester!

Now on to the good stuff… I wanted to talk a bit about some of the unique opportunities at Embry-Riddle! I know that this time of year can be interesting if you are in high school. You may be weighing the costs and benefits of your top schools – maybe that’s why you came to this blog! I hope to help showcase the unique opportunities we have here at Riddle. A lot of this stuff I have mentioned before, but I wanted to summarize it all together because I think this truly makes us unique.

Career Services: I don’t think having a department to help find jobs is very unique – I’m sure most college have such a thing. What I do think is very unique is that our department works so closely with the industry. My Career Services counselor is available to help tailor my resume to the needs of any company I am applying for, practice for the interview with questions used by *insert company name* before, and even help me find jobs/internships if that’s what I need. The counselors are divided up by major, so they know what you need to be doing to make yourself most-prepared for your specific career. They get to know you well and offer up advice that is truly helpful.

On-Campus Experiences: I love how many events we have on campus. Sometimes it’s a concert, a carnival, a magician or comedian, or any other sort of performance you can think of. We typically have performers who are quite well known too, such as Adam DeVine, All American Rejects, Dan and Shay, Rachel Platten, and Nick Offerman. Those are just in the past two years, so you can imagine we have a lot going on all the time! We also always have free food around campus… What more could you want? Krispy Kreme donuts, fresh lemonade, kettle corn, and much much more. I can confirm it is all AMAZING! There are also movies every Thursday – my favorite is when they’re outside!

On-Campus Jobs: I have multiple on-campus jobs. I realize this is not as unique as some of the other points, but I think it is worth mentioning. Many of us need to work, but in order to have a good work-life balance, the school offers many on-campus jobs. At most of these jobs, you can even do your homework! I think the fact that you go around campus and see students working everywhere, it really shows that we are the center here. Our input is in every department and everything. Most jobs are great to add to a resume, such as my job in the Office of Philanthropy. I utilize Excel, plan events, and work with many industry folks, so I can use this experience during interviews for examples. All my bosses are also very flexible with my school schedule. Schedules are chosen by you, based on your input. I actually just took two weeks off so I could study for my exams and my bosses were so kind and understanding about it!

Guest Speakers: We constantly have speakers on campus. They range from authors to media figure heads. I love the variety of speakers, but also the frequency. Every week it seems there is another speaker. This makes me feel better if I can’t attend one because of a project or studying. I love learning about such diverse topics, ones I never would have explored myself. This helps us students to become more well-rounded. In such a like-minded, aviation-focused environment, it’s nice to bring us back to the real world. Lately, we have heard about what Russia wants, the effects of healthy eating and brain activity, and etc. Did I mention they’re all free?

The Students: One thing that really made Embry-Riddle stand out against other schools I toured and considered was the students. I had never been in a place where there was so much passion. I knew this environment would encourage me to push myself and grow as a person and in my industry awareness. Not only did I see networking opportunities for the future, but I saw a chance to bond with many people just like me. When I heard people go on flights to get BBQ in Georgia, I was pretty much sold on the environment. If you think you know everything about aviation, wait until you get here. You learn something new every day!

The Professors: My professors are top notch. I have already written about how I think the professors are outstanding, but we forget how unique this is. Some colleges, the TA does all the teaching. Just today my professor tried connecting me with an old work partner who does the job that I am very interested in. Our professors go beyond being just a very capable and knowledgeable source, but are also truly interested in our well-being. Whether it be reminding us to get sleep or handing out extra-credit to attend career-advancing events, such as the Career Fair and special speakers, they push us to grow. I just know that with my learning style (which is very hands-on), I really appreciate the small classroom settings. My professor knows my name and offers great feedback on my work. I know I am getting my money’s worth out of this education, not just going to class because I have to!

Involvement: My ultimate favorite thing about Riddle is the level of involvement of the students. This is something I didn’t know about before becoming a full-time student on campus. Now, I love being around people who encourage me to join clubs and take advantage of all the opportunities on campus. This type of environment makes you challenge and push yourself to try new things and get out of your room. Not to mention it’s just really fun to be involved! You make a lot of friends and learn so much about yourself. Plus it doesn’t hurt that it looks stellar on a resume!

The Buildings: This one will be short. The buildings are gorgeous. The dorms are super fancy. The Mori Hosseini Student Union is so nice. It’s literally the most beautiful Starbucks ever. There’s live plants and the ceiling looks like stars. Also, the outdoor seating resembles a 5-star resort with the fanciest chairs and tables. And… There’s a video game lounge. Enough said!

Please make a note that these are things that experience and think are great. There are many more opportunities available for students that I do not partake. It may be because of available time, relevance to my major, or just that I did not know about it! I also only wanted to speak to opportunities that make us very unique and different than other schools, because we do have many great things that are general to many other Universities, and I didn’t want to bog down the good stuff!

Stay tuned for a holiday wishlist for college!

Happy hunting folks! ~ Maddie Dietrich

October 17, 2010

Time really does fly by at Riddle (insert cheesy laugh here). Within the past two weeks, the school has given the students an amazing weekend and a speaker with a very famous historical background—but I’ll get into that a little later.

Our team for EGR-101 (that’s the introduction to engineering class) finished the satellite project. With a humorous introduction, we presented our projects to our teacher, Ms. Davids, who was very impressed with our creativity. When we received our grades, she surprised us…with another assignment. Next up: designing a launch system to send our satellite into orbit. Thank goodness this is only an introductory class! We don’t have to do our design too detailed. All the calculations are really what would give Aerospace Engineering its nickname!

Round two of examinations are also coming up. Last week, my math exam was taken care of (106% woohoo!). The week after next is physics…not my forte if you ask me. My teacher is hilarious, though, so the class is fairly entertaining.

Speaking of fun times, Biketoberfest is here! Bikers everywhere! Campus security does a very good job of taking care of the students, however. Student Village (which is where I live) is on lockdown, and you need your Eagle Card (student ID) to access the building. I honestly thought it would be a lot crazier than it is. Most of the people coming to visit town this weekend are not the druggies or alcoholics you would imagine. The only horrible and annoying thing, though, is the noise of the bikes at 7 in the morning on a Saturday and the exponentially growing traffic. They’re all gone tomorrow…what a relief!

Last week also marked the first of our Honors Program distinguished speakers series. We had the honors of hosting Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the famed Mohandas Gandhi, who led an anti-violence movement for the independence of India from England early in the century. The lecture was titled “Lessons from Grandfather”. Dr. Ghandi told stories of how his grandfather disciplined him in the ways of non-violence. All of us honors kids also got the chance to have a one-on-one Q&A session with him. The auditorium was packed at night, so we were very lucky to ask our questions in a more private manner!

Now for the highlight of the week: Wings and Waves Air Show! Sponsored mainly by Embry-Riddle (of course), Daytona was graced by the acrobatics of many famous pilots and airplanes. We had everything—from Vipers to F-22 fighter pilots and the Geico Skytypers to 62-year-old air acrobatics guru Julie Clark!Adriana This was truly a weekend when campus was completely empty. Everyone made their way to the beaches for 2 days, from 11 am to 3 in the afternoon, just to show viewers how great the school is. Come on, we may not have a football team, but what other college can say they had an air show?!

Sadly, I was not there for the entire show. My friends and I made our way to the beaches early in the morning. By noontime, the Florida heat was pouncing on us, and one of our friends had an incident (drink lots of water!!). She is fine now, but it was a very scary situation. However, at one o’clock, once we had that situation settled, my friend Jim and I drove to SheltAir (where the air show pilots had their planes). My father had contacted Julie Clark a week earlier and arranged for us to meet up with her.

As we made our way to the hangar, we were greeted by a 5’3 Julie, who was all smiles throughout the day. She showed us around to see the other planes, and we even got to see her airplane in detail! Her T-34 Mentor is indeed a very beautiful airplane. She bought it in the 1970s for only $18,000! Today, Chevron Global Aviation sponsors her, and so her aircraft is painted in blue and silver, while keeping a very a-la-Air Force One style that was original in her design. Her engine is even gold-plated! At the end of the day, we even got to meet the Geico Skytypers. They were a very curious set of individuals, but very kind to us as well. From a distance, we appreciated the Heritage Flight leave Daytona Airport at the end of the day. Next week, we have Fall Break! It’s nice to be free from class for a weekend. Since home is so far away, a couple of friends and I are planning on going to Orlando for a few days—but that is a story to be told next time!