Summer @ SNC, Part 3: Concluding Thoughts and Advice

Make the most of your internship.

My internship ended almost a month ago, which means now is the time to look back on it and think about what I’ve learned. Of course, I learned a lot of technical skills and gained industry experience, but non-technical things are also important. Just because a skill isn’t technical doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable- for example, communication is a great “soft” skill that is essential to every workplace. So, here’s a list of some of the major non-technical things I learned from my internship!

1. You are not going to know everything and that’s okay. What you do know will still help!
That was certainly true for me. I had my ERAU education which was a good foundation. However, internships and jobs are not like the world of academia. Problems in academia are designed under certain simplifying assumptions. However, in real life, these assumptions are not always valid. Yes, you’ll likely be using in-class concepts to work on aircraft or rockets instead of, say, a baseball being thrown in a projectile motion problem. However, the aircraft or rocket problem takes more things into account than the baseball problem.

A lot of jobs have specific software that they like to use, and you might not be familiar with it. For example, ERAU uses CATIA for computer modeling, but several companies use different computer modeling software like AutoCAD or Solidworks. That doesn’t make your CATIA skills useless, it just means that you’ll have to adapt to a new software.

2. You might not use everything you’ve learned in class. That’s pretty normal- they’re not useless and unrelated, but your specific job might not use those concepts.
For example, I took statics and solid mechanics at ERAU and never once used them in my internship. To be fair, I was a systems engineer and not a structural/stress engineer. I had no real reason to use those concepts when there were full-time structural and stress engineers whose entire jobs were to analyze the structure of different aircraft. My roommate was a structural engineer, and she ended up using the concepts she learned in solid mechanics and structures classes during her internship. It really depends on what type of internship you have. It’s also good to know what type of internships to look for. If you don’t like your structures classes, then don’t look for structures internships and jobs.

3. Get to know your coworkers, both full-time and your fellow interns. They’ll make a good job even better.
I’m serious! If you’re having a slow day, your coworkers will make it go a lot faster. I also feel more comfortable asking questions of people I know rather than people who feel like strangers. Knowing your coworkers may also help you in your downtime- if you share similar interests, they may be able to provide recommendations. For example, some of my fellow interns were Colorado natives and suggested some hiking trails.

One of the Red Rocks trails, which was suggested by a Colorado native! Yes, we did hike a lot, and I did buy hiking boots.

4. The work week is 40 hours; there are 168 hours in a week. Do fun things when you’re not at work!!
In my time at SNC, on average, I worked 40-hour weeks. Sure, we got holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July off, but on a regular week, I worked 40-hour weeks. This allowed me to do fun things on the weekend and on the weeknights. I went hiking, went to the Denver cat cafe, Colorado Rockies games, Pike’s Peak, Elitch Gardens (an amusement park), the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and over to friends’ apartments. During the course of my internship, I stayed in an Airbnb, and my Airbnb host had a dog. She was more than happy to let me take him for walks, which was a good exercise for both of us!

The Airbnb puppy!

5. If you don’t like your job, that’s okay- but try and find a job you do like!
Not everyone will like their first internship- and that’s okay. I loved mine, but I have a few friends who didn’t like theirs. Instead of choosing to be miserable, I noticed that they would ask other people about their jobs and see what they were like. As I mentioned before, you likely won’t use every single class from your degree in real life. I liked my internship, but I also liked a few of my other classes and never got to see the course content used. So, I ended up asking around to see what other jobs did, and I found interest in a few other jobs. I want to keep exploring my options, so I’ll probably apply for internships like the other jobs to see if I like those, too!

That’s the last tip I have! Hopefully, you enjoyed my three-part series about obtaining an internship, what to do when you’re not working, and my concluding thoughts. I enjoyed writing the posts and definitely enjoyed the internship! I currently don’t have an internship for next summer, but the cycle is just starting and I’m excited to see what I do next. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Summer @ SNC, Part 2: Never Forgetting the Good Times!

I hope I don’t see snow again soon.

I don’t know about you, but my summer went pretty well! I spent most of it in the Denver, Colorado area, working as a Systems Engineering Intern for Sierra Nevada Corporation. The internship was super cool and it’s an excellent way for me to make my first step into the aerospace industry, and I am grateful to everyone who helped me along the way. (If you’re interested in how I got to SNC- it’s here!)

I liked the flexibility I had on the job. I worked 40 hours per week, but the hours were flexible within a reasonable time period- some people liked to start their day at 7 AM while others preferred to start around 8 or 8:30. Some people took lunch breaks; others worked while they ate lunch. In addition, it was completely different from the retail jobs I’ve had no one was walking around the intern room making sure that we were on task. We were treated like responsible adults.

I learned a lot over the three months I was there, and I made some new friends! However, Denver is no Daytona Beach- it snowed on the second Friday in a freak snowstorm. I mostly stayed inside that weekend, since my roommate had just moved in. But the week after was Memorial Day weekend, so I had a three-day weekend.

A few of the other interns and I decided that we’d want to go hiking. It sounded fun to me- the trail was about four miles round-trip, and it was only an hour and a half away from my Airbnb.

Hike view!

Unfortunately, we ran into some snow and I had not yet bought proper hiking boots, so I ended up sliding down a small snowbank in my leggings and horrible hiking shoes. I didn’t end up making it to the top because of the snow- the hike was at a pretty high elevation, and my flats were not doing very well. I still found the hike worthwhile, I got to get to know my fellow interns and enjoy a walk through nature.

Over the summer I only ended up doing one other hike, this time at Red Rocks trail. By then I had adequate hiking shoes, and that hike was also during the heat of the summer. The view was breathtaking, but we had to leave after a few minutes since we heard thunder. Throughout the summer, the other interns did a lot of hikes, including a 14,000-foot mountain. That, to me, is dedication.

What else did I do? Whatever else I wanted.

For a lot of the summer, I mostly hung out around my Airbnb. I had a roommate, who I met online, and the Airbnb was fully furnished and came with dishes and utensils. It was perfect for a summer internship- it even came with a dog! We lived in a family’s basement, and it was great since they had anything we needed (such as a rice cooker), so I didn’t need to buy plastic utensils for the summer or worry about finding a three-month apartment lease.

Like a full-time employee, I was free to do whatever I wanted on my days off. For example. over the Fourth of July weekend, I ended up visiting one of my friends in Santa Barbara on a direct flight from Denver. I flew out on a Friday evening and came back on Monday, which we had off since it was the Fourth of July.

Ostrichland, USA! – Buellton, CA

While on that visit, we ended up driving to Solvang and Buellton, which are both in the valley. Buellton is known for Ostrichland, USA, where tourists can feed a bunch of ostriches and emus. I’d never really seen an ostrich up close, but once I did, I realized just how huge they are. I know they’re flightless birds, but I hope I never see an ostrich run after me.

I also attended two Rockies games with my friends! I’m not a huge sports fan, but in my opinion, baseball games are a good place to hang out. Yes, people can actually watch the game, but people who aren’t as into the spot can walk around the stadium and explore. The Rockies stadium had three levels, and the view from the top one was breathtaking. I even spotted a few flights.

Rockies vs Padres!

Near the end of the summer, I ended up visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, which is an hour south of the Denver area. The zoo is quite literally built on a mountain, but I think it was a better choice than the Denver zoo since you get to interact with the animals a little more. I fed giraffes, watched wallabies freely run around the Australia exhibit, and saw plenty of big cats lying in the sun. It was a great experience, and I was glad I got the chance to experience it.

I loved my time in Denver with Sierra Nevada Corporation and am extremely thankful to everyone who helped me along the way. I highly recommend getting an internship. Not only does it give you the chance to experience the real engineering world, but it also gives you a chance to see what you’re doing with your degree. I’ll be honest, in some of my classes, I felt like some of the example problems weren’t directly related to my future career. However, I see how the concepts are applied to the real engineering world, even if not in my area of interning. For example, my roommate was a structural engineering intern, and the concepts I learned in solid mechanics applied to her internship. Talking to other interns was a good way to get to know everyone and learn about what disciplines would be for me.

While I miss SNC, it feels good to be home at Embry-Riddle. Classes have just started, and I’m excited to see what I’ll learn this semester. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

How I Secured My Sidus Space Internship | Summer 2022

“I don’t think I will be getting an internship this summer,” is what I kept telling my boss at Embry-Riddle Admissions. “I applied to over 75 positions and over 30 different companies, and nothing came back!” I was preparing to stay at home for the summer and continue to work in the Admissions Office, despite the fact that I really needed an internship. That all changed when I decided to reach out to Sidus Space in Cape Canaveral, FL.

I remember being on the computer and stumbling across one company with a purple and black logo that had a satellite on it. I said to myself “I should look at their internship positions if they have any, this looks like a cool company!” I researched the website and watched some cool videos on the company’s goals and operations. I clicked on the “Careers” tab to look for positions. Sure enough, they did have internship positions available; however, their only position open at the time was for a finance internship. I decided to apply anyway because I would take any internship I could get at this point. I also e-mailed the company after applying to this internship just to introduce myself, attach a CSV/resume, and tell them what I am studying. Within a few hours, I received a call from one of the recruiters named Tina at Sidus Space. She told me she got my e-mail, was impressed with my resume, and sent me directly to the Vice President of the Mission Operations Department. I was so happy to hear that I had an interview with the Vice President of that department. I could finally have the chance to not only get an internship, but get an internship in the same field as my dream career is in: mission operations.

Interview day came and I was ready to talk to the company. After a short 30 minute meeting with a few company personnel, they were ready to set up a second interview as well. Things were looking great and I quickly jotted some notes down to prepare for my next meeting the following week.

Tina reached out to me to tell me that they hired a new Mission Operations Director and that I would be meeting with him now instead. I was fine with that and was open to meeting new people. The director I met with during my second interview was so knowledgeable and friendly. He worked at NASA Johnson Space Center as a Flight Director for 23 years! “I couldn’t ask for a better manager if I got this position,” I told myself. Soon after the meeting ended, they informed me that they would call me if they thought I was a good fit for the company.

After a short review of how the meeting went and a short period of time, I got the phone call: “We would like to welcome you to the Sidus Space team.”

These words rang in my head as the recruiter spoke them over the phone. I was jumping for joy at the fact I got an internship, and with weeks to spare! This internship started on June 1st, and I was told in April that I had got the position. I informed my Admissions boss that I finally found a company to intern for and that I would be back in the Fall.

Weeks leading up to the internship I had to fill out paperwork, sign agreements, and prepare for my training. I also had to set up an appointment with Career Services, and fast, to get credit for my summer experience. I didn’t know what to expect at the internship, so I went in open-minded and well-prepared. I brushed up on my math and science skills, prepared some professional outfits, and acquired some blank notebooks, as I knew I would be taking a lot of notes.

The process of securing my internship was lengthy and uncertain at first. With persistence, knowledge, and optimistic thoughts, I pursued my search even into late April, days/weeks before the spring semester ended. I recommend to other students like me not to give up. As a first-generation college student, I was also the first in my family to receive an internship like this. Nonetheless, every employee had nothing but positive things to say about me by the end of the summer. I persevered through everything that was thrown my way, defying the odds even when things looked bad.

Present day, it is the end of my internship, but Sidus Space offered me a job! I am now a Certified Flight Controller for our satellite, LizzieSat. Within the next few months, I will be working remotely while attending my fall classes at Embry-Riddle. Juggling both school and work will be a challenge, but it will prepare me for my career even more than my internship experience did. Always remember to shoot for the stars and dream big! You never know what would have happened if you didn’t.

Flight Controller 1

Nice to Meet You!

Hello Riddle Life!

My name is Christine, and I am an undergraduate Spaceflight Operations student at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach. I am so happy to have the opportunity to blog about my internship experience this summer. But first, I will tell you a little bit about myself!

I am first-generation, Italian-American college student with the goal of pursuing up to my Ph. D. I received an Associate of Arts degree in general studies in 2019 from Daytona State College. Before that, I graduated summa cum laude from Atlantic High School in Port Orange, Florida. I always knew I wanted to attend Embry-Riddle, even in high school. I was fortunate enough to have connections to Embry-Riddle from a very young age. When I was in middle school, I would attend the Astronomy Open House nights that the Amateur Astronomy Club hosted every month in the spring and winter seasons. I would make friends with the students and even the professors that attended the events. To this day I still know and speak to the Embry-Riddle professor that I have known since middle school.

Present day, I transferred to Embry-Riddle in Spring 2020 to start my degree. I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Spaceflight Operations with an area of concentration in Operations Science and Technology, with minors in Systems Engineering and Human Factors. I transferred to Embry-Riddle with roughly 65 transfer credits that contributed to my degree; consequently, I will be graduating in December 2022 and starting on my first master’s degree, a M.S. in Systems Engineering, in January 2023.

Throughout my college experience, I have grown as a student, professional, and human being. I have expanded my network of friends and colleagues, taken on many leadership roles, and contributed to several research projects throughout my career so far. I am currently serving as the Vice President of the Spaceflight Sciences Policy and Operations Club (SSPOC) and the President of the Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE). I am a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success. I have done volunteer work for the Girl Scouts, STEM Day, and Discovery Day at Embry-Riddle. I have contributed to Project Aether, a space debris research report, the Vertical Air Lifted High Altitude Light Launch Apparatus (VALHALLA), and I am one of two team leads on Project ASTERIA (Advanced Satellite Technology Exploring Radiation in Aerospace). My team and I are currently meeting with a company to find support for our project in hopes of getting to space to conduct our research.

After looking for months, I finally received an offer for a Summer 2022 internship at Sidus Space Inc. as a Mission Operations Intern in Cape Canaveral, Florida. I am ecstatic that I received this position, and I am learning many valuable skills for my future career. I plan to become a flight controller/flight director one day after graduating.

I am passionate about helping other first-generation college students like me navigate their way through college. I am a member of the First-Generation Student Association (FGSA) and enjoy promoting the club’s involvement on campus. I am also passionate about encouraging more females to follow a path in STEM and Aviation/Aerospace. Serving as SWISE’s President, I am ecstatic to help other young females get more involved with the college community and promote equality throughout it by various fundraising events, seminars, and guest speeches. Society of Women Engineers is another organization I frequently help with. Fundraising with their committee makes me feel like I am actively serving the organization and raising not just funds, but awareness of who we are and what we do. Lastly, I am an environmentalist and have a huge green thumb. I like to spend my spare time attending beach cleanups or caring for my 3 turtles, one being a rescue! I love aquatic life and marine biology, so I plan to volunteer for the Marine Science Center again one day in the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center, helping injured wildlife recover from propellor strikes and pollution-induced injuries.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to read about me! I am eager to post more about my life as an intern in Cape Canaveral. Ciao for now!

Summer @ SNC, Part 1: Securing the Internship

I can confirm that airplanes are magical.

It’s been a pretty interesting month (and a little bit!) after the school year ended. Although I did go home for about a week, most of my summer has been spent in Denver, Colorado, working for Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as a Systems Engineering Intern!

I’ve already had a lot of fun and am grateful for the opportunity. I interviewed for the internship in late October 2021 and got a call from the recruiter a couple of days later. I was ecstatic- I’d missed the initial call, but the recruiter had left a voicemail, and I immediately called her back. I signed the offer letter a few days later, committing to a summer at SNC in the Denver area.

Now, the part a lot of people have asked me is- how did you get there? To be honest, it was a long road getting from there to here. I applied for 118 internships before I received an offer.

The search for a summer internship started in the summer of 2021 before I even came back to ERAU. I applied for every aerospace-related internship that I could find, regardless of its focus on aircraft or rockets. Over the summer, I also planned on attending the Society of Women Engineers’ annual conference. In my spare time, I networked as much as I could.

The real work started during the school year. I continuously asked for résumé reviews and attended free SWE mentoring sessions. The sessions were free since I am a member of SWE, and several times throughout the year, I had sessions with various industry professionals. The mentor network allows you to filter through mentors so you can find someone to talk to who has a job you’re interested in. In my sessions, I asked for a résumé review, about their careers, and about the companies they worked for.

I continued to network and attended the annual ERAU career fair, where I gave my résumé to various recruiters at various companies. It was actually really fun- I got to know about people and the companies that they worked for. This way, I could also see if a company sounded like the right fit for me. The same process was repeated at the SWE conference, talking to recruiters and other students alike. It was fun- I made friends at other schools in other engineering disciplines, too!

Of the 118 internships I applied for, I interviewed for eight positions. That’s about a 6.78% interview rate, which I think is pretty good, considering I was a sophomore with no previous internships at the time. I was competing against juniors and seniors who were farther along in their academic journeys, and likely had more time to have project experience or previous internships.

Of those eight positions, there were five different companies, and I had networked with people from three of them. Networking is definitely what helped the best and eventually helped me in my internship search. I’m not saying that networking will always grant you an internship or that it’s the only way, but it doesn’t hurt.

Networking doesn’t have to be by going to career fairs and directly talking to a recruiter, either. Sometimes you’ll meet people out and about- I got an impromptu résumé review in a Starbucks line at the SWE conference. I met friends’ parents during Family Weekend and some of them were industry professionals. I met people in organizations freshman year who now work in the industry. Sometimes if you take a general education class, you’ll make friends with seniors who begin their careers in the next year.

Overall, I’d say it’s hard to get your first internship, especially as a sophomore. I’ve been told numerous times that companies are more likely to hire people with previous internship experience and upperclassmen, but that’s not always the case. It might just take a little extra work- which is okay with me. I’m really enjoying my internship, and it shows that hard work pays off! I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Climb up the Ladder (Virtually)

spring 2018 expo - Career Services | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

On October 13, 2020, ERAU will be hosting its annual Career Fair where a number of companies show up to showcase their businesses and recruit students. Due to the special circumstances this year, the career fair will take place virtually this time. Career fair invites a number of airlines like Delta Air Lines, United, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Frontier, and Spirit. Boeing, Embraer, Gulfstream and Northrop Grumman are also invited for engineering and business students. There are also government jobs and non-aviation contractor companies that visit to recruit students. It is very similar to your average college fair except you have the exchanging of resumes and business cards instead of college brochures.

This will be my fourth career fair I will be attending at Riddle. To be frank, as a low-hour pilot, there is not much that applies to you unless you enter your junior / senior year because often times, we just don’t have the hours or the certificates we need in order to get recruited. However, it is always a great opportunity to look for internships and talk to company recruiters about your potential interest in them. This year’s fair will be little different as everything will be conducted online. We have to exchange our resumes online through a program called “Handshake” and these companies will be hosting online meeting sessions to answer questions and showcase their companies.

Career Services | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, AZ

The university puts great emphasis on these career fairs so on the days we have the fair, our classes are cancelled. You can see many students attending the fair in professional attire in hopes of getting a chance to work at their dream company in the future. Our school is heavily specialized in pilot and engineering programs and as a result, the level of competition between similar major groups is intense. Before COVID, you could see people waiting in line for Boeing, or Delta Air Lines for hours, just to get a chance to talk to one of the recruiters. If you see the desk areas of these major companies, the pile of resumes reaches an impressive amount by the end of the day. I’m hoping that the shift to conduct this fair online will not only keep us safe and healthy, but it will reduce the somewhat “chaotic-and-competitive” atmosphere of our usual career fair.

I believe it is a fantastic opportunity that is given to us students and it really gets you to start thinking about the real world after graduation. I am grateful that the school hosts these events that get you to be ready for your career before you graduate. It makes you realize how competitive the real world is and prepares you with the right tools for you to succeed after you leave Riddle.

Everyone has their own goals and whatever the goal may be, it’s important that we don’t let laziness and insecurities of our own distract us from the opportunities that are given to us. Whoever works the extra hours and shakes more reps’ hands will increase his or her chance of landing a spot in that interview or the company’s job.

I hope everyone will have a chance to attend this event and find some success in reaching your end goal.

https://careerservices.erau.edu/opportunities/events/industrycareer-expo-information-student/

Post 2: Tips and Tricks to get through Week 1

It’s a crazy Friday night in Maryland. And by crazy, I mean Trader Joes Spicy Cheese Crunchies and a mixed drink. Since my last post, I have worked two full weeks at my internship, turned 21, and hit five hundred pot holes.

Quick facts about my internship: First- for security reasons, I will not be posting any in-depth information about my internship nor building/ my cubicle pictures. I am the Systems Security Intern at Textron Systems. I am learning so many new things. The group of people are phenomenal, and my supervisor is an amazing leader. I will admit it has been difficult meeting other interns and making friends. Because I am the only intern in the Security Department, I haven’t had much time to interact with the other interns. Plus, I’m a shy, introverted person… and extremely busy with my own training. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to make some friends and have a travel buddy, but it’s also so fun solo exploring.

What does the typical day look like for me: Wake-up. Get ready. Drive. Work. Drive. Dinner. Prep lunch for next day. Exercise. Get ready for bed. Pick outfit for next day. Relax. Fall asleep.

How did I find the internship? Believe it or not, I found the internship on Linked In. I had applied on Eagle Hire and directly on the websites. Linked In offered initial information and directed me to their website. So in a way, I did apply on the website, but the first platform was Linked In.

University Relations contacted me, and I went through two phone calls. I spoke with the Director of Security (now my supervisor). We went over basic phone interview introduction, “tell me about yourself”, and the position. If you take anything away from this post, make sure to research the company, agency, department, or organization beforehand. Not only will it make you look prepared, but it shows interest. Career services stresses pre-interview company research, but I cannot stress this enough. I did do a follow-up email because I was supposed to hear back a couple of days after the Director phone call (but didn’t). Remember that people are busy and sometimes forget. It’s okay to send a professional, polite follow-up. If you are so lucky to nail a gig, here are steps I advise.

Pre-internship:
1. Continue to stay informed about company news, events, products, etcetera.
2. If you can anticipate any vocabulary or incoming information you will need, hit the laptop a couple days if not a week before.
3. Time yourself on a test drive home to work.
4. Study the surrounding area.
5. Locate your nearest auto shop, gasoline stations, and preferred grocery store.
6. Start adjusting your sleep schedule.
I did not stay informed as I should have. Textron is a multi- industry company that works with Cessnas, EZ-Go Golf Carts, Bell Helicopter, and more. There are numerous locations across the United States. If you are working for multi-industry company, familiarize yourself with the different branches and locations. You will likely hear coworkers mentioning so-and-so at location X.

Night Before:
1. Panic a little. It’s natural.
2. Have an outfit ready.
3. Lay out bag, purse, etc.
4. Review any information on your job position.
5. Look up inspiration quotes to soothe yourself.
6. Set alarm and then try to get some sleep.

Must Haves:
1. Identifying legal documents (Your first-day may require proof of citizenship in 1+ versions. Just set a reminder the night before to put the documents safely in your bag).
2. A watch.
3. Note book. You will likely be given new office supplies but get your own notebook. I’m already ¼ the way through with notes and running lists of vocabulary. One word… Acronyms. So many acronyms in the security field. Any Homeland student will (should) know DoD, SF-86, SOP but do you know DD 441, SF-702, or FSO? That’s when the notebook comes in handy. Acronyms are going to be flying. You can either try to look it up yourself, but some acronyms may have multiple meanings or be company specific. If that’s the case, ask a co-worker or supervisor.
4. Folder for any organizing documents.
5. Cardigan or suit jacket. It may be a summer internship, but the AC will likely be full throttle.
6. Re-useable water bottle.

I will never forget: First day at orientation and I forgot my rain coat in a different room. Someone made an announcement and I had to awkwardly stand up and climb over some interns to get to my jacket (the chairs were really packed in the conference room). Imagine a line of rolling chairs followed by a row of fold-out chairs. I was in a rolling chair but had someone sitting a foot behind me. When I went back to sit down, I almost missed my seat.

Motivational Quote: The expert in anything was once a beginner.

Summer Update #2

Hi everyone!

This first week of my internship at United was really crazy! I got to work in service recovery – which is tracking passengers who will most likely miss their flight and re-booking them on a new one. They are then greeted at the gate with tickets for their new flights. How awesome is that?! I also got to work in the premier lobby helping passengers check-in and tag their luggage. Another day we worked the inaugural SFO-Zurich flight! It was super fun and everyone was very excited for their complimentary Swiss chocolate! Friday I worked at the gates helping people board their flight. So many people miss their flights, don’t want to check their carry-ons, want to get an upgrade, etc. I feel I get to see the worst in people with this internship since traveling makes people stressed. However, I’m really liking it! Tomorrow I meet my mentors for the first time! We truly are a family. Birthdays are celebrated with good cake and lots of laughs!

Living alone is nice. I cook a lot! My RA dorm on campus doesn’t have a kitchen so I’m loving the ability to cook. I also bring my lunch to work, so I make it the night before. Tonight I made pasta and garlic Parmesan roasted potatoes for tomorrow’s lunch. I really enjoy going to bed at 9 pm and waking up early. I feel so productive being out the door at 6 am. I do miss home a lot though, so I already have my flight booked to Denver on July 31st!

As for summer classes, I am doing a lot better than before! I finally got into the swing of things. Let me tell you, I really appreciate Canvas after having to use a different platform for these classes. I feel summer classes are a lot quicker paced (well they are since they finish quicker than normal courses in the fall/spring) and therefore I feel every day I am doing another assignment. I am now working ahead on the weekends because honestly, the last thing I want to do after a long day is homework and tests. I know I’ve grown as a person because I can admit I think I took a bit too much on with summer classes, living alone in a big city for the first time, and a 10-hour/day internship. I’ll stop complaining now because it does no good at this point. I will just be SUPER grateful at the end of this summer. Never have I ever wanted summer to end, haha!

I hope you all are excited for school to start in just two months! Soon you will be finding out who your roommate is, buying dorm necessities, and getting ready to move! Please make sure to check your ERAU email often. Important things need to be done like accepting awards (scholarships)/making sure they came through to Embry-Riddle, having all placement exams complete, current shots mandatory to start, insurance figured out, and more! Be diligent and don’t be afraid to ask for help by calling the correct department!

Some more tips as summer is in full swing:

Spend time with your family – while your time with your friends is also precious, I promise you will be missing your family a lot at school!

Eat at home – on the same note, eat home cooked meals while you can!

Read the ERAU Housing’s packing list – I made a post with a very thorough packing list for school, but be sure to reference Housing’s list for what is allowed. As an RA, we do inspections to make sure people don’t bring thinks like cook-tops or candles. If they are found, the student must get rid of it within 24 hours. Save yourself the trouble.

Start investing in Florida products and testing them out – Find a good sunscreen, foundation, bug spray, hairspray, etc. I recommend Supergoop sunscreen products, Estee Lauder Double-Wear Foundation, and Avon’s Skin So Soft for bug spray! I may be listing more body/beauty products for Florida, so stay tuned!

Save money – I didn’t work my first semester (most students don’t). Thankfully, I could still go out to the movies or to eat because I worked a summer job before college and saved up! Try to do the same – 10/10 would recommend!

Print pictures – you will want photos in your room to liven it up and remember your loved ones! I got mine from Super Snaps and had a great experience!

Have fun out there! – Maddie

 

Summer Update #1

Summer Update #1

Well, summer is in full swing and I feel it’s already flying by! Here are some pictures from my Las Vegas rod trip and second Disney trip! My internship AND summer classes started last week so it’s been very busy around here.

At Dutch Bros Coffee in Las Vegas

Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Disneyland (our favorite ride – we rode it about 10 times)

At the pool in Vegas! (Fun fact: unless you are 21, you cannot check-in to a hotel with a casino attached. It made for a difficult time finding a hotel with no casino, on the Strip, but with a nice pool)

We were stuck in Memorial Day traffic

I moved into my apartment early and thankfully that was pretty stress-free! I am renting with Zeus, which is a business that rents out fully furnished short-term housing. I liked the ease of just walking in, but city life is a little difficult to adjust to. It’ll take awhile to get used to for sure!

My internship is great! Our normal work day is 7:30 am to 4 pm. I catch the BART (subway) at 6 am though since where I clock in is way back in the terminals. The BART goes straight to the airport, so that’s super nice. I walk about 15 minutes to the BART then ride it for 30 minutes to get dropped off at the gates. My day-to-day schedule consists of meeting at 7:30 am to get my schedule for the day. Each day it’s different! I requested to mainly work in the international terminal and in premium areas (think first class check-in and clubs)! These are two areas I am most interested in for a career so they will let me spend most of my days here. However, I will also get to explore areas such as check-in, flight operations, in-flight services, cargo, rescheduling, customer service, and tower! Every Wednesday we meet with our mentors and on Fridays we go volunteer! We do a summer book club here reading Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. We will also complete a final project – which is evaluating United Airlines’ artificial intelligence (like their app).

So far, all the other interns are very nice and we all get along! Most are from the Bay Area. I think I’m the only one who moved for this. It’s crazy to be alone… in a big city… cooking my own meals and packing lunches. When did I grow up so much? Even commuting nearly 2 hours each day is crazy since I’m used to my 10-minute walk to classes. Waking up at 5 am is not my favorite.

Chris is leaving for Mississippi this week to start his training in cyber systems programming! We’re super excited, but since we spent all of May together, saying goodbye was extra hard. I’ll tell you, the hardest part of growing up for me has been learning to be ok with moving on from some things. I like comfort but that’s not how you grow as a person. For instance, I wish I could be at home working my high school job, cooking dinner with my mom, and spending weekends running around town with Chris, but… These classes and this internship are so beyond helpful for my future. Chris and I always say it’s 4 years of stomaching some not-so-ideal things in return for a great rest of our lives.

So here I am writing on a subway in a huge city on the way to my dream internship, which still scares me at times, but that’s life. Some days I’m beyond excited but others I feel too young to be doing all these big things. And as for summer classes, just be sure you don’t forget their start date… Oops!

On a totally random note: Be sure to start buying some dorm stuff now (like bedding). It’ll help you feel less stressed, find the best deals, and hopefully get excited!

Hope you’re all having fun!

Maddie

Summer!

Hello everyone!

It’s been about two weeks since finals, can you believe that?! I’m happy to report I finished with all A’s and I was never too stressed while studying! I tried mixing it up this finals season and studied in groups (I usually prefer to study alone) and it actually helped me stay laser focused. I guess the moral of the story here is try new things!

On a side note, I’ve been obsessed with using GrubHub. It’s a food delivery service where you order via an app and someone delivers it to you! This was AMAZING during finals when I didn’t want to drive anywhere and interrupt studying. Tropical Smoothie and Buffalo Wild Wings were on routine repeat for me! The trick is to get your friends to order with you and the delivery fee and tip can be split so it’s not as much. You can easily order to the dorms, so those of you planning on not having a car next semester, do not fret! This is for you!

Anyways, back to summer! After finals finished (I had the last final at 9 pm on Wednesday), I went and packed up my dorm. After I did my RA walkthrough of all the resident’s rooms, I went to the airport. This is a crazy story – I had my friend take me to the wrong airport and then almost missed my flight. How does that even happen?! The flight was supposed to be delayed but then got changed to no delay and I ended up having to throw away all my liquids in order to carry on my bag. Then I had to beg to be allowed to not double pay for my bag since I had originally paid for it to be checked. Long story short, I made the flight (barely) and didn’t have to pay for my bag twice.

I then landed in Las Vegas and caught a flight to Oakland. Once I landed in Oakland I went to my hotel and woke up early to catch the Bart to San Francisco Airport. Here I finished my badging process by taking a safety class. This was my third weekend back-to-back in San Francisco. Crazy right? That’s a lot of 6-hour flights coast to coast. After getting my badge I rented a car. How am I old enough to rent a car?! Well, the answer is I paid a premium for the 20-year-old insurance. I dropped off my badge and drove down to Monterey to visit Chris, which was a 3-hour drive with traffic. I don’t consider myself the best driver so I was very scared to drive in crazy California traffic with unfamiliar roads. All was fine though! I picked him up and we got dinner then continued to drive to LA. We then spent Saturday at Disneyland and Sunday in Los Angeles! Now I am currently hanging out in Monterey spending time with Chris. He works during the day so I usually try out coffee shops and find cute stores to kill time! Last weekend we went to the Taylor Swift concert in Santa Clara, Apple Park in Cupertino, and strawberry picking in Watsonville. Tomorrow we are heading to Las Vegas!

Disneyland!

Apple Park with iPads as menus

Apple Park!

Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour – Santa Clara

Strawberry Picking

But… The best news is my internship starts in two weeks! I am so excited to live in a big city and work with my dream airline! Finding an apartment has been stressful since there are a lot of scams and I need a short-term, furnished apartment. I’ll keep you updated! This is my first full-time internship! I like that it is a rotational one where I will be able to work in multiple areas. I think this will make time fly. Also, SFO is BEAUTIFUL! What an amazing airport!

I will be doing my internship for credit as well as some online summer classes. If any of you are curious about the process of registering for either, let me know! I’d be happy to share my experience with setting it up and why I choose to do both!

Enjoy the beginning of summer! – Maddie