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!


NBAA 2015

LAS VEGAS, NV – Last week, a group composed of about 50 Embry-Riddle students and faculty from the Daytona Beach campus attended the 2015 NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas. This three-day event brought together 26,000 key aviation contacts from all around the globe, including current and prospective business aircraft owners, manufacturers, and customers. This year, the convention welcomed 1,000 exhibitors and more than 100 aircraft on the static display.

View of the many Bombardier Business Aircraft on the Static Display.

View of the many Bombardier Business Aircraft on the static display at Henderson Executive Airport.

Most of our group traveled from Florida to Nevada on Monday, the day before the convention. Since NBAA 2015 is a large event with much to cover, each student made their own schedule. The exhibitors were divided in two concourses at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The static display of aircraft was located at the Henderson Executive Airport which was a 30 minute bus drive from the convention. NBAA  also offers many general information sessions, educational sessions for students, and social events.

I did not attend many of the information sessions I planned to go to because I did not have time. I wish I could have attended  “Engaging Airport Management on Key Issues” and “The Future of Planes and Flying.” I was an intern at the Montreal Airport last summer so I thought the session would be interesting. Knowing what aviation will look liken the future  is intriguing.

I spent most of the time walking between the many exhibitors present. This convention was a great opportunity for students to connect with people of the industry and exchange business cards. My friend and I had the chance to talk with the Manager of Customer Service Communications at Dassault Falcon. We discussed the new Falcon 8X product which is currently in development. We also went over the FalconResponse program, which was launched in May 2015. It is designed to support the AOG (Aircraft on Ground) more rapidly. The manufacturer has 2 Falcon 900 available 24/7 to carry technicians, parts, and tools needed to return an aircraft back in the air.

The province of Quebec (the province where I come from) had a booth which reunited many aerospace companies based in Montreal. I was surprised to learn that that the Government of Quebec had an office in Atlanta, GA.

My favorite general session was during the second day of NBAA. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, known as the hero of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” spoke to the audience about his experience on US Airways flight 1549. It was very interesting to know about  how he felt during the eventful flight. Even though the crew was stressed and obviously not calm, he told us that discipline helped him get through the flight. He knew he did not have time to do all the checklists, but he decided to perform very well the items with the highest priorities. At the end of his speech he said that it is important to be professional: “remember why we are doing this: because our passengers deserve it, our colleagues expect it, and our profession demands it.”

Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, hero of the "Miracle on the Hudson" shared his experience with the audience on the Second Day General Session of NBAA.

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, hero of the “Miracle on the Hudson” shared his experience with the audience on the Second Day General Session of NBAA.

It was my second time in Las Vegas, but the last time I visited was ten years ago so it has been a long time. The first thing I felt as I exited the aircraft after landing was the cold temperature of the desert. When I made my way to the terminal and to the baggage claim carrousel I noticed that there were slot machines at the boarding area and at the arrivals level. There are casinos almost everywhere you are at the airport!

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for the week. We did not really have much time to visit because the convention ended late on some days and we were really tired. At around 3:00pm I was already exhausted and wanted to go to bed! During my last night in the Sin City, I went out with some friends to explore the city. We went to the famous Las Vegas Strip where all the action happens. For me, it felt like Times Square on a smaller scale. There were many outdoors screens and lights everywhere. We visited the Paris Las Vegas hotel and it was actually fascinating. Inside, it is like an indoor city with numerous restaurants and boutiques. We ate dinner at BurGR, a restaurant for burger lovers that I recommend you stop by if you plan to visit Las Vegas.

View of the "Las Vegas Strip" from our hotel.

View of the “Las Vegas Strip” from our hotel.

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino and its exceptional front water fountains.

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino and its exceptional front water fountains.

NBAA 2015 was a great experience and I already look forward to NBAA 2016 in Orlando! For now, I need to get back to work since I missed an entire week of school. I have many projects and presentations that are due before and after Thanksgiving break.

Until next time!



Vegas Baby!

When I started this week, I was lost. Not the good, fun kind of lost; the confusing, I need to re-adapt to my surroundings kind of lost. For the past 3 months I had been sitting in the same office with the same set-up everyday. My office was on the second floor with a stunning view of San Diego bay! It always had a nice breeze coming through the window and I had plenty of room to take secret naps behind a closed door. Today, was not the same. I was ALL THE WAY on the other side of the hallway. No I don’t mean a full 15 second walk down the hallway, I mean take about 4 steps and you’re in my new office. Oh no! No more view of the bay! No more naps! No more loud chewing on food all day! I have a new office mate around. And folks, when that happens you need to act like a normal human being… apparently. This was not the case, though. I was moving in with the other intern from Embry-Riddle, Brittany. Ever since moving in I have been as happy as a hippo (not sure how that analogy works).

Everyday we get to chat back and forth and show each other funny pictures or videos. I love having her desk right behind mine. Aside from the awesome office mate, I get an even better breeze and kept my same comfy chair. Not to mention I don’t have to hear those pesky otters in the bay barking all day when I actually try to get work done. This new office is also a lot darker than my old one, so taking naps is easy and less obvious. Not that I’m promoting to interns that you should nap at work! Because, you know, that’s bad.

It is better getting work done when someone else is around you doing the same. Having an office mate is good to keeping me focused throughout the day. At least now, I want to seem like a professional that doesn’t get off track all day long looking up funny videos of baby polar bears or people running into trees. So, thanks to having someone around I finally got a lot of work done! Particularly on the website I have been designing at work. I had two meetings this week, one to discuss a few fixes, and the other to present my website to the project lead (umm.. which is terrifying). She liked it, though, and I was given a few more tasks to do during the next week.

This week went by fast. Although it was a 4 day work week for us, it was a shorter week than usual for me. My roommate, Sharelle, and I have been planning a weekend vacation for a while now. And this weekend, we were finally going to VEGAS!!! Yayyyyy!!!! I finally got a chance to act like a childish adult. I know, saying I am going on vacation when I work in the beautiful city of San Diego entitles me to have an angry mob. I can’t complain about where I work, but when I was this close to Las Vegas at a time where I could afford to go, I certainly wasn’t going to turn it down.

Trying to get a view from the Ferris wheel

Trying to get a view from the Ferris wheel

Fountains at Bellagio

Fountains at Bellagio

So, on Thursday I left work little earlier than usual. I know I seem like a slacker, but I had been working an extra hour everyday for weeks before this weekend. So it was excused. My roommate picked me up from work, we got our suitcases, and called a taxi for the airport. Airfare was extremely cheap! We flew out and I stayed at the airport a little longer because I was waiting for another friend’s flight to come in. My friend Antoine had just recently graduated from the ERAU Human Factors Masters program. He is now working at Honeywell in Phoenix. Since he was also so close, he decided to meet us for the weekend in Las Vegas, as well. It was so nice to have friends, new and old, together for a long weekend in a great city.

Gambling at penny slots

Gambling at penny slots

Both of my companions had been to Vegas previously, so I was the only newbie. I did not know what to expect, but boy was I surprised. What I had known about Vegas was what I had seen in movies like Ocean’s 11 or Vegas Vacation. And this was one of the few times, where I could honestly say it was much more incredible in person than what you see in movies or pictures. With the amount of money this city takes in, it actually has the ability to keep their attractions and hotels looking brand new. The night I got there, I was squinting at the intensity of lights. It was probably more bright at night than it was during the day, and that is saying a lot for the desert.


We walked around the strip, and stopped to get dinner in this playful restaurant that had the most extravagant deserts you would ever find. There was a sundae priced at $1,000!! Why? Because there was shavings of gold sprinkled on top! If you want to eat gold, this is the place to go. After that we saw a show at the fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel. This was the first of many times, because that was probably my favorite part of Las Vegas.

I love food, but not that much!

I love food, but not that much!

I also gambled for the first time, and successfully lost all of it. Over the next few days we saw everything! The Venetian hotel had a river inside with gondola rides. The ceiling was painted to look like the sky, and it even rained in one section of the aisle. There were shops, clubs, casinos, or buffets in every hotel. I saw a mock-up of the Eiffel Tower and a bar that was inside of a chandelier. I ate crepes, gelato, and the best macaroni and cheese in the world. There was so much to see and do I could have spent a week there.

The giant chandelier

The giant chandelier

The pool at our hotel

The pool at our hotel

Gondola rides at the Venetian

Gondola rides at the Venetian

To see the entire city was impossible, but I did just that. The world’s tallest Ferris Wheel was right across the street from my hotel. It took a little over 30 minutes to go all the way around. It was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Since we did it at night, the lights looked spectacular. Since we were staying at The Mirage, we were able to see a show they did every night at the entrance. It had a “volcano,” so basically had water flowing from a mini-mountain surrounded by giant explosives. The giant balls of fire did not help the nearly 100 degree days. The pool downstairs did, though. It was a giant pool, and had an even bigger waterfall on the side. I actually sat in the water with a cool drink and soaked in the intense heat. So, let’s just say I was not ready to go back to work that week. This looks like a good place to stop writing as well, seeing as how I am sitting at work daydreaming about another vacation.

I met "overly attached girlfriend" if you have any idea what I'm talking about

I met “overly attached girlfriend” if you have any idea what I’m talking about