These two things were easily the biggest highlights of my summer. I don’t honestly think anything can top them, but with school just three weeks away, I’m open for anything. Until next week!
Hello again! I’m so sorry about the long period of radio silence. Things here have been a bit hectic, but I have so many things to talk about so hopefully this might make up for the lack of blog posts. I guess I’ll have to start back way, way back in March right before Spring Break.
Shortly before flying back home to New Jersey to start what would be a moderately eventful Spring Break, I bought myself a DJI Mavic Pro! Eagle eyed readers might remember that I bought a drone my freshmen year, and they would be correct. Ultimately I regret to admit that that drone was a waste of money, but the lessons I’ve learned about drone operation and aerial imagery have long stuck with me.
Once I got home to New Jersey, I spent most of my Spring Break helping my parents out at their nail salon, mostly working as a receptionist and interpreter/translator. Whenever I had some down time, I’d fly my drone at the park by my house. It was really fun to get back into the hobby of aerial photography, but I just wish it wasn’t so cold during break.
I love the snow and it was one of the many reasons why I was super excited to fly back home, but I realized that it takes a lot of time, energy, and planning to fly out in the cold. Not to mention, you’re kinda at the mercy of the weather. Thanks to “Winter Storm Stella,” which turned out to be a bust by the way, the weather was pretty lame since it rained and sleeted a lot. Oh well I guess.
It wasn’t until towards the end of the week that the weather got better so on Friday I spent a day in New York City and spent Saturday packing up my things for my flight back to Orlando on Sunday. And just like that, on that cold Sunday afternoon, I found myself on a train headed back to Newark International Airport so I could start class the next day.
School for the most part has been pretty challenging as always. I think on the week I came back, or the next week, I had three tests scheduled in a row. Definitely not super ideal, but at this point, this has happened about two times so far this semester so I was kinda used to it. I did ok on one of the tests, while I did a lot better on the other two. However, I didn’t have time to contemplate my test scores because the following Sunday I had to shoot a wedding.
I’ve never done wedding photography before and wedding videography is a whole different animal. I will admit I was super nervous because with weddings, you only get one shot so if you blow it, well you’re out of luck. If I had to do it all over again, I’d definitely hire someone else to shoot video with me because one camera man is definitely not enough to cover everything.
Once I recovered from the wedding, I was handed another project: Completely rebuild the Digital Studio website in four-five days. Thankfully, the time-frame was extended for a total time of about two weeks. Now, before starting this huge undertaking, I was pretty good with WordPress and HTML coding. But, the more time I spent working on the website and trying out different design methods, I felt a lot better about my coding background and attitude towards coding.
A lot of people, like myself, complained that ERG115, the class where you first learn how to code in MATLAB, basically made them hate coding. I totally understand where everyone is coming from, but as I started branching out into other programs and coding languages, I rediscovered my love for coding and problem solving. I guess I needed some time off after doing fprintf(‘Hello world.’); so many times.
Somewhere along the way, I was invited by my friend to join him at Sun ‘n’ Fun. For those of you who don’t know, Sun ‘n’ Fun is this huge airshow out in Lakeland, Florida. Many people have compared it to Oshkosh, but I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it’s much smaller. Regardless though, I had a lot of fun, but I do wish I’d gone earlier. I went on Sunday with my friend which was the last day of the week-long event, and a majority of the static aircraft, mostly military aircraft, and airshow performers had left. That was ok because I got to see the Blue Angels perform for the first time in my life. After seeing the Thunderbirds perform for three years, this was definitely a welcomed change.
With my sixth, wow has it really been six?, semester now coming to a close, I’m definitely looking forward to going home for the summer for some R&R. I look forward to taking Thermodynamics at Rutgers and flying my drone a lot more since New Jersey’s airspace isn’t as dense as Daytona Beach’s. I look forward to working either with my family or at a supermarket since I was already offered a job starting when I come home. But, most importantly, I look forward to summer and what it has to offer. Four months is a long time and I look forward to sharing everything when I see you all in August.
For now, good luck, and if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.
Hey everyone! Welcome back to our scheduled broadcast. I hope everyone had a fantastic winter break. Despite only having three weeks off from school, I vowed to make the most of my break….that was until I actually flew back to NJ and realized that it was really too cold to do anything.
So what did I do during break? For the first week I helped my parents out at their shop since Christmas and New Years were right around the corner. Not surprisingly they own a nail salon and since I’m lacking in the manicure department, I was basically a receptionist for seven days.
Once the holidays blew over, I started making plans with some of my friends who were home for break. The thing about going to school in the South vs. North is that everyone starts and ends school at different times so it’s always a ballet trying to find times that work for all parties involved. In the end, some plans worked out while other didn’t. No biggie: That’s what summer vacation is for!
I did get to see Rogue One in theaters though! That was the first time I saw a Star Wars film in theaters and it was honestly an enjoyable experience. I think near the end I had to use the restroom, but I was so captivated by the action and story that I was glued to my seat. The movie had so many memorable moments and just listening to the audience react to the film made me miss going to the movies.
I sadly didn’t get to go to New York City like I wanted to though. I keep forgetting how much effort it actually takes to plan out a trip to the city. In my experience, you need an itinerary of places and things you want to do. Without one, you’ll probably get lost and side-tracked and might forget why you even came to the city in the first place. The weather was also a major factor.
Speaking of weather, it actually snowed! I was so excited to see snow before I flew back to Daytona. While shoveling and driving in snow is a bit of a chore, you have to admit that it is fun to play with. If anything, it adds a whole new layer of atmosphere to your environment.
Time slows down, you can hear the slush on the road as cars drive by, and kids emerge from their homes and enjoy their one out of three snow days. I wish it snowed earlier, like around Christmas like it’s supposed too, because it’s just nice to be around it.
But, like all good things, my break was over. Three weeks with my family was well needed and I was very sad to leave. However, while traveling to Daytona, my sadness turned into excitement when I realized that I have not only another semester to make up for the last one, but that I kinda have a new lease on life.
I have had a lot more time to myself, I have some goals that I want to accomplish, and overall, I’m starting to understand my limits and how I operate. Hopefully this knowledge and sudden urge enlightenment isn’t just a phase.
This September, I found out some of the most exciting news of my life, so far. At the beginning of the month, I applied for The Wings Club Scholarship through the ERAU Financial Aid office. A few days after I applied, I received an email saying I was chosen as the recipient of the scholarship. When I read the email, I was grinning from ear to ear. The Wings Club Scholarship is a $30,000 scholarship, and I could not believe that I was the one who had been chosen to receive it!
In addition to the scholarship funds, The Wings Club pays for their winners to attend the Annual Awards Gala in New York City. For those of you who may not be familiar with The Wings Club, I encourage you to check out their website to find more information about the club. It is made up of a large group of aviation executives and professionals from all over the world. When I heard that I was going to be receiving my scholarship in front of 1,200 aviation executives, I was slightly intimidated! Although I was intimidated at first, it quickly turned into excitement. After ordering my dress, booking flights, and researching the event, I could not wait to get to New York!
Luckily, the Gala fell during ERAU’s Fall Break, which allowed me to extend my stay in New York a few extra days. I was able to bring a guest with me, and we had a lot of fun exploring New York City both before and after the Gala.
The Gala was on Friday night, and was at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in downtown Manhattan. Another student from the Prescott campus also won a scholarship, so we both attended the Gala together. Before the event, we all walked over to the hotel for a pre-Gala silent auction. Once we got to the hotel, we ended up walking into the invite-only Boeing Pre-Party. Everyone was dressed to the nines, and was having a great time. It was incredible to be in the room with the executives of Boeing, all the major airlines, leasing companies, aviation insurance companies, suppliers, and maintenance companies. Needless to say, I was in awe.
After we realized we weren’t really supposed to be at the Pre-Party, we took a look at the silent auction. While we were mingling, I had the chance to meet several ERAU Alumni, who are now major players in the aviation finance industry. I was amazed at how relatable they were, their passion for ERAU, and their success within the industry.
Eventually, we were all escorted into the main ballroom, where we took our seats. I had the pleasure of sitting with other scholarship winners during the event. CNN Aviation Correspondent, Richard Quest, was the MC for the evening. He was hilarious, and welcomed the scholarship winners up on stage early during the event. I was pretty nervous to walk on stage to receive my scholarship, but it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment once I was on stage with the award in my hand.
After the scholarships were given out, the Beach Boys surprised everyone with a half an hour concert! It was awesome. It was also cool to see a room full of aviation leaders dancing and singing to the Beach Boys. Once the excitement from the Beach Boys was over, it was time for the main event of the night. Each year The Wings Club chooses someone to receive their Distinguished Achievement Award. This year, retired Boeing President and CEO, Jim McNerney, was the recipient. I loved watching the video about McNerney, as well as hearing about all of his accomplishments. It was an honor to be in the same room with him, and shake his hand after the event was over.
Once the event officially ended, we walked around the room and talked with more ERAU Alumni. I was able to talk with several CEOs, an NTSB Board Member, Executive Chairmen, and many more. I was so inspired by their success, but also by their great knowledge of the industry. I was proud to tell them that I attend Embry-Riddle, as it is an institution that is highly regarded in the industry. After we finished mingling around the ballroom, we attended the Airbus After Party. It was fun to see people who are fierce competitors in the aviation world, all having a good time together after the event.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the Gala, and am honored to have been chosen as The Wings Club scholarship recipient this year. I am more inspired than ever before, and am excited to enter into a career in aviation.
I encourage you to apply for scholarships through Embry-Riddle, as well as from external donors. You never know what experiences you will be able to have, and how the scholarship will impact your life!
Until next time,
Two weekends ago, I traveled to Washington D.C. and New York City with the Admissions team. We were hosting presentations for prospective students in both cities. These events are what I look forward to the most during the semester. They’re an opportunity to speak to students and families that are interested in Embry-Riddle, which is something that I love to do. The Prescott, Arizona Admissions team travels with us, as well in the spring. It’s always nice to spend time with our counterparts across the country!
Our first stop of the weekend was Washington D.C., which is probably my favorite city. I love the history, old buildings, and hustle and bustle of the city. It’s crazy to think about all the major decisions that have been made in that city. We spent our first day touring around D.C. I had never seen the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Declaration of Independence before, so we went to see those first. I was blown away by the documents, and how much history that lies within them. Next, we walked through the National Mall to the Capitol Building. We walked around inside and saw both the House and the Senate, although they were not in session. Lastly, we went to the Air and Space Museum. Another thing that’s great about D.C. is that all the museums are free.
Saturday, we hosted our event for the prospective students. It was very successful, and I got to speak with a lot of students who were very excited about what ERAU had to offer. After our event, we took the train to New York. It was a gorgeous train ride up the East Coast. We finally arrived in New York around 9pm, and headed to dinner at a famous pizza place. The pizza was probably the best I’d ever had. All of us ate our own 12 inch pizza!
After dinner, we headed out to do some sight-seeing. We went to Times Square to look at all the billboards, and go into the huge H&M store. After we had shopped for a while, we headed back towards our hotel, and stopped by Rockefeller Plaza to see the ice rink. While we were watching the skaters, a magician came up behind us and started doing magic tricks. We ended up getting roped into watching him perform for half an hour. By the time he was finished, it was almost 1AM!
We woke up early the next morning to take a walk through Central Park. None of us had ever been there before, so it was a new experience for all of us. I didn’t realize just how big Central Park is. We walked for at least an hour, and only made it halfway. Our mission for the morning was to make it to this famous bakery to get “the best chocolate chip cookie in New York City”. Trust me, it was one of the best cookies I have ever eaten! Once we were finished devouring our cookies, we realized it was probably time to go to our presentation. We rushed back to get ready and get setup for the event.
Once again, the event went well, and we had a lot of families who came to hear all about ERAU. After the event, we grabbed a quick lunch and went out to do some more sightseeing. It would’ve been a long walk, so we decided to take the subway, which was an experience. It took us awhile to figure out which train to get on. We went to the 9/11 Memorial, which was an amazing sight. I think it is something that everyone should see at least once. Next we headed to Battery Park to watch the sunset over the Statue of Liberty. After our adventure on the subway, we were very hungry, so we went to Little Italy to grab a nice dinner. I had an amazing Gnocchi Pesto dish, that I would eat for dinner every day if I could. With that, our weekend was over.
I am so grateful that I get to travel with Admissions to these events. I enjoy speaking with students, and telling them why ERAU is such a great University. If you are a prospective student, I encourage you to come visit campus, or check out any Admissions events in your area!
Until next time,
It has definitely been awhile. I am just getting back into the swing of things, since I had an extended Spring Break vacation. Now its time to hunker down and complete all of the final projects that have been looming all semester. But first, let me tell you about my Spring Break!
I was able to take an early Spring Break, since the Women in Aviation Conference started on the Thursday before Spring Break. Myself, along with two other ladies, drove to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the conference. We ended up driving all throughout the night to get there, but eventually ended up at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. It is a beautiful resort, and the largest in all of North America. It was incredible. My friend and I actually got lost trying to find an exit to the outdoors!!
The conference was great. I had the opportunity to volunteer at the conference, so I spent a lot of time doing that. I also got to talk to a few companies that I was really interested in. It was nice to talk to hiring managers face-to-face, instead of over the phone/email. One of my favorite moments of the conference was getting to hear a flight attendant from the Miracle on the Hudson speak about her experiences that day. It was a very emotional and unimaginable story.
In addition to conference, I spent a few hours exploring Nashville. I had never been there before, and I love country music, so I figured it was the perfect time to see the city. I got to walk up and down Music Row, see the Country Music Hall of Fame, eat at two of the most popular restaurants in Nashville, and see a concert at the Grand Ole Opry!! Originally, I just walked over to the Grand Ole Opry to see it, however, after walking inside the ticket office, I discovered that Dierks Bentley was playing a show there the next night… Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to decide that I was skipping the conference banquet, and going to the concert instead. It had always been a dream of mine to see a concert at the Grand Ole Opry, and I am so glad I took the opportunity when it presented itself. The show was incredible. It was awesome to see the other nine country artists who all had different styles of country music. So, basically, Nashville and the concert were awesome! It was a great way to start off my Spring Break.
Once I got back from Nashville, I hit the road again to drive down to Fort Myers, Florida. I spent four days in Fort Myers, which was nice because it was my time to relax. We went to Sanibel Island to see the lighthouse, went fishing for an entire day, and went shopping at the outlets. It was a very nice few days, besides the fact that I got very sun burnt, and am still feeling the affects.
After a few days in Fort Myers, I traveled back to Daytona, where I would fly out to New York City on Friday. I got the opportunity to spend my last weekend of Spring Break in New York City and Washington, D.C. with the Admissions team. As you know, I am a Women’s Ambassador, which is why I was able to travel and speak at the Accepted Student’s Receptions in both cities.
We spent Friday night and Saturday in New York City. Surprisingly, we actually had time to tour the city Friday night. We went up the Empire State Building, went to see Ground Zero, saw Broadway, drove through SoHo, saw Madison Square Garden, and saw the Statue of Liberty. Our hotel was right in Times Square, so we also got to see all of the tourist attractions there. We didn’t end up getting back to our hotel until about 12:30am that night, but it was so worth it.
After the Accepted Students Reception, we went to Penn Station and caught a train to Washington, D.C. I had never been on a train before, plus the fact that we got to see New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C. by train, so I was very excited! The train ride was a lot of fun since we were in Business Class and had a lot of space to ourselves.
We arrived in D.C. late Saturday night, and stayed until Monday morning. After the event on Sunday, we went and toured around D.C. I got to see the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, the WWII Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the White House. It was an incredible day filled with so much history. The only unfortunate part was that the cherry blossoms were not blooming, and the National Archives closed before we could go to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. All in all, I had an amazing time in our nation’s capitol.
So, that’s my Spring Break recap. I was able to meet some amazing aviators, families, and future ERAU students. I had a few days to relax and live the island life. Then, I traveled up to the freezing weather to talk with incredible students and sight-see, of course. Overall, I am so grateful for the adventures I got to enjoy during Spring Break 2016.
Until next time,