Washington D.C. & New York!

I don’t know how it gets better than this!

A couple weeks ago I went to Pittsburgh for a Regional Admissions Presentation (RAP). Last weekend I got back on the road again and ended up in Washington D.C. and New York City!

For this trip, I flew out of the Orlando airport on a morning flight. That required me to get up a bit early, but I didn’t mind. D.C. and New York City were destinations that I really wanted to visit. I got into D.C. in the late morning, so that meant I had the day to explore. Of course, my first spot was the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is home to a Concorde, a SR-71, and Space Shuttle Discovery.

SR-71 Blackbird!

The Udvar-Hazy Center was amazing. It also had a tall air traffic control-like structure that looked over the runways at Dulles Airport. That spot also had a live stream of the air traffic control communications, so I could hear the pilots and tower talking as planes started to land. A lot of traffic came in during the short time I was there, including a couple of international flights. That was super cool to watch!

After I was done at the museum, I ended up going over to a friend’s house and got to meet his cats. He has two black cats and one orange cat, and all three of them were very sweet. I missed my cat at home, even though I had only left him that day, so it was nice to be able to see some other kitties.

Cosmo (left) and Venus.

After playing with the cats a bit, I headed over to my hotel. My friend dropped me off at the metro, which I was excited to take. I had all of my things with me, and I took the metro into the city to the hotel. I ended up walking a couple blocks to the hotel and checking in. I didn’t get much time to relax- having known I would be going to D.C., I planned out a few things that I’d want to do.

I walked back to the metro and met a friend at another metro stop, where we got dinner and then went to a movie theater. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour movie was out this weekend, and we’d managed to get tickets! We spent the evening watching the three hour movie before I went back to my hotel.

Saturday was the first RAP in downtown D.C., and it was super fun! Since D.C. is a huge city, we had a great turnout. At the RAP, full-time personnel from admissions talk about the university and then at certain points, students (like myself!) are given the chance to speak. At these RAPs, I talked about my previous internships, experiences with professors, and student organizations at the Daytona Beach campus. The D.C. and NYC events were joint events, meaning that representatives from the Prescott campus were there too.

After the presentation, people are allowed to ask questions until the time scheduled is up. Once the scheduled time is up, the families are allowed to leave while we stay behind and answer individual questions. That’s where I get the more personalized questions about my experiences in the degree program, how I manage my time, and other student life-specific questions. I love it- it’s so much fun to meet new people!

Once everyone has left, then it’s time to pack up. I usually change into something that isn’t a business casual outfit, and since we had another RAP in NYC the next day, we went to the train station. Union Station in D.C. is huge- it also reminded me a lot of Grand Central Station in NYC. We took the Amtrak train to NYC’s Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station. It was a three hour ride, and the train was much more spacious than a plane.

Following the train, we headed to our hotel and checked in. After that, I was able to do what I wanted! I met up with the other student and one of the full-time admissions people from Prescott, and we ended up exploring New York City together at night. It was very exciting. I got to try NYC pizza (it was amazing) and we stopped by Grand Central Station.

Grand Central Station at night!

We got back pretty late, and I fell asleep super fast. The morning came, and I ended up venturing back out into downtown NYC to get another slice of pizza. Our hotel was right next to Times Square and as I found, shops that sell pizza by the slice are everywhere! So I had pizza for breakfast before I met the admissions personnel in the lobby and we walked to the RAP venue.

The NYC RAP went the same way the D.C. one did. All RAPs present the same information. It was hosted in a venue right next to Times Square and the Hamilton theater, which I thought was super cool. After the RAP, the entire admissions group walked across the street to an Italian restaurant for dinner before we parted ways. I, along with the other members of the Daytona team, were flying out of the LaGuardia airport that night.

My flight got back into Orlando at 12:18 AM, and once I got to my car, it was about a one-hour drive back to Daytona. I didn’t even bother to unpack that night (well, morning) and instead fell asleep ASAP since I had class the next day. The trip was definitely worth it, though. I had so much fun walking around in D.C. and NYC. Even though I’m from a small town, I’m definitely a big city person at heart. I really enjoyed my time here, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Maybe I’ll see you at an event next semester, during Open House, on Preview Day… if not, I’ll see you in the next post!

36 Hours in Pittsburgh

Welcome to the Steel City!

Last weekend I got back on the road again with ERAU’s admissions team. As a Women’s Ambassador, I get to travel around the country and support recruitment events with the admissions counselors, which is one of my favorite parts of the job! Last year I traveled to Dallas and Houston for their regional admissions presentations. This is my senior year, and my first trip of senior year was to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

This trip took place over the weekend of September 23-24, which meant I left Saturday and came back Sunday, spending around 36 hours in Pittsburgh. I left Daytona bright and early on the 6 AM Delta flight, and I’d made the mistake of getting only three hours of sleep the night before. I slept through the whole flight to Atlanta, only waking up and noticing the sunrise when the aircraft landed.

Sunrise in Atlanta.

Sunrise in Atlanta was beautiful. Since I had a two and a half hour layover, I got to watch the airport wake up with more flights coming and going each hour. I also stopped at a local coffee shop and got an iced caramel latte, which was pretty tasty.

After the time in Atlanta, I jumped on the flight to Pittsburgh. It’s much hillier than I expected up there, and definitely a much different climate than Florida. Thankfully, I had brought a sweatshirt and was adequately prepared. The admissions counselor who I was traveling with got the car, and since it was early afternoon, we stopped for food before checking into the hotel.

Since the presentation wasn’t until the next day, it meant that I had a lot of time to explore! It was raining, but the counselor and I had already planned out a few things we wanted to do. On the way to Pittsburgh, we had made reservations for the local cat cafe.

This kitten was very friendly! Too bad I couldn’t take him home…

I really enjoyed the cat cafe- it made me miss my two cats back at home. I try and visit cat cafes in as many cities as I can to see all the cats around the US. Pittsburgh was a great addition, and lucky for us, the restaurant we chose was nearby. It was a Japanese restaurant, and I got the tofu udon which tasted amazing.

At night we intended to go to the incline and get a good look around the city, but it was raining, so we decided not to. Instead we headed back to the hotel room and rested before the presentation the next day. Honestly, after only three hours of sleep, I needed it- I went to bed around 10 PM and woke up eleven hours later.

The reception, like all of them, was held in a nice hotel. The way they work is the same- an admissions representative will talk about the school’s academics, organizations, professional opportunities and then the campuses. Sometimes there are two- one from Daytona and one from Prescott- but in Pittsburgh it was only us from Daytona. I also got the opportunity to speak a bit about my experiences in organizations and how I got internships.

Accepted student receptions!

After the presentation is over, people are free to stick around and ask us questions or leave. Each region of the US has a regional admissions counselor that comes to the presentation, and that person will be handling applications from that region. I also usually get a few questions after the presentation about student life or the aerospace engineering curriculum.

Once everyone left, we headed to the airport. The presentation was scheduled from 1 PM to 3 PM, and I had a 6:30 PM flight. Thankfully, the TSA lines were pretty short, and I got through in about ten minutes. The Pittsburgh airport is really nice, it’s got a bunch of food options centrally located, and I chose pizza. There is also a seating area watching the gates, where I stopped to do some homework. When I travel for admissions, I don’t get a free pass on my homework, I still have to do it on time.

On the way back to Daytona, I had a one-hour layover in Atlanta. Since that airport is huge, I pretty much went straight to the gate and waited for my zone to board. I like window seats for short flights, and I had window seats on the way back. I’d also heard that you can collect trading cards of Delta’s fleet, and I was able to get some on the flight into Daytona. In my opinion, the Pittsburgh trip was awesome- I got to see a new city, meet new people, and collect airline trading cards. Maybe I’ll see you at a regional admissions presentation, too. If not, I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!