Summer B: EE in Berlin – Week 4

And just like that, four weeks have come and gone. I’m going to miss my time here in Berlin. It was, as all cliches go, a life-changing experience that I would definitely do again. In typical Billy Nguyen fashion however, life is not always a walk in the park.

A week ago, I lost my camera and have been absolutely devastated. There were some photos on the camera that I might never get back, but the memories that remained will always be with me. But, I’m relatively optimistic. I know that I will never see my camera again but there is big news on the horizon soon for me. That, or it could just be another jab at my ankles while I’m already knocked down.

Anyway, let’s not dwell on the past. Actually, lets dwell on the past, but the fun part!

Last week, I traveled to the wonderful city of Budapest, which would make Hungary the fifth European country I’ve visited in my life. The city was originally split up into two different cities by the river. Not surprisingly, the names were Buda and Pest.

The city was super quirky and beautiful at the same time. Much like most major cities in Europe, a lot of the original architecture remained the same, though with some slight modern touches. Budapest’s transit system was also very unique in the offerings it provided.

The people we’ve encountered were super friendly, and the views were breathtaking. I definitely recommend visiting Budapest if you ever have the time to do so. Even if you can only do a day trip like I did, it’s totally worth it.

As I sit in my flat typing out this post, I know that another chapter of my life is coming to an end. While I’m very sad that it may be a while before I come back to Europe, the memories I’ve made and friends I’ve found are reminders of a time well spent in Berlin.

Traveling abroad is a surreal experience, and it makes me sad knowing that not a lot of people are as lucky as I am. Maybe that will change one day. For now, I think this is goodbye for now.

 

Summer B: EE in Berlin – Week 3

It’s a somber feeling knowing that for each post I make, I’m one week closer to leaving this beautiful and vibrant city. Thankfully, these past few days have been nothing but fun. And, they have put my worries to ease…for now.

This has been my lovely home for the past three weeks. It’s near the middle of the city, with great access to a supermarket, public transportations, and local restaurants. Look closely and you’ll see one of my friends.

Sometimes me and my friends go explore the city at night. Here, a bunch of us are debating where should we go play soccer in the middle of the city.

Last Wednesday our whole class took a big trip to Vienna, Austria. We only stayed in the city for a couple of hours, but it was really nice to see another city, let along another country, other than Berlin.

Sometimes, guest appearances are scheduled, while others are not.
Top: My good friend Piers Chapman and his friend Kim George paid me an unexpected visit while in Berlin.
Above: Another one of my friends, who I know from back home, is studying in Vienna and it just so happened that our schedules lined up when I was set to visit the city.

I think this trip was the first time I boarded a plane from the tarmac. It’s definitely nothing earth-shattering, but it’s definitely something that all avgeeks should experience at least once in their life.

With my third week completed, it’s time to take care of some loose ends and to really make my last few days in Berlin count.

Summer B: EE in Berlin – Week 2

Hello, hello! I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I’ve stepped foot into Germany. There’s just so much to do, but so little time to do it. I guess I need to make these last two weeks count.

Aside from the large assortment of Audis and Mercedes(es?), Berlin has a lot of really quirky and classic cars. Everything from Volkswagen Microbuses to Porsche 911s, Berlin has it all.

It rained consistently for a few days last week. A lot of thunder and lightening, but mostly just light to moderate rain. It almost reminded me of home.

Given how easily our professor, Dr. Ilteris Demirkiran, is able to traverse the city and seems to know everyone we run into, we low-key think his is a spy.

The city has such a rich and diverse mix of architecture styles, and every section (or district) of the city is different from the next.

With class starting to wind-down, there’s going to be a lot more time to travel and explore Berlin. My class is also taking a trip to Vienna, Austria this Wednesday! Not super excited since it’s a 6 a.m. flight and we need to be up by 3 a.m., but it’s worth it.

Summer B: EE in Berlin – Week 1

Hello!

After a very long, an rather unexpected hiatus, I’m back! This time, I’m coming to you all the way from Berlin, Germany where I’ll be spending the entire month of July doing Electrical Engineering classes! Me and approximately 18 other Embry-Riddle students will be studying with one of Riddle’s finest professors: Dr. Ilteris Demirkiran.

My journey begins after a 16 hour journey from my hometown of Eatontown, NJ. Upon arriving in Berlin, I quickly found myself in a busting, vibrant city.

Classes were held in Embry-Riddle’s Berlin campus. After class, we would often travel as a group throughout the city.

The food in Berlin is also fantastic too! Though to be honest, with Demirkiran at the wheel, we mostly ate Turkish food.

The people I’ve met are so friendly and wonderful to talk to. This lovely dog is Minki. She belongs to a lovely couple we met while exploring our city. She’s four months old and is a giant fluff ball.

Berlin is extremely diverse when it comes to geography. One minute you’re inside a concrete jungle and the next you find yourself inside a massive park.
There is so much to do in Berlin that it honestly makes New York City feel super small.

Overall my first week was absolutely fantastic. I’m super excited to spend more time here, but am sad to know that every day I spend here puts me closer to leaving.

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

End of Semester: Projects, Tests, Celebrations

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all are having a great end to this semester! I am pretty much missing classes this entire week except for Thursday and then Friday is a study day. I am super excited that I get to graduate in two weeks!!!

I have had so many projects and tests to work on. On the side, we also had end of the semester celebrations in the many organizations I am involved in! The Women’s Ambassador Program had their “end-of-the-semester” dinner at Carraba’s last week. We all had a great time and got a chance to celebrate with our graduating eagles!

WAP Ambassadors

The same week, Career Services had their end of celebration activity at Jeremiah’s. We all had a great time catching up and also meeting the future ambassadors of Career Services!

Career Services

Other than that, I have been traveling this week with the Admissions Department to Seattle and Denver for the Accepted Students Reception, which has been a rewarding experience! I love meeting our future Eagles and getting a chance to tell them more about the student’s perspective of attending Riddle.

We all walked around in Seattle and took tons of pictures. We went to Pike Place Market, which has a beautiful waterfront view. I also got to visit the “Gum Wall”, where people stick their gums up on a wall….it was nasty but cool! We also visited the first Starbucks ever started in 1971. I had never seen the real logo, but I can see why they changed it to the current one! In Seattle, I met Amy, who is our future eagle and will be starting in Fall!

Meet Amy from Seattle!

The Gum Wall

The first Starbucks ever

 

In Denver, I got a chance to meet Kaitlyn, who will be joining us in Fall!!! I got to talk to a lot of families and address any concerns they had. This is my last travel for the semester, but I had tons of fun on all my travels!

Meet Kaitlyn from Denver!

I hope you all are having a great end to your semester. To those graduating, congratulations and good luck on your future endeavors!

 

Until next time,

Maryam

President’s Day Weekend!

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend – I sure did!

For my President’s Day weekend, I went to San Francisco! I left on Thursday evening after class (I had to miss my one Friday class but my professor was very flexible) and returned Tuesday morning. During my trip I stayed at a friend’s house. That’s one awesome thing about college – you meet people from all over and build cool connections, like being able to stay at their place!

The reason I went to San Francisco is because my boyfriend, Chris, is in the Air Force and  goes to school in Monterey, California. Note: for those who are curious about long distance relationships, trust me when I say they are completely possible (I’ve been doing it for two years)! We loved the city so much!

Here is what we did –

Arrival at night: Chris came to the airport to come get me. He took a shuttle from the DLI (Defense Language Institute) to SFO and then we Ubered to In-N-Out!

Day 1: On our first day we went to Pier 39 and to the famous Boudin’s bread. We then took the ferry to Alcatraz and spent Chinese New Year in China Town! People were launching fireworks in the streets to celebrate.

Day 2: We woke up, got breakfast – which consisted of us putting our name on a list at one restaurant, then going to get a smoothie, avocado toast, and coffee all while waiting. You get a blanket when you eat some places too, which was a first for me! We then took a scenic route and walked to the Mission to get tacos and also saw Lombard Street (a super curvy road).

 

Day 3: I went to Union Square and the Westfield Mall. Chris and I love to eat. We travel by eating our way around the city! Every morning we try a new restaurant and coffee shop! We also had Pressed Juice and it was so good! Then I tried a charcoal latte, iced foam cappuccino, and a “make your own” tea blend machine! I also had super great toast with mascarpone and fruit – you’ve got to try it! We try to eat local and try recommendations from the people we meet or use Yelp. To get around, we use Uber Pool. This is a fun way to meet interesting people and it’s very inexpensive as long as you’re not in a hurry! It took about 20 minutes to get across the city but only cost about $5!

 

Day 4: Chris and I found a very cool breakfast sandwich place, got butter coffee (it’s actually really good), and then biked across the Golden Gate Bridge! On the other side of the bridge, we visited the tiny town of Sausalito. We toured the cute town and had really good Mexican food! Then we had to say goodbye and it was sad, but these trips are definitely worth it!

This weekend I went to Savannah, Georgia with Women in Aviation to tour Gulfstream! It was all paid for by the club and orchestrated by the school. Alumni gave the tours and bought our lunch! These opportunities are so amazing and unique to our university!

I encourage you to take any chance in college to take a break and explore! The nature of Riddle is that everyone is either at the beach, space station, or traveling on the weekends! Before you say college is too serious for trips, the week before my trip to San Francisco I had five tests, two quizzes, a paper, and a presentation. I was able to get A’s in all, so carpe diem!

Fall Break

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re well! I hope those who were job hunting or looking to do an internship for next summer were successful during the Expo. I talked to a few companies during my volunteer shifts with Career Services. I did win the Instagram Expo Challenge! My prize was that I could give $100 to any student organization on campus. I gave it to the Women’s Ambassador Program since I am a Coordinator for it, and I really love what we do!

On the 13th through 15th, I traveled to Washington D.C. and Chicago with the Admissions Department at Daytona and Prescott to help promote Embry-Riddle. I represented the Daytona Beach Campus as a Coordinator for the Women’s Ambassador Program. There were two other students as well from the Prescott campus. I got to present myself in front of around 200 people in D.C. and about a 100 in Chicago and share my college experiences. Talking to the parents and the possible future eagles was a great experience! We also got to tour the National Mall and see the National Geographic Museum in D.C.

During my fall break, I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth and 2 of my permanent teeth removed since they grew out of my gums. I still have 5 of my baby teeth, three on top and two on the bottom. I was pretty much loopy the entire day after my surgery, but I am starting to do better.

I hope you all had a great Fall break!

Until next time,

Maryam

Summer Update

Hello there!

This summer I took a day trip down to Santiago, Chile thanks to my flight benefits!

I can’t believe that the Fall 2017 semester is just about to take off in 11 days! This means that I have just 67 class days left of my undergraduate career as I will be graduating in December.

I have been enjoying my last official summer break, but I have been keeping very busy as I returned to Delta Air Lines for a second internship in Network Planning & Scheduling. It has been another great experience that has allowed me to learn a lot and work on more challenging projects.

Another highlight of the summer was sitting out at the world’s busiest airport and watching some of the flights that I scheduled taxi by.

Last year, I was on the Schedule Integrity team in which I was responsible for the connectivity and operational efficiency for two of Delta’s hubs and several Delta Connection carriers. This summer, I have been working on the Schedule Repair team in which I worked on a variety of projects across Delta’s domestic flight schedule. From adding new flights into the schedule to fixing a variety of issues that came up to so much more, no two days were ever the same. My favorite week of the summer is when I started the week with a project involving our New York LaGuardia hub; moved to a project involving Minneapolis during the middle of the week; and finished the week with a Los Angeles project.

The best part of my internships was the opportunity to get hands-on experience while having a direct impact to the Delta operation. Plus, I was paid, had flight privileges to travel on the weekends, and am even receiving class credit for this internship. In addition to that, I had the opportunity to apply what I have learned in school and learn so much more!

As an incoming students, I highly recommend that you start learning about internship opportunities during your first year. You can start by talking to your fellow classmates or visiting the Career Services office. Plus, attending the Career Expo and Company Information Sessions will also help so you can speak to company representatives and recruiters directly and learn what they are looking for. Planning ahead and networking will help make you better prepared for interviewing and learning what you may or may not want to do. While good grades are important, I have learned that internships and work experience can be just as helpful.

Well, time to get back to work! Until next time,

Jack