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

Two Cities: Two Weeks

Wow, so a lot of stuff happened in the past two weeks, so let’s get started!

Two weeks ago, I traveled to Montreal and it was an amazing experience. But first, I had to endure a 10 hour train ride.

Everything about the city was perfect. The people were nice, the sights were breathtaking, and I was relatively comfortable traversing the city since I’ve been to New York City so many times.

I was staying with my friend, who generously allowed me to live with her for a whole week. We’ve been pen pals for the past five years, so it was amazing to finally meet her.

The city has some really interesting quirks, like the architectural headache that is Habitat 67 and getting Costo applications in the subway.

I got to try some delicious food as well…because that’s important!

Like all things in the world, my little adventure had to end at some point. I was extremely depressed to leave such an amazing city. But I will return…some day. More photos can be found on my Instagram: billynguyentm

Almost as soon as I got home, I had to get ready to travel once again. Destination: Metlife Stadium.

It took me nine years, but I finally got to see Coldplay live! It was so awesome seeing your childhood idols right there in the flesh. Aside from the concerts Touch-N-Go put on campus, this was my first legitimate concert ever!

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!

School, Football, and Drones, Oh My!

So apparently my last post was never approved, which isn’t good. And that kinda explains the lack of content on my part, so I do apologize! Unfortunately, not a lot has happened since I made my last post. I have some really awesome travel photos planned for my next post though! I won’t say where I’m going, but I’m definitely excited.

So my short and brief time at Rutgers has come to a close. I passed Thermodynamics and it was easily one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do this summer. I even brought donuts to our final because it was going to be a long, four hours.

Apparently Rutgers likes MLH.

One of my high school friends, who graduated Monmouth University for a degree in Media and Broadcasting asked if I wanted to help him shot some drone video for a football camp. I didn’t realize the camp was lead by some very well known football players and coaches.

I had a lot of fun and it kinda reminds me of high school. I miss those days.

And here’s my current draft of my drone video that I’m working on.

Summer Biweekly Photoblog is Now a Thing!

Hello, hello! After receiving some feedback and suggestions from my lovely supervisor and boss, I’ll be starting a biweekly photoblog! The format won’t really change from what you’re already used too (it’s really just more photos and less words), so I hope you all enjoy it. I plan on doing a lot of really neat stuff this summer so I look forward to what the summer has in store for me the next few months.

Shortly after I completed my last final, me and two of my roommates went to Venice, FL. Basically the place I fled to in order to avoid Hurricane Matthew. Here’s a photo of me getting stuck in a tree, 16ft off the ground.

It was nice to finally come back to Venice. It’s really a nice town that has a lot to offer, and I fell in love with it after my first visit.

Aside from bike-friendly roads, awesome people, and neat architecture, Venice has some really nice beaches.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s a jetty in Daytona Beach.

It was really nice seeing a sunset on the west coast again.

Missed Connections

From art crawls to art galleries, I dived head-first into the Lexington art scene. I traveled to Cincinnati to visit art galleries and an aquarium. I explored the history behind Kentucky and neighboring states, but there was still much more to do.

There were so many things I missed out in in Kentucky that I wish I had the opportunity to experience. I’m not a basketball fall, but I’ve heard there’s nothing better than bleeding blue at UK basketball game during March Madness. I also missed Keeneland – a local horse derby. Again, horses aren’t a passion of mine, but I had a sunhat or two that I could have sported! Lexington is also home to a few Bourbon trails. I have no idea how Whiskey is made and I don’t have much interest in drinking it, but Lexington is best place to learn more.

Ultimately, I missed out. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is absolutely real (Broad City reference). I kept telling myself that four months is plenty of time. All I did was blink, and my time was up in Lexington. To future interns: consider how much time you truly have in your host city and plan accordingly! If you don’t get something done (like me), then you have an excuse to cater to your wanderlust and visit again. I’ll be back Lexington!

End of the Semester Review

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I also got to go to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the first time. I’ve been to Kennedy Space Center and the launch pads, but surprisingly never actually went to the Visitor Complex.

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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.

A Week in the West

A couple of weeks ago I had the ability to travel on my last Admissions trip. I traveled to Denver, Seattle, and Los Angeles with the ERAU Admissions team. I was excited to be able to go to Seattle again, since it is where I’m from. These trips are always something I look forward to because we have a lot of fun, while working, of course!

Our first stop was Denver, Colorado. We actually headed out there a day early to take some vacation time in the Centennial State. I had been there once before, but only for about half a day. We were able to spend some time sightseeing in downtown Denver, trying some of the best restaurants, and driving up the mountainside to a lookout. I think we all really appreciated the scenic mountain views, and enjoyed being in a cooler climate for a few days.

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View of downtown Denver from our hotel room

 

Famous bear peaking into the Convention Center

Famous bear peaking into the Convention Center

View from Lookout-overlooking Golden, CO

View from Lookout-overlooking Golden, CO

Little Man Ice Cream (SO good!)

Little Man Ice Cream (SO good!)

After our event in Denver, we headed out to my home state, Washington. We were grateful to have two days in Seattle to explore. I was also able to visit with my parents for a bit, which was really nice.

Our group loves coffee, so we went to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Capitol Hill. It is one of the places in Seattle I had never been before, so it was fun to have a new experience in my home city. After tasting a flight of different coffees, I was ready to get back to my favorite order at Starbucks, an Iced Vanilla Latte. Although, it was pretty cool to learn a lot more about the coffee roasting process.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Starbucks Roastery

Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room

The next day, we were lucky and we got to see some sunshine in Seattle, which is rare in the winter! We took advantage of the nice weather after our event and went out to Olympic Park, which is about 30 minutes outside of Seattle. It’s a beautiful park with tons of evergreen trees, mountain views, and Puget Sound beachfront. We also went to Kerry Park, which boasts the best views of the Seattle skyline, in my opinion.

Kerry Park in Seattle

Kerry Park in Seattle

We took an evening flight out of Seattle and arrived in Los Angeles around 11pm. Once we arrived in LA, we ended up taking an Uber to our hotel downtown. Let me tell you, there is never a dull moment with the Admissions team… We had some issues getting an Uber driver, and ended up laughing about the whole fiasco the rest of the trip.

We had a short time in LA, so we woke up and hosted the lunch event at a steakhouse downtown. As always, it was a great event! After the event, we quickly changed and headed out to Venice Beach. It is definitely a different vibe in Venice Beach versus Daytona Beach, but we walked around the eclectic beach town and all along the beach during sunset. We ended up going back to the hotel a few hours before our red-eye flight, and watched the planes land and takeoff at LAX while eating some appetizers in the lounge. We had a competition of who could name the type of aircraft the fastest, just like typical Riddle students.

Pablo and I presenting in Los Angeles

Pablo and I presenting in Los Angeles

Pablo and I on bikes in Venice Beach

Pablo and I on bikes in Venice Beach

At last, my final Admissions trip had come to an end. These trips were one of my favorite parts of being a Riddle student because I was able to interact with prospective students, and share my passion for ERAU with them and their families. I will definitely look back on these trips with great memories.

Until next time,

Lindsey

Exploring the World’s Largest Model Railway

Once Aircraft Interiors Expo and the World Travel Catering Expo were over, my friend and I had spare time in the afternoon to visit Hamburg. We used the Hamburg U-Bahn underground and headed to Miniatur Wunderland.

Opened in 2000, Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s largest model railway and also one of the most popular permanent exhibition in Northern Germany. As of today, there are nine sections of the Wunderland which are Hartz/Central Germany, Knuffingen, Alps/Austria, Hamburg, United States, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Knuffingen Airport and Italy. The work is far from over as the team is working on expanding the exhibition thru the following years to come.

The Knuffingen Airport was definitely my favourite section of Miniatur Wunderland. I wonder why?

The Knuffingen Airport was definitely my favourite section of Miniatur Wunderland. I wonder why?

I personally thought the airport was awesome. The designers paid attention to every detail. One thing that is amazing about this airport is that you can visually see the aircraft takeoff and land on the runway. Additionally, the planes can move around the airport and even head to a gate. Once the aircraft is parked at a gate, the jet bridge will move and align with the aircraft’s main door.

A Gate Gourmet truck loaded with beverages and meals.

A Gate Gourmet truck loaded with beverages and meals.

Even the baggage loading vehicles and the catering truck pictured above can move around the airport. The airport, the planes and the small trucks all had lights. You could even see the orange blinker of a truck that was turning left or right at an intersection.

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From back to front: Lufthansa (Boeing 747), Air Berlin (Airbus A330), Air France (Boeing 777), China Eastern (Airbus A330) and Emirates (Boeing 777).

The airport's schedule.

The airport’s schedule.

It was cool to see the actual schedule of the airport published. While looking at the schedule, you could anticipate what aircraft and airline would be the next departure and arrival.

Even though we spent most of our time at the model airport, we managed to visit the nine sections of the exhibition. There was a lot to see!

Grand Canyon, Nevada.

Grand Canyon, Nevada.

Pictured above is the Grand Canyon that can be found in the state of Nevada. It was fascinating to see the lively city of Las Vegas at night.

Train station.

Train station.

Visitors can find railways in multiple sections of the exhibition. Like the airplanes, the  trains move around the cities from station to station.

I would call it a "Centre of Operations."

I would call it the “Centre of Operations.”

It was intriguing to see “behind the scenes” of how everything worked to make this Miniatur Wunderland an attractive place to stop by. I believe these employees were  controlling and monitoring some of the trains, cars, boats, airplanes, aerial tramways, chairlifts, etc. I am sure there is automation involved but they need humans to make everything work perfectly.

I really enjoyed spending a few hours in this “miniature world.” If you visit Hamburg, I would totally recommend you to go take a look. Tickets are only €9 per person!

Until next time!

Nicolas

Two Days in Berlin

Victory ColumnHallo!

Early this week, I travelled to Europe with my friend to attend Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. Before we arrived in Hamburg, we spent two days in Berlin to visit the city. Here are the cool things we did during our stay:

Victory Column
The first activity we did once we arrived in Berlin was to visit the Victory Column (pictured on the right). From the top of the monument, you are able to view the city. It is located in the centre of a roundabout very close to the Tiergarten, one of the most popular park in Berlin. 

East Side Gallery
The following morning, we took the U-Bahn (subway) and headed to see the Berlin Wall, which is also known as the East Side Gallery. The 1,316 metre (4,318 feet) long section of the wall is covered with various paintings. Many portions of the wall have been damaged by erosion with time and graffitis since some parts are not protected with a fence.

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Brandenburg Gate
This is the city’s only ancient gate remaining. The construction of this landmark started in 1788 and was completed in 1791. What is interesting about it is that it is aligned with the Berlin Victory Column. You can see the tip of it on the picture below.

IMG_4012Topography of Terror
This outdoor and interior museum housed the headquarters of the Gestapo (secret police) during the Third Reich.

Photo: Topography des Terrors

Photo: Topographie des Terrors

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie was the checkpoint between the American and Soviet sectors of Berlin. After the construction of the Berlin Wall, it primarily served as a crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

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Reichstag
The Italian High Renaissance building served as the seat of parliament in the German Empire. Today, it  functions as the seat of the federal German parliament. 
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Berlin Tempelhof Airport
This was probably one of my favorite part of Berlin. The Tempelhof Airport is an abandoned airport that ceased operations in 2008. The airfield has two parallel runways (09R/27R and 09L/27L) with a length of more than 6,000 feet. It only had one taxiway that was basically circled the runways.

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We rented bikes for about one hour and rolled down on the runways and taxiways! We saw a Douglas C-54 of the USAAF parked under the terminal  (pictured above) and a Let L-410 Turbojet that was used for fire training purposes. The hour flew by really fast!IMG_0006

 

After our passage through the abandoned airport, we headed to the city’s main railway station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) to take a train to Hamburg. In my next post, I will talk about Aircraft Interiors Expo 2017 in Hamburg!

Nicolas

Ignite Research Abroad- Cuba

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ll had a fantastic spring break! My spring break was very exciting. I got selected to attend the Ignite Research Abroad Program to Cuba along with approximately 10 other students! It was a great experience, and I got to learn a little about the Cuban culture. There were approx 14 students in total. My research topic was about the process of reopening flight operations between Delta Airlines and Havana Airport after the suspension. I got to interview Demetra Bethavas, Delta’s Station Manager in Cuba and Mayda Molina, Director of Instituto de Aeronautica Civil de Cuba (she’s basically the head of Cuban “FAA”)!!! Talk about connections though! My report will be completed by end of April so I will be sure to post the link if it gets published.

Middle: Mayda Molina, Director of IACC

Middle: Mayda Molina, Director of IACC

Cuba seemed like a different world- basically the whole world was moving forward but Cuba was stuck in time. There were antique cars, and my boyfriend and I got lucky to get a taxi back to the hotel in one of those classic cars!

This is a picture of me in one of those classic cars in Cuba!

This is a picture of me in one of the classic cars in Cuba!

My boyfriend, Brent, and I took a "classic" cab back to our hotel.

My boyfriend, Brent, and I took a “classic” cab back to our hotel.

We visited modern Havana on our first day and toured around the Vedado neighbourhoods. On the second day,  we attended a conference with a professor of University of Havana, Maria Elena Martin. She has a Doctor in Architecture. We also toured the Havana Plaza and visited Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis.

Posing in front of the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis

Posing in front of the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis

"El Caballero de Paris" statue: Tourists touch this statue in the position displayed for good luck!

“El Caballero de Paris” statue: Tourists touch this statue in the position displayed for good luck!

The next day, we visited Finca Vigia, where North America’s literary giant Ernest Hemingway spent twenty-one of his most important and productive years penning building blocks of English literature, followed by a visit to Cojimar, a small fishing village, which was one of Hemingway’s favourite places in Cuba.

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Brent and I in front of Ernest Hemingway’s boat.

We visited Pinar del Rio tobacco region and toured around the Vinales Valley on the fourth day. It was beautiful, and everyone bought some of their famous cigars. I was lucky to get a sample cigar for free while the person was demonstrating how cigars were made!

Tobacco leaves in the factory that are hung for drying after which they are used to make cigars.

Tobacco leaves in the factory that are hung for drying after which they are used to make cigars.

Brent and I in front of a tobacco farm in Pinar del Rio.

Brent and I in front of a tobacco farm in Pinar del Rio.

On the fifth day, we visited Las Terrazas, the natural splendor of Cuba and the coffee plantations. We visited the Museum of Fine Arts and Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen, a humanitarian health project in Old Havana. It is a home to fifty elderly people and provides physiotherapy and ophthalmological services to many more elderly in the community. Other acitivities include exercise classes, board games, cognitive rehabilitation, films and crafts workshops. The walls were filled with beautiful intricate designs.

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Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen

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The next day were visited Matanzas, also known as Cuban Athens, which was a grand port in colonial times for the export of sugar and also explored Cuba’s tallest bridge, Bacunayagua. Then, we continued to Varadero and had a relaxing time on the beach. We headed back to the US the next day.

Bacunayagua: Cuba's tallest bridge

Bacunayagua: Cuba’s tallest bridge

I had a fantastic time in Cuba learning about their culture. I must say that I got a little homesick, but that increased my adaptability to a different lifestyle. It was a great experience and would definitely recommend people to visit.

Until next time,

Maryam