2013 Expo Success Story: Chao Zheng

Chao W. Zheng is an Aerospace Engineering major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach and just Chaofinished a summer internship with Rockwell Collins.

Below is his first-hand experience at the Industry/Career Expo 2013 held in Daytona Beach, FL.

My name is Chao Zheng and I am currently a junior majoring in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Business Administration at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Over the summer of 2014, I was hired by Rockwell Collins as a Systems Engineer intern working in the Coast Guard & VIP Rotary Platform team. During my time there, I worked on two programs: 1) VH-60N/3D Presidential Helicopter “Marine One” and 2) MH-65E Coast Guard Helicopter “Dolphin”.

During the Embry-Riddle industry career expo, I checked out numerous companies but didn’t have any luck with any of the companies despite going through interviews. During that semester, I was waiting for a Boeing internship offer so I didn’t apply to a lot of other companies. When the spring semester came by, I told myself that I shouldn’t limit my options. That’s when I saw an email about Rockwell Collins coming on campus and they are looking for summer interns and co-ops.

Getting Hired

I first heard about Rockwell Collins through my high school’s Airframe & Powerplant training with their radio systems. Immediately, I went online and did some research about the company and was really impressed by the ethical working environment. So, I brushed up my resume from my COM 219 Tech writing class, went to the Rockwell Collins meet & greet and immediately got another interview offer the next day. At that time, I didn’t keep my hopes high because a lot of the applicants were seniors or graduates so as a sophomore, I feel like I didn’t stand out. So about one month went by, and I got an email from the Rockwell recruiter saying that I am one of their top candidates and requested to have an online interview with a team manager. Little did I know, my manager Matt Mulnik was the head of the Coast Guard & Presidential Helicopter team and one week after my interview with him-I was officially hired.

What I did as an Intern

As an Intern with Rockwell Collins, I was working on two Government Systems program under the rotary wings department. Throughout my 11 weeks internship, I spend about 70% of my time with the Presidential helicopter program and about 30% with the Coast Guard program. As a Systems Engineer, I was working with a couple of test leads performing testing on the helicopter’s avionics systems. Some of the test include: Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS), Communication, GPS, Map updates, Radio frequencies, CSFIR (black box), engine simulations, overload systems test and quite a few classified tests. In addition to testing, I learned how to script programs using python that will automatically start the systems up and perform tests without an engineer physically starting the helicopter.

Memorable Events

The most memorable event on my summer internship actually took place in the longest meeting in my life. The meeting was a MH-65E Coast Guard Helicopter TRR (Test Readiness Review) and it is a three day meeting (8AM-4:30PM) where the team leads showed the Coast Guard customers what we will be testing for the next month. On the second day of the meeting, I was approached by one of the Coast Guard captain and I found out that around half of the Coast Guard serviceman and women were Embry-Riddle graduates. It was very surprising because it really showed me how big Riddle’s network really is. In addition to that, in the same meeting, I met another fine gentlemen who graduated from my high school back in the 70s with his Airframe & Powerplant licenses but he is a team lead for NavAir. During that simple exchange, I was really glad to be there because I feel like I belong there with all these alumni who really took their career into the next level.

Summaries and Lesson Learned

What I learned from this internship is the importance of team work and how learning in the real world differs from learning in a classroom. I was very eager to learn because everything was interesting to me and my colleagues have no trouble teaching me the many things that I don’t know. Some of my colleagues were part of the Black Hawk helicopter program back when it first came into production. I feel much reward to work with many engineers who had 20, 30 and even 40 years of experiences.

Due to the nature of my work and position, pictures and project samples were strictly classified and I am unable to share a lot of details due to confidentiality issues.

 

Brace Yourself… It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Job Search

By: Emily Ferraro

No one said it would be easy, right? All of the tailored resumes, cover letters, applications, and emails pile up and you quickly find yourself in a human resource nightmare if you’ve jumped in without preparing yourself for what to expect. But that doesn’t mean that you need to suffer silently feeling overwhelmed and/or wondering why you haven’t made any progress in your job search. This is a daunting process for anyone whether you are just starting your first employment journey or find yourself making a transition in your career. A lot of people express that applying for jobs is a full-time job but they leave it at that, without discussing positive ways to cope through good times and hard times when looking for employment.Prepare Sign

 

Here are some “mind”ful tips in preparation for your impending job search:

  1. Set Reasonable Goals and Expectations
    • Securing a job before graduation often means that you must do some soul searching. Employers want well rounded candidates who are able to make decisions, solve problems, and communicate their ideas. Try thinking about your job search as one big problem that needs solving, use your decision making skills to help you navigate and remember to clearly communicate your ideas along the way. The best way to start communicating clearly is by starting the conversation within yourself- be proactive and start to create goals and outline your job search. Stick to them without comparing yourself to your peers/colleagues. This is YOUR job search and you have unique qualities that can’t be compared to others. Goals can be as simple as setting a number of applications to complete within each week. Or choosing a day of the week to refresh and stay up-to-date on your follow-up communication. This will help reinforce your expectations for yourself and will help you from feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Find your outlet
    • It’s easy to get distracted from doing what you enjoy when you are so worried about securing a job. It’s very important that you find something you love to do that helps you relieve stress. Remind yourself to take a break and go for a walk, or read a couple of chapters from your favorite book, maybe even watching your favorite movie at the end of the night or sneaking in a couple episodes of Game of Thrones. Whatever it is that you enjoy, this small treat should be your way of re-charging before you jump back into the process. Learning your personal coping method is very important so you do not start turning to bad habits when things get rough and ultimately risk putting off your goals.
  3. Turn to your mentor
    • My most cherished advisor once said, “There is nothing lonelier than going through a job search alone” and he was right. Don’t ever let yourself feel like you are alone when there are so many people around you who can serve as a mentor. Focus on your network and find one or two mentors that you can turn to when you find the search is getting to you or when you need help solving problems and making decisions. A good mentor should be able to challenge and support you while giving feedback and advice that encourage you to move forward even when times are hard. Look to your existing network on-campus, in your community, and in friends who have already secured jobs. Your Career Services Program Managers are another great mentor network!
  4. Keep your head up
    • It’s not always easy to stay positive when you feel like you’ve hit a wall in the job search. Especially when you haven’t heard back from companies or start feeling the pain of rejection. Remember to keep in touch with family and friends and tell people what you are going through, otherwise no one will know what you are going through. Lastly, keep these tips in mind and think of ways to recharge yourself when you aren’t feeling motivated. It’s normal to feel set-back but you have to get back up and try again.

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Emily Ferraro serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students on topics such as personal branding and social media and tailoring job search documents.

2013 Expo Success Story: Daniel Castrillo

Daniel Castrillo is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Daniel CastrilloAeronautical University and recently begin a co-op rotation with Gulfstream.

Below is his first-hand experience at the Industry/Career Expo 2013 held in Daytona Beach, FL.

I walked into the 2013 Career Expo week not expecting much; little did I know that by the time that week ended I would have set up my future with the world’s largest leading business aviation company. I had prepared weeks in advance for the events to come that week. In order to properly prepare myself, I attended as many of the Career Services events as my schedule allowed. Getting to know the Career Services staff is very helpful in preparing for the Career Expo due to their wealth in knowledge of obtaining a job at the career expo. Luckily for me, I had Sandi Ohman and Lisa Kollar as my UNIV 101 professors during my first semester at Riddle, and I will never forget how they inspired me to work hard for my dreams and obtain a co-op.

My first introduction to Gulfstream came in the fall of 2011 when they came on campus for the 2011 Career Expo, I immediately fell in love with the company and after sitting through their information session I decided to go up and talk to the Campus Relations Consultant, Cassie Batayias. After talking for a few minutes she invited me to interview with her and her team the next day. Although I could not receive an offer since I had just started as a freshman, it was an opportunity for me to network with some professional engineers and get familiar with Gulfstream’s interviewing process. The following fall of 2012 I applied for the Co-Op position with Gulfstream, I attended the Meet and Greet event they held on campus but mostly kept to myself and then attended the information session. I interviewed the next day with two of Gulfstream’s engineers for the position. Unfortunately I did not get the position and I was heartbroken. Being rejected from your dream job hurts and I almost didn’t bother applying the next year. Fortunately I decided not to give up on my dreams and applied again for the position the following year. I attended the Meet and Greet event that Gulfstream held in the Fall of 2013 and this time I tried to talk to everyone from Gulfstream that I could. I believe it is important to show them your face and engage them in an intelligent conversation so they can put your face to your name later on when they’re deciding who gets the job. I then attended the information session and stayed after to talk to Mrs. Batayias to once again introduce myself and converse with her.

The next day was the interview and I made sure to dress my absolute best. It is crucial to come into the interview with plenty of resumes, a list of intelligent questions to ask the interviewers, a notepad, and a pen. To help myself stand out from the other students being interviewed, I brought thank you cards but did not fill them out till after the interview. After the interview was over, I sat down in a chair and wrote out my thank you cards, placing personal thoughts and ideas that stemmed from the interview. Make sure to thank the person for interviewing you and try to sell yourself in the card by repeating your strengths and what you can bring to the table for them. After finishing with the interview, it was time to wait. I attended the Industry/Career Ex[p the next day and went up to the Gulfstream booth to show my face one last time so that they could remember me, I talked to a few more people and left. After 3 of the longest weeks of my life, I was called by Mrs. Batayias with an offer to take my talents to Gulfstream. It was honestly one of the happiest moments of my life because with the Co-Op position there is a 95% chance of obtaining a full-time position with Gulfstream as soon as I graduate.  Not only because of that but because of all the exciting work I will get to be doing here at Gulfstream.

Overall I recommend preparing weeks in advance before the career expo, and talking to and listening to what the career services staff has to say. It was Sandi Ohman’s idea to use the thank you cards and I honestly believe they played a big role in obtaining the position. The best thing you can do is to make yourself stand out from the rest of the competition by any means possible.

 

 

 

Researching Companies in Preparation for the Industry/Career Expo

By Lauren BurmesterResearching Companies

The Industry/Career Expo is approaching quickly.  Prescott’s Expo will be held on Thursday, October 2 and the Daytona Beach Expo will be held Wednesday, October 8th, giving you less than a month to prepare. Now is the time to start thinking about what to and how you will prepare for the expo. Below is a list of items you should be doing to prepare:

  • Prepare a resume
  • Review registered employers
  • Research companies
  • Prioritize who you want to see
  • Review your Skills and Strengths
  • Develop and rehearse an Elevator Pitch
  • Plan ahead what you will wear

One of the biggest complaints we receive from employers at expo is that students do not know anything about their company. If you anticipate speaking with employers at expo it is essential that you do research on the company ahead of time. A list of employers is available on EagleHire as well as in our new Embry-Riddle Career Fair Plus app available for free download on IPhone and Android phones. Each employer registered for the expo has a profile which will give a brief explanation of their company and what areas they are looking to recruit. This information will only give you a basic understanding of the company; however, it will assist with creating a target list of employers to speak with.

Once you have created your targeted list begin researching the companies to find out as much as possible about them. You can often learn about a company’s history, read annual reports/reviews, read about their culture, and their strategic plan through the internet. As you learn about the companies evaluate whether you feel you would be a “good fit” for their organization. You will learn a lot about yourself, your values, and your professional desires as you do this. Remember, not only are the employers there to see if you are a good fit, but you are there to see if they are a good fit for you as well.

There are multiple avenues to research a company, not just through the company’s website. Google a company or visit Glassdoor.com. You’ll find company reviews, ratings, salaries, CEO approval rating, competitors, content providers, and more company information. Use LinkedIn‘s companies section as a tool to find company information. Search by keyword or browse industry information. You’ll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics.

Now that you have made your targeted list of companies and done research on them you will be comfortable and have the confidence to approach the recruiters. There will be a variety of HR Professionals, hiring managers, and recruiters at the expo. They are all there to promote their organization and find potential candidates for future jobs or internships. Like anywhere, you will notice many different personality styles as you approach different employer booths. Do not be intimidated and make assumptions about who you are approaching. Approach everyone with confidence, a smile, strong handshake and your Elevator Pitch so you can show them you are the right fit for their company.

Lauren Burmester is the Aviation Program Manager in Career Services.  She has been an employee with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2006 working in Advising and Admissions.  She completed both her Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Studies with concentrations in Aviation Safety, Space Studies, and Business Administration, as well as a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Safety Systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating with distinction.  Lauren’s passion for the Aviation and Aerospace industry is instrumental in assisting students achieve their personal and professional goals.

Alumni Spotlight: Leland C Shanle

Leland C Shanle is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Shanle is a pilot, award winning author, and military/aviation technical adviser for the movie industry. His consulting projects include Pearl Harbor, Behind Enemy Lines, xXx, The Day After Tomorrow and Stealth. His production company–Broken Wing Productions–has worked on several aviation-based movies and series including the Discovery Curiosity Series; Plane Crash.

Shanle is the author of three books; Project Seven Alpha, Vengeance at Midway and Guadalcanal, and ENDGAME in the Pacific–with the fourth slated for release in 2014. He has also written for Aerospace Testing International Magazine and is a Contributing Editor to Airways Magazine. Shanle has adapted his book, Project 7 Alpha as a screenplay for a major motion picture studio.

Shanle’s lifelong interest in Aviation is a family legacy. His Grandfather was in the airline industry in the 1920s and two uncles (Bob USAF, Larry USN) were combat military aviators. Shanle flew naval aircraft in 10 squadrons; including the F-4 Phantom II, EA-6B Prowler and TA-4 Skyhawk. Attached to CAG 5, 11 and 1 cruising on the USS Midway, America and Lincoln; Leland flew 80 missions over the war torn skies of Bosnia, Somalia, and Iraq.

He got into the flight test world when transferred to VX-30, Naval Weapons Test Center Point Mugu. He flew as a Project Officer on various test programs and was the Squadron Operations Officer. Shanle also attended the Project Officer/Engineers and the Out of Control Flight courses at National Test Pilot School. He was inducted as a Full Member in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) in 1998.

Closing out his Naval Aviation career with 600 carrier landings (200 night) on 11 different carriers; he continues his Aviation career as a Boeing 777 pilot with American Airlines.

Can you please discuss your experience working with UAVs?

I was attached to VX-30 and was the head of the QF-4 program. I had the unique perspective of actually riding in drones. Yes; I was a drone pilot…or Spam, as we called it. We would have to test the system, a UHF data link system, fairly archaic technology by today’s standards; by flying the pattern and doing touch and goes on San Nicholas Island off the coast of LA. Being in an F-4 Phantom while someone flew it from 75 miles away could be quite a ride. The runway on San Nic was on a 500 foot cliff; more than once I looked up to see it before crying uncle and taking control. We also had to test new software loads for controls/self protect modes; which also was quite a ride at times: stalls, straight up departures from controlled flight, etc. Being a UCC controller was a very perishable skill; it is the only thing I’ve done in my career as hard or harder than a night carrier landing. We used what looked like a simulator with a 5X5 TV screen; we landed on San Nic with just that little picture. At the time San Nic was a 5,000 foot runway due to construction, so we dropped the hook and took the wire like on the ship.

The drone was controlled from Naval Test Center Point Mugu with a range of 300 miles. It was an all aspect, fully functional aerial target. We could launch weapons or other drones and dog fight from the NOLO (No On-board Live Operator) QF-4. Our mission was to test new weapons systems and provide Fleet readiness. We normally used telemetry heads instead of war heads to save the assets.

We also launched and remotely or pre-programmed controlled other drones pictured here:

AS 16 launch

A QF-4N launching an MA-31. The MA-31 was a converted Soviet AS-17 Krypton missile. After failing to duplicate the performance of the Soviet system, when the Wall came down we bought a few.

aqm 37

An AQM-37 Super Sonic drone. We would launch the AQM-37 from a QF-4 Phantom at 1.5 Mach and 50,000 feet and then turn 90 degrees out and run like hell. Because the Fleet ships would then start shooting Surface to Air Missiles at it (had an old bud shot down by a CIWS once, he didn’t like it much).

c 130 with drones

A BQM-74 Chukar on a LC-130 wing station with another LC-130 in background. With this drone system we could launch raids against the Fleet.

NOLO F 4

QF-4N NOLO; (look close no pilot) over San Nic Island.

DSC00594

QB-727 and a chase C-337.

My most recent experience was as the CEO of Broken Wing LLC and droning a Boeing-727 for the Discovery Channel Documentary on aircraft survivability. We put together the old Point Mugu Team for that.

In your opinion, what do you think the future of UAVs will be in the United States?

So where is the Drone Industry going? There is one little problem with drones…they crash, a lot. Broken Wing is working on a project that shows some of the vulnerabilities of mixing manned/un-manned flight. Putting aside loose cannons who are flying drones illegally there is still massive vulnerabilities. Companies that are jumping into delivering products via drones will have a serious decision to ponder when the law suits start flying. Imagine a drone with a pizza and 6 pack dropping over LA like a stone; or one that has gone rogue getting sucked up an intake of an airliner on short final. Real threats.

That having been said; in low density or military applications I think the future is bright for UAVs. They will continue to be in great demand for border protection, observation for police/FBI applications and as a Strike/INTEL platform for all of the military services. From hand held airborne cameras for the Infantry to carrier launched Strike aircraft they will continue to multiply. The up side of unmanned flight in those arenas cannot be overstated.

Now for the 500 pound gorilla in the room: passenger aircraft applications. Personally, I would never get in one. From my perspective, having been one of the few people on earth to have actually ridden in one, no way! In the QF-4 I could take control when things got bad. Has your computer and/or IPhone ever just frozen up or done things you didn’t want it to? You see my point. Redundant systems? Google QF-72 (Qantas Flight 72) a bad system locked out two good systems and almost killed everyone on board.

Practically? Hugely expensive, drones have a very long tech-tail. Operationally? It would reduce the air traffic like a bad weather day. Airports like San Diego, Washington DC and LaGuardia could not be used due to the visual requirements on a normal day. Pilots make the air traffic flow in spite of how over loaded the system is. And on windy days? Simply they would have to shut down the airport. Even the most modern auto-land systems have wind restrictions that are half what the aircraft is capable of landing in (with a pilot).

In summary: imagine a QB-777 dropping on downtown USA some night? The company operating it would be out of business and Congress would out-law the systems immediately. Risk vs. Reward.

For more discussion about the developing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, tune-in online at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 for the inaugural Lift, Off the Page roundtable event, featuring Embry-Riddle faculty experts and alumni working in the UAS field. Register to attend: http://alumni.erau.edu/LiftEvent. And, read the fall edition of Lift http://alumni.erau.edu/lift

First Impressions

By: Stephanie Rozboril

When meeting a recruiter or interviewer for the first time, your intial impression can really make an impact. First ImpressionSometimes before you even have an opportunity to speak, they are already beginning to assess you. There are several things to keep in mind to avoid sending the wrong message before your interview or opportunity even begins!

Appearance: Dress to impress! Make sure that your attire is professional, clean and wrinkle free, and appropriate in fit (nothing low cut or too small/big). They will notice more than what you’re wearing so ensure you look well groomed (hair and fingernails especially) and your breath is fresh. A smile and a poised approach will also help to show confidence.

Handshake: Nothing is worse than a limp lifeless handshake. Make sure you perfect yours ahead of time and have it be one that is strong and accompanied by direct eye contact and a smile.

Communication Style: If you are not excited about an opportunity with a company, the company won’t be excited about you. Make sure that you show interest in the discussion, ask questions, and remain confident and enthusiastic. Speak clearly and professionally, make eye contact, and try to mirror the body language and communication style of the recruiter or interviewer.

Resume: When applying online for a position, your resume and application are the only impression you are able to give. To ensure your success make sure that your resume has been tailored to the specific position you are applying for. You should also consider the value of having someone else look over the document to provide feedback and catch any grammatical errors. When filling out an online application be thorough, ensure you answer questions completely, and use your resume as a guide to help you.

The Career Services office at Embry-Riddle is here to help you perfect all of your first impression skills. Take advantage of the services we offer to help you prepare for success!  To learn more about making a first impression, please visit our website: http://www.careers.erau.edu

Stephanie Rozboril is new to the career services office and serves as the engineering program manager and also supports our homeland security, space physics, computer science, and computational mathematics students. She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2012, where she worked in the Alumni Relations Office supporting future and current graduates. Stephanie enjoys working with students to help them achieve their professional goals and become successful in today’s competitive job market.

Alumni Spotlight: Jesse Quirion

Jesse Quirion is a May 2007  graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  He completed his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the Daytona Beach campus.  He is currently the Interim Public Works Director for the City of Menlo Park.

Jesse T  QuirionWhat has been your career path since graduating ERAU?

I began my career taking an internships with the City of Port St. Lucie, FL while finishing my senior year of my undergrad Civil Engineering program at ERAU. I did not originally intend on going into public sector work when I started school but the opportunity came up and I gave it a shot. After working as a college intern for 6 months for the City of Port St. Lucie I was offered a full time job upon finishing my undergrad. I accepted the offer and joined the City of Port St. Lucie under the position of Engineering Intern which is a full time engineering position with the City. I held that position from 2007 until 2010 when I was promoted to the position of Traffic Operations Manager. Under the position of Traffic Operations Manager I oversaw 13 staff members and a budget nearly $2.9 million, I held that position through 2011.

In 2011 I was offered the position of Associate Transportation Specialist for the City of San Jose, CA. This position required a drastic change as it was in a completely new area and required me to move across the Country, but I expected it to provide me with new opportunities in the future. Then in 2012 I was offered a promotion to the position of Acting Senior Transportation Specialist for the City of San Jose, CA where I lead a team of 5 engineers and staff members.

In 2013 I was offered the position of Transportation Manager for the City of Menlo Park where I lead a team of 5 engineers and staff members and an annual budget of nearly $2.3 million.

In 2014 I was promoted to the position of Interim Public Works Director for the City of Menlo Park where I now oversee nearly 70 staff members with an annual operating budget of nearly $19 million not including our capital improvement program budget. In this role I am responsible for the following divisions; the City’s water/utilities Division, Engineering services, Capital Improvements Division, Storm water and NPDES services, construction inspections services, Transportation Division, Environmental Services Division, Transportation Demand Management Services, City building’s and infrastructure, the Parks Department, Streets Division, and the City’s vehicle fleet services including the police department and emergency services.

What advice do you have for students who are attending an aviation focused University, but do not want to go into that field after graduating?JesseQuirionWPTVStreetLights

I gained invaluable skills sets from attending an aeronautical based university that I would have not captured would I have attended a traditional educational institute. For example my Civil Engineering program provided me with the skills sets needed to perform in a municipal engineering capacity but also provided me with the framework to understand airport design operations and aircraft construction which proved to be an assets with the City of San Jose which oversees the Mineta San Jose International Airport. I believe that diversifying your education and openings your eyes to all skill sets and experiences is the only way to succeed and set yourself apart from the pack in today’s economy. I am grateful for the aviation focus that I received at ERAU as that experience coupled with my work background and management experience has and will continue to open doors for me and may lead to opportunities for me to reenter the aviation field in a management role down the road.

What has been your greatest accomplishment in your professional career?

No matter what level or position I have held I have continued to seek out new opportunities to grow my knowledge base. During my time with the City of Port St. Lucie I completed a Master of Public Administration from Nova South Eastern University, during my time with the City of San Jose I joined the San Jose Chamber of Commerce where I was appointed to the role of Board Chair with the Young professionals and Board member for the Chamber of Commerce, today I am evaluating opportunities to continue my education and I may began working a doctorate degree in the near future. With that, I would say that my greatest accomplishment has been my ability to multitask between a work-life balance while continue to look for opportunities to gain new skills and networking opportunities.

 What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue my growth within the municipal field while always taking advantage of opportunities to learn and better myself.  Jesse Q1

 

Dressing for Success

By: Brian Carhide

professional dressIt is the beginning of the fall 2014 semester and the campuses are buzzing with excitement and Eagle Pride! Many of the seasoned students know that the fall semester is the time to dust off the suit and shine the shoes. On Thursday October 2, 2014 and Wednesday October 8, 2014, respectively, the Prescott and Daytona Beach campuses will be hosting their annual Industry/Career Expo. The events are professional dress events and to those who have experienced the Industry/Career Expo know that looking your best is essential to success.

If you are attending the Expo and whether you are seeking a job or just networking, we encourage professional dress to make that crucial first impression count. Dressing professionally not only shows an employer you mean business, but it exudes confidence. It lets the employer know that you are serious about being a part of their team. The aviation/aerospace industry expectations are that of basic colors, clean look, and conservative styles. Below are some general guidelines for both male and female expo dress:

Female

The Suit

  • Fabric: the best choice is 100% wool
  • A suit with a knee-length skirt and a tailored blouse is most appropriate
  • The most suitable colors include charcoal, medium gray, steel gray, black, and navy blue
  • Jackets should be simple, well-tailored and stylish, and fall just at the hips
  • Jackets should have smooth seams, even hemlines, correctly hanging linings, and well-sewn buttons

The Skirt

  • A skirt should fall just at or no more than 2” above the knee; stick with solid colors
  • A one-piece business dress with a matching jacket is popular

The Blouse

  • It is best to wear long sleeves; it projects an authoritative, professional look
  • Never wear a sleeveless blouse
  • Solid colors and natural fabrics are the best selections (particularly cotton and silk)
  • Acceptable colors include white and cream. Pale pink, soft yellow or light blue (only if it works with the overall look)
  • A classic softened collar works best with suits. The button-down collar should be worn when interviewing with a conservative company

The Shoes

  • They should preferably be leather
  • Colors; brown, black, navy, or burgundy
  • The color should always be the same as or a darker tone than your skirt
  • Flats are fine; a shoe with a heel of up to about 2 ½ “ is perfectly acceptable
  • The pump is the safest and most conservative look; a closed heel with a slightly open toe and the sling-back shoe with a closed toe are also acceptable

Male

The Suit

  • The most acceptable colors are navy through medium blue and black through charcoal
  • Fabric should be 100% wool. Why? Wool looks and wears better than any other material
  • Pinstripes are acceptable, so long as the stripes are very narrow and muted
  • A well-fitted two-piece suit is preferable; more refined, less showy
  • There should be no pull at the jacket shoulders, no gape at the back, and the cuffs should break at your wrists

The Shirt

  • Rule One: Always wear a long-sleeved shirt
  • Rule Two: Always wear a white, cream, or pale blue shirt
  • Rule Three: Never violate Rules One or Two
  • Remember, the paler and more subtle the shade, the better the impression you will make
  • Make sure your shirt fits properly; the collar should fit the neck properly

The Neckwear (Ties)

  • A pure silk tie makes the most powerful professional impact, has the best finish and feel, and is the easiest to tie
  • When tied, the tie should cover the belt buckle
  • Most appropriate knots are: Four-in-Hand, Windsor, and Half Windsor

The Shoes

  • They should either be black or brown
  • Lace-up wing tips are the most conservative choice and are most universally accepted

For additional resources on dress visit: http://careers.erau.edu/land-offer/interviewing/prepare/index.html

The career services office wants you to be successful, and if you do not have a suit or are not seeking a job or internship, we still encourage you to dress professionally. Please refrain from wearing items such as shorts, t-shirts, blue (or any other color) jeans, sandals, etc. (military and religious attire is acceptable). If you are not dressed in a suitable manner, you will be asked to change and return to the event. It is in your best interest to be dressed appropriately and save the shorts and flip flops for after the event.

Have a great semester and we look forward to seeing you in October at the Industry/Career Expo!

Brian Carhide has more than 20 years of professional aviation experience. He spent many years as a professional pilot, including experience as a charter and airline pilot. He has been a leader in guiding young aviators in higher education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is the Executive Director of Career Services.

Alumni Spotlight: Derrek Ehrlich

DerrekErlichDerrek Ehrlich graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in December 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics.  He is currently working as a Systems Integration Engineer at Rockwell Collins.

Discuss your current position with Rockwell Collins. 

Currently, I am working as a systems integration engineer at Rockwell Collins.  In short, I help integrate and test all of the sub-systems for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Bombardier C-Series commercial avionics systems.  Our engineering team is the last team to touch the avionics system before it is uploaded to the aircraft.

What are some of your top tips for successful networking for students? 

From a networking standpoint, there is a lot that I look back on my time at ERAU and wish I would have done.  This that I feel like I was not pushed hard enough to do.  For one, any internship/co-op that you receive can be infinitely helpful in landing your first job, whether that be through the company you actually interned for or the work experience you gained that makes you look far more attractive to another employer.  Networking strategies can also be used to accomplish this.  My biggest tip I can give you, that can be done right now and on campus is to BE ACTIVE.  Yes, doing homework and studying is important, but aside from helping make you a more well-rounded person, campus activities, whether that be SGA, Greek Life, academic clubs, social clubs, or athletic clubs, can all be beneficial to landing your first gig.  These activities can strengthen a resume, but they will also introduce you to more senior individuals at ERAU.  Once these individuals graduate, they will obtain a job, and you never know who it might be that helps you land your first one.  Knowing anyone in the industry can be infinitely helpful.

Another suggestion I have is to get out to any conferences or competitions where there will be individuals in your prospective industry present.  Yes, ERAU is a great school and has great teachers, but I have very much realized that, at the end of the day, it is about who you know and not what you know.  Fortunately, another great aspect about going to a well-known and respected school is that you have more opportunities to take advantage of better networking connections, so don’t let that go to waste!

Since you recently graduated in Dec. 2011, what timely advice do you have for current students who will be graduating in the next few years? 

Nowadays, internships and/or co-ops can be worth their weight in gold in obtaining your first job.  Don’t slack off on getting one of these!  Engineering jobs are plentiful, but you still need to look attractive to prospective employers, as not “just anyone” is hired.  Also, numbers can be key.  If there is a specific company you want to work for more than others, that is great!  Apply for lots of positions with them, learn about the company, and try to make any connections you can, but on a similar note, do not put all your eggs in one basket.  There are countless companies out there looking for young talent.  Never stop applying!

What are your future plans with Rockwell Collins? 

One of the things I love the most about Rockwell Collins is the flexibility they allow you in defining your career path.  I plan on eventually using their tuition reimbursement program to get my MBA from University of Iowa (a very good, nationally ranked MBA program) and work on moving up into engineering management.

Annual Industry/Career Expo Reminders

The annual Industry/Career Expo’s at both residential campuses are open to all ERAU students and alumni.  To learn more information about these events please visit our website: http://careers.erau.edu/events/

Prescott Expo - 2014

Thursday, Oct. 2 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in Prescott, AZ

Blog image for DB Expo

Wednesday, Oct. 8 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in Daytona Beach, FL

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