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

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Academic Year!

WelcomeThe Career Services Office would like to welcome new and returning students to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  The Career Services Office hosts a variety of events during the academic year including presentations, company visits and of course the Industry/Career Expo. To ensure you are taking advantage of all the opportunities presented to you, please take into consideration the following:

  • Ask for help if needed – There are tons of resources and services at ERAU so if you need assistance, make sure you ask for help.
  • Be proactive – Ensure you are scheduling upcoming presentations/events in an organizer/planner to not miss an opportunity to learn more about possible career opportunities!
  • Get involved – Join student organizations/clubs to engage in a passion or develop leadership skills.
  • Time management is necessary – Maintaining a good GPA is key so ensure you are putting time into your classes.
  • Set goals – These could include wanting to explore internships/co-ops, or participating in research.

To learn more about Career Services, please visit our website at http://careers.erau.edu/

 

 

Good Manners Matter When Job-Hunting

Dr. Randall Hansen posted a great article on the Quintessential Careers Blog in regards to showcasing good manners during the job search process.

Quint CareersBelow is the article:

Manners are one of the quickest methods for job-seekers to be remembered by employers.  Having outstanding manners will make your behaviors stand out from other applicants; while bad manners will do the same – only not the way you are hoping for!

If you are the best candidate for a job, should manners matter? Of course! Employers are looking for the best all-around candidate — someone who is best qualified for the job, yes, but one who can also fit into the corporate culture of the organization and who can work cooperatively with others.

Having good manners does not necessarily mean you will fit the employer’s criteria, but having bad manners is a strong indicator of future troubles.

So, when job-hunting, what are some of the good manners you should be showcasing? Here are 10 to consider:

  1. Politeness. Treating all people you meet with courtesy and respect.
  2. Dressing Properly. Wearing attire that matches the culture of the organization and job you seek.
  3. Punctuality. Arriving to interviews on time (and ideally, a bit early — but not WAY early).
  4. Listening. Conversing in a way that you are not interrupting or asking questions on topics already discussed.
  5. Knowledgeable. Researching the employer can showcase your insights, but also shows respect.
  6. Upbeat. Focusing positive energy and enthusiasm for the job/employer regardless of the mood you happen to be in.
  7. Communicate. Conversing for business is MUCH different than informal communications. Keep your talk and email formal.
  8. Avoid Interruptions. Checking your cell phone during a job interview is the fastest way to remembered — for the WRONG reasons.
  9. Table Graces. Interviewing over a meal or a drink has serious rules of engagement, so make sure you know them!
  10. Show Appreciation. Thanking everyone who interviews or assists you may seem excessive, but it goes a LONG way.

To read the full article, please visit the Quintessential Careers Blog: http://www.quintcareers.com/job-hunting_etiquette_tips.html

Cover Letter Tips: Call to Action

By: Stephanie Rozboril

Call to ActionWhen writing a cover letter it is important to conclude by letting the employer or recruiter know what they can expect next. You have given a review of why you are interested and your qualifications, but you need to summarize by effectively communicating your expectations for what’s to come. There are two ways to handle this:

Taking ownership- Put yourself in control by making statements like “I will make contact after the position close date to discuss the opportunity to interview” Pros: Shows you are serious about the job, and that it is something you are willing to continue to pursue past sending the cover letter, resume, and possible application. Cons: May seem to forward to the recruiter or hiring manager, especially if you are not a suitable candidate.

Placing follow-up in reviewer’s hands- Let the one in charge of hiring make the choice with a statement like “ I look forward to hearing from you”, or “Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in discussing my skills and qualifications further”. Pros: Allows the recruiter or hiring manager the control to make the decision whether or not to make contact, after deciding if your resume and cover letter are strong enough to make you a candidate. Cons: Could send the message that you are not as interested in the job, also places more responsibility on the company to make follow up calls when they may several positions accepting candidates at the same time.

Either way you decide to end the letter, make sure that whatever you say you stick to. Don’t say you will call and then don’t… this could ruin your chances, especially if they were anticipating a call.

For sample cover letters for many disciplines visit our Career Services Website at http://careers.erau.edu/land-offer/references-letters/index.html.

For example closing statements: http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/5-phrases-close-cover-letter-land-interview/

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.

 

Need Some Inspiration?

quotes1Searching for a co-op/internship and/or full-time position can sometimes be discouraging.  Here are some of the favorite inspirational quotes from the Daytona Beach Career Services staff to keep in mind when you are feeling discouraged.

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” – German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche

“Just keep swimming” -Dory from Finding Nemo

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” –Thomas Jefferson

“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the most wonderful things that will ever happen to us” -Nicole Reed

“Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong that obstacles, failure, and loss only act as motivation.” -Unknown

“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious” -John Scully

“Every experience prepares you for the next one. You just don’t ever know what the next one is going to be.” -Unknown

“Trust that when the answer is no, there’s a better yes down the road.” -Unknown

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.  The important thing is not to stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein

“FAIL – First Attempt In Learning” -Unknown

“Life is a journey, not a destination” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cover Letter Tip: How to find a name to address letter

By: Lauren Burmester & Stephanie Rozboril

Cover Letter2If you have found a position you are ready to apply for and are working on your cover letter you may have hit that all important line which requires you have someone to address this to. If your sudden scramble stems from the fact that you have no clue, don’t worry, there are several ways to handle this problem and get this letter on its way.

  1. EagleHire: If you found the job in EagleHire chances are the contact information is already included with the job posting
  2. Company Website: Take a look at the company’s website and see if there is an employee directory or a list of executives or managers available
  3. Internet Search: Conduct an internet search by using the name of the company and key words such as: recruiter, hiring manager, human resources, etc. Consider searching for the company on LinkedIn to locate the hiring manager’s name.
  4. Cold Call: Call the company’s Human Resources Department and simply ask for the contact information for the recruiter in charge of the job you are applying to
  5. Career Services Office: Contact your Career Services Advisor to see if they are familiar with the recruitment department for that company
  6. Generic Greeting: If all else fails use a generic greeting such as: Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Human Resources Director, or Dear Sir/Madam. These terms cover all the possibilities far better than “To whom it may concern” which is impersonal.

Taking initiative and finding a name to address your letter to shows the hiring manager that you are very interested in the position and you have put in the time and effort to make it right. This makes for a strong impression, before the letter is even read!

Sample cover letters are available on the Career Services website

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.

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.

 

Resource Highlight: Professional Associations

By: Sandi Ohman

professional associationsMany professions have a professional association they can turn to for assistance with best practices, collaboration, tips & ideas, conferences and networking opportunities. Below are a few ways student, recent graduates, as well as experienced professionals would find membership in a professional association beneficial.

Students/Recent Graduates

For students, and recent graduates, being a member of such a group demonstrates to a prospective employer a true interest in wanting to be a part of a specific profession. Membership can also provide networking opportunities, which can lead to job opportunities. An opportunity to attend an association conference is an excellent way to meet other industry professionals. Participating in events held at association conferences can demonstrate knowledge, skills and educational experience to other attendees; for job seekers this could be especially beneficial.

Experienced Professionals

Most experienced professionals are involved in professional associations and know the benefits they offer. As mentioned above, networking, best practices, and attending professional conferences can only enhance the professionals’ career. Professional associations offer opportunities to research with other professionals, publish articles and learn about industry leading concepts and ideas, as well as leadership opportunities within these organizations. Networking with other professionals can lead to recruiting opportunities both personally and professionally.

Though professional association memberships can be expensive, student memberships are significantly more affordable. The resources available to both students and professionals can be significant and well worth the investment.

Some professional associations ERAU students and alumni in the aviation/aerospace industry belong to are:

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)

Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA)

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)

American Meteorology Association (AMS)

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (HFES)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI)

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

The Ninety-Nines

Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP)

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Women in Aviation International (WAI)

Sandi Ohman is the Senior Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She has been with the university for over 9 years and has advised students in most all degree areas while in Career Services.  Sandi brings additional experience having worked in the finance industry for over 6 years in her previous career.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Resume Tip: References (how to handle)

ReferencesIf references are requested by an employer, list them on a separate sheet. Do not include references on the resume. The letterhead should match your resume. Do not volunteer reference information unless asked for by an employer. If no amount of references are specified list a minimum of 3 professional references. These should be people who have direct knowledge of your job performance and professional abilities. Make sure to get their approval first, and they are prepared if contacted. It is a good idea to provide your references with a copy of your resume so they can adequately speak about your experiences. List contact’s name, title, company, complete address, phone number with area code, and e-mail address. Only list the email address if it is checked frequently.

Consider leaving off the line “References available upon Request.” This line is optional as it is a given that you will provide references or additional information upon request. The line can serve the purpose of signaling the end of your resume, but if you are trying to conserve space, leave it off.

Sample resumes are available on the Career Services website (http://careers.erau.edu/).

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.

Your Twitter Brand: How to be “Job Search Ready”

Twitter1Still not sure about using Twitter as a job search platform? Or maybe you have yet to jump on the Twitter train. While Twitter has quickly become one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with what your favorite celebrities and public figures are doing in between photo shoots and vacations, Twitter can serve the same purpose when it comes to following your favorite companies. {Insert at-your-fingertips networking and career preparation here} By centering your twitter on companies and industries you can have an endless feed of news, positions, updates, and insight to help you get ahead. To get you started, a career focused bio can identify what makes you, YOU. This can be your brand, mission, interests and voice in 140 characters or less.

Here are some tips for making your profile job search friendly:

-List ERAU in your bio. This is a 160-character elevator pitch. Since Twitter is all about statements that are short and sweet, make use of this precious space to ensure that you are easily identifiable and current.

-Use twitter handles and hashtags that highlight your student involvement/organizations. Showcase not only who you are and what you are interested in, but show some love for your social channels.

“ERAU c/o 2015: Major, Aerospace Engineering-Propulsion. Minor, Mechanical Engineering. Team Lead, @EcoEagles. Aviation Enthusiast. #roboticsnerd #pilot”

-List current employers and their social profiles. This can get you larger exposure and again, give the viewer of your profile a quick view of your current employment status.

-Make your personal brand your own. Use leftover space to generate your voice/passions/interests/abilities etc. by listing awards or accomplishments. Take advantage of being able to stand out with your distinct uniqueness.

-Help the reader understand what your interests are on Social Media platforms– what do you find yourself talking about on Twitter? Sharing this will help people know what you are going to talk about and subsequently make them want to follow you.

“@EmbryRiddle 2014: MBA Student. @SouthwestAir analyst intern. @NBAA treasurer. All things aviation, avid traveler, on-the-side photog, entrepreneur, future CEO.”

- Twitter can be used as a professional or personal brand. But remember that anyone can search for you and find the images you use to identify yourself. Make sure that even if this is more of a personal channel for you, that your image conveys your overall brand.

-Lastly, remember that Twitter isn’t just about what you have to say, it’s about starting conversations. Engaging in what people are saying within your topics of interest can lead to following more companies, learning about their hiring trends, finding the open positions, and ultimately helping you land a job!

Twitter2Looking for recommendations on who to start following? Check out these tweeters: http://eraucso.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/best-job-search-resources-on-twitter/

This article adapted from (http://thesocialu101.com/5-quick-tips-for-a-great-twitter-bio/)

Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and 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 to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

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