Going Places Blog Has Moved!

The Career Services Going Places blog has moved to the new Career Services website.  To view updated posts and career services information, please go to: http://careerservices.erau.edu/


December 2014 Graduates’ First Destinations

On Monday morning, the Daytona Beach Career Services team was at graduation collecting data for the campus-specific First Destination Survey. We thought you might like to see a sampling of where Daytona Beach graduates are heading after they walked across the stage at the Ocean Center this past Monday.

If you recently graduated from the Daytona Beach or Prescott residential campus and still don’t have a job, please contact Career Services for guidance and resources that can help you attain employment. Click on the appropriate campus link to view a list of services offered by Career Services.

Congratulations ERAU Graduates!


From, The Career Services Office

Good Luck on Final Exams!

FinalsThe Career Services office is wishing you a great finals week!

Alumni Spotlight: Rick Uskert

Richard Uskert 2x3_6367Rick Uskert graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in 1996 with a degree in Aircraft Engineering Technology.  He is currently a Senior Engineer at Textron Systems Unmanned Systems.

What has been your career path since graduating from Embry-Riddle?

My career started during one of the slumps in the aerospace industry and I took a job with a company in NW Indiana designing industrial equipment. After a few months, I interviewed with a consulting engineering firm in the Chicago suburbs which providing structural and fatigue fracture analysis to the aviation industry, both commercial and military. The guys I worked for and with were brilliant, having written fatigue analysis and damage tolerance of structures content for several publications; however, I as a more creative person at heart – and still am – so post-damage analysis wasn’t a path I wished to pursue.

The next five years were spent working in the medical industry, designing instruments for minimally invasive open heart surgery, stents, airway management and many other products. As the company manufactured product for many of the big companies, such as Abbott, CTI and Stryker, I touched many products which were mainstays of the operating room and in-home care products during the 1990’s and 2000’s.

From there I turned back to aviation and, while working at Pratt & Whitney, furthered my education and career through a Master’s degree in Management and New Product Development at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford, CT. During my time at P&W, I worked with a great team in the Compression Systems Module Center (CSMC) designing and analyzing composite components for the F119 and F135 engines which power the F-22 and F-35 aircraft.

My next hop was to Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis to design Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) components for the hot section of advanced technology gas turbine engines. The composite technologies used between the front end of the P&W and the back end of the RR engines couldn’t be more dissimilar and each had their quirks and limitations which needed to be accounted for in the product designs, which made each task challenging. Working at the leading edge of ceramic matrix composite technology application has led to a number of patent applications for our team.

Currently, I work for Textron Systems Unmanned Systems, formerly AAI, in Maryland as a Sr. Aero/Mech Engineer, responsible for managing project tasking and the associated resources to integrate new product onto the legacy Shadow UAVs, increase capabilities through airframe upgrades and provide product designs to future systems.

You have worked in a variety of fields, what lessons have you gained from varied experiences?

The first lesson I learned was engineering is engineering and the fundamentals are the same. Designing a product to save someone’s life in the operating room is not much different than designing one to protect a soldier’s life on the battlefield. Each project starts with requirements, progresses through material selection, design analysis and manufacturing. I’m simplifying here, but the fundamentals are the same; one only needs a willingness to learn the differences in materials and how best use them in each application.

With each employment change, I have been able to draw upon knowledge I gained from past experiences, all the way back to the beginning of my career, even though it has been based upon dissimilar products and/or industries.

I have also learned what I enjoyed the most, and personally that is working in a small company environment. Those companies are the most dynamic and they offer opportunities to act in multiple roles and to get one’s hands dirty building product. That has been most enjoyable for me.

I have worked with a number of great, experienced teams; resulting in products which have helped many people continue their own lives and professions. Because of this, I do not look for a greatest accomplishment in my career, as I associate that with an object and I tend to be more of an experience type of person. That being said, I have considered meeting soldiers who have stated that our products have been responsible for their safe return from the field as well as people which have used the medical products I helped develop as highlights to my career. Those instances act as reminders as to why I choose to work on these products.

What advice do you have for graduating students to be successful in the job search?

Everyone is encouraged to research the company and the job they are considering applying for as best as they can. Many times a job posting is very general, especially for entry level positions, so one should understand the type of products that company and/or division develops. Make sure that is what you want to work on and tailor your experiences to that company. It takes time and effort; however, it allows you to stand out as a candidate.

All companies are interested in understanding what you have accomplished individually and as a team member. Include two or three examples of this information on your resume in a concise manner. If you are invited for an interview, be excited about being there and confident in presenting your product: yourself. During the interview process, we are judging your personality and how well you may fit with those already established on the team in addition to your technical ability.

Finally, look for opportunities that may not be the vision of your dream job, as one does not fall into that position upon walking off campus. These other experiences open doors in the future, allowing you to set a path towards that end goal, as it changes over your career.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving!


The Career Services Office

Alumni Spotlight: E. Blair Johns II

E. Blair Johns IIE. Blair Johns II graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in December 1998 with a degree in Aeronautical Science.  Currently, he works at Envoy (formerly known as American Eagle Airlines) as a commercial pilot.

What are the highlights of your career so far?

The path I took to build my flight hours, experience and  qualifications opened some unexpected windows into an adventure I had not seen coming.

Flight instructing and getting to fly C402 at Ocean Wings in  Nantucket not only brought about an adventure as to where I was flying but also to where I was living. Had I anticipated where I would lay my head at night I believe I would have looked elsewhere. From a hostel to a hanger office and eventually a  bedroom in a small house, made for meeting great friends along the way, and certainly filled that adventure craving I so anticipated from a career in aviation.

Eastern Air Charter stepped it up a bit as far as the techniques of flying my first turboprop. The Cheyenne II was the perfect fit to not only fly passengers expeditiously to their destinations, but we flew the Cheyenne at all hours of the night as a transport for organ bank donor flying. We would get called out at night as a reserve crew might, and quickly get the aircraft prepped for the medical transport. We would fly to a city, pick up a team of surgeons, and fly to another city where a deceased organ donor was operated on by the surgeons. Once the surgeons were finished with the  operation, we would then take them to another city, where a patient in need was urgently waiting for the organ and surgeon team we flew back with us.

This type of flight operation helped me prepare for the airline world of sometimes complex yet rewarding commercial transport. Through my time at American Eagle, now Envoy, I have been challenged many times and have felt as though each is a valuable learning experience. Nothing can drive home a lesson better than being thrown into a situation with little warning and allowing your training to instinctively take over. From inflight emergencies to customer anomalies on the ground, at the airline, the training happens as much on the line as at the training academy. It is a true sense of satisfaction when you can look back at a safely completed flight and talk over the whole situation with your fellow crew members about what went well and what you all might want to improve on. It is surely a skill refining exercise to go through these unexpected situations.

How has your Embry-Riddle degree opened doors for you?

One of the first memories which come to mind about my time at Embry-Riddle are the friends and camaraderie a student is immersed in the moment they arrive on campus. The collective love of aviation was electrifying and settling into a new and unfamiliar life, from everyday living to studying, was immediately put at ease knowing I was now amongst many other enthusiasts. All of this fervor helped me leap into the courses with a hunger for all that Embry-Riddle could fill. The lifestyle of managing the class schedule with early morning flights was a challenge at first but prepared me for the sometimes demanding schedule of airline life. Juggling a schedule like this is part of the college program across our country at many schools, yet the structure I was given through Embry-Riddle’s aviation curriculum helped carry me through those demanding days.

What three traits or skills have made you the most successful in your career?

Perseverance: Prioritizing my goals and envisioning the desired outcome, yet stopping every day and taking in the realization that my current place in my career was the goal at some earlier point in life. This helps me reflect on and appreciate where I am in my career.

Empathy: No person is isolated from the rest of world, we all have relations with others and putting this trait into action helps interpersonal relationships grow exponentially. In the customer relation business airlines are built upon, this trait is essential to nurturing and growing our airline’s business.

Teamwork: From departure gate to en route to the arrival gate, the amount of planning and work that goes into one flight is astonishing when realized. In the airline environment many people are involved in the process of getting a flight off the departure gate on time and much of this goes understandably unnoticed to the public eye. We operate every flight with a concept known as Cockpit Resource Management (CRM). This is essentially a communication loop built with teamwork where each inflight and ground crew member is involved in a feedback process whether the flight runs normal or encounters any degree of abnormality. Put simply, CRM is the fuel which the machine of an airline operation needs to run successfully. With the amount of customers and employees involved in one day of an airlines operation, we would be hard pressed to complete it all without a good teamwork environment.

Are there any challenges that students need to be aware of as they enter the workforce?
Do you have any advice for students seeking positions in the aviation industry?

Changes are happening rapidly in the airline industry as far as the modeling of regional and mainline staffing and operation. New flight hour minimums and regulations have increased the required minimums an applicant to any airline must need, 1500 total time with an ATP. Retirements at the three largest mainlines; American, Delta, and United are due to produce an approximate number of 10,000 positions over the next ten years. The third factor of massive growth for the next decade is the new rest regulations now in effect, requiring longer minimum rest overnights which increases staffing required to cover the schedule each week. Envoy currently has a pipeline program in effect with various flight schools including Embry-Riddle, where an applicant’s total flight time may be reduced to a lower minimum. This program allows the hiring of an applicant before they meet the minimum flight time and subsequently working to gain the flight time before flying the line at Envoy.

A couple of challenges which anyone interested in the airline career should be aware of is the family dynamics involved with being away from home three to four nights a week. Whether you live in base or commute like myself, having an understanding spouse at home is something I am very fortunate to have. My wife Amy and I met when I was on my way to new hire training with American Eagle, so from the beginning she understood the dynamics of being apart for periods of time and was acclimated to this by the time we lived together. Leaving Amy to a house full of kids mixed in with her full time job is not for everyone, though I am lucky to have such a compassionate and loving partner who understands very well the life we as airline pilots live. In the beginning of my time at American Eagle, Amy would come along on overnights with me and got to meet the excellent people that make this job so fun. Understanding the day-to-day life whether on reserve or flying a scheduled line of flying was a good foundation to our relationship in later years. While we may be gone for days at a time, we can have three and sometimes four or five days off at a time, depending on the way we can move our schedules around.

Overall, it is a great time to get into the airline industry with the known turnover from retirements for at least the next ten to fifteen years. It will become a very rewarding career with the changes coming. The flying bug bites such a diverse group of individuals and that fact makes this job a very fun and interesting one. Some pilots started young knowing this was their career of choice, while I’ve flown with many who have previous careers ranging from Wall Street stock floor traders to Psychologists, making the switch and starting over as a career airline pilot.

I often remark to my fellow crew members that we have what I believe to be the best corner office with a view unparalleled. It is quite a place to sit, watch and reflect on all that activity encompassing that fond planet we soar over each day.

Need Some Inspiration? Part II

inspiration part 2The Career Services staff at Daytona Beach wanted to have a part two to a blog from in August.   There are so many quotes that can continue to motivate through a co-op/internship and/or job search.  Here are more of the staff’s favorite inspirational quotes.  Feel free to read part one here.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” –H. Stanley Judd

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky

“Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.” Paul J. Meyer

 “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 “Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless” –Jamie Paolinetti

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us” –Helen Keller

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” –Albert Einstein

“You have to learn the rules of the game.  And then you have to play better than anyone else.” –Albert Einstein

“If opportunity doesn’t Knock, build a door” –Milton Birle

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising after you fall” –Vince Lambardi

Co-op/Intern Spotlight: Mark Payne

Mark PayneMark Payne is an Aerospace Engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach.  He transferred to Riddle in spring 2014 in order to study Aerospace Engineering.  Although he is fascinated by planes, the reality is that he grew up in a ship yard.  His father owns San Juan Towing & Marine Services, which specialized in commercial vessel repair and small scale towing.

How did you land the internship and how did you navigate the process?

Landing an internship for the summer was nearly impossible. The reality was that my GPA was just below the required GPA for most employers and I would usually be cut off because of that. After several months of constantly applying to most major companies, and calling many smaller companies, I had not heard any responses.

By late April, I was worried for obvious reasons. The idea of applying to as many as thirty internships and not even landing one interview was not very motivating. My father actually mentioned the fact that I should diversify. That is when I decided to look for a company which was not related to the aerospace industry. I found the International Ship Repair & Marine Services in Tampa. In order to “land the internship”, I scheduled a meeting with the company Vice President two days after finals had finished and was working the very next Monday.

What experience have you had and what did you do on your internship?

My experience was definitely unique. I had the opportunity to be rotated between three different departments. These were the machinist department, the quality assurance department, and the estimating department.

As a machinist, I was out in the field with the workers. I was able to obtain real exposure and got hands on shipyard experience. I was also able to learn how to use manufacturing equipment such as lathes and milling machines.

While working in the quality assurance department I was responsible for the visual inspection of drive shafts and propeller blades that were both coming in and out of the machine shop.

Working with the estimating department was my favorite. I was given the tasks of designing engine mounts for three ton diesel engines and a propeller stand which could hold a five ton propeller.

What advice would you give students who are contemplating doing an internship experience?

I would tell students to pursue any and every opportunity possible. Not only will they gain valuable experience which will make them better engineers and more hire able, but they will also, in most cases, be able to obtain engineering tech elective credit in an engineering student.

Talk about your learning experience both professionally and personally.

While interning, although my schedule varied, I was working 40 hours per week. While working with the machinist and job estimating departments, I had a 7:25AM to 3:55PM work schedule. While working for the quality assurance department, I was working by 6:00 and out by 2:30PM. I had a 1/2 lunch break.

Besides interning, I was also taking two of ERAU’s online classes. I was able to both work full time and take two classes. This was definitely a very big plus.

Would you do a second internship? Why? 

I have already begun applying for many internships. I believe that while one internship is definitely necessary, having two internships is even better.

What are the benefits you will take away from doing the internship when looking for a full-time career?

When looking for a full time career I will have the benefit of having prior work experience. This is extremely valuable in a very competitive job market. Having prior work experience is a very big plus.

Any other general advice to share?

As for advice, I have to emphasize that there is nothing more important than constantly applying to internships. If you’ve applied for twenty positions and think that you are done, think again and apply for twenty more. In my case, I was able to land an internship on my last attempt.

If you are unable to land an internship because of grades, take summer courses, either on campus or online. By doing so, you will improve your GPA and have a better chance of being hired when applying for future internships.






Ten Ways Job-Seekers Bomb Job Interviews

Dr. Randall Hansen posted a great article on the Quintessential Careers Blog in regards to various ways job-seeks can bomb job interviews.Quint Careers

Below is the article:

10 Ways to Bomb Your Job Interview

1. Late to the interview. Repeat this mantra: I will ALWAYS be on time for job interviews. There’s no excuse for being late to an interview, and even if by some amazing chance the employer finds the time to interview, you have dug a hole that very few job-seekers ever recover from. Plan ahead, take a test run, and leave early enough for contingencies (accident, road construction, weather). And if it’s a Webcam, Skype, Google Hangout interview, there is NO excuse for not being online for the start of the interview.

2. Bad attire/grooming. I will never forget the time a graduating college student arrived to an interview dressed in a beautiful and expensive suit, crisp white shirt, and power tie… until he got closer and we saw he was wearing sandals. The rest of the interview, the interviewer kept dropping snarky sandal comments; the interview was over before it started. You should ALWAYS dress the part and be well-groomed — even for Webcam interviews.

3. Limited eye contact. Making eye contact is a sign of confidence — and employers want to hire confident job-seekers. Don’t start at the interviewer, but practice making frequent eye contact. In a panel interview, make eye contact with every person. If you have a hard time looking directly into someone else’s eyes, focus on looking at the bridge of each person’s nose.

4. Weak knowledge of employer. Nothing turns off an employer faster than a job applicant who appears to know little of the organization — or the job itself. One of the most important things you should do upon obtaining an interview is to research the employer — both for your own knowledge, but also so you can speak intelligently of the organization — as well as ask intelligent questions.

5. Bland, weak, or boring interview responses. Find the middle ground between providing too little detail — and not providing enough. Your interview responses should be crisp, short, and to-the-point. Know your accomplishments and practice answering typical job interview questions. If you are relatively inexperienced (or it’s been a long time since you have been on an interview), conduct at least one mock interview.

6. Lack of enthusiasm. Do not interview when you’re tired — and do not overcompensate with one too many energy drinks. Try and maintain a strong, but not over-the-top energy level throughout the interview so that the employer knows you are definitely interested in the job.

7. Appearing desperate. Even if you NEED the job, if you appear too eager, too willing, too desperate, many employers will see this as a weakness — just as they see someone who is currently unemployed as a weakness. Express your interest in the job, but don’t cross the line.

8. Willing to take any job. You MUST know the job you seek — and then SHOW the employer why you are qualified for it. If you appear unfocused — or willing to take any job “just so you can work for such a great employer” — you will likely NOT be asked back for another interview. Employers hire job specialists these days.

9. Complaining about past jobs/bosses. Never — NEVER — talk negatively about an employer or manager… even if you hate your current (or last) job, you MUST put a positive spin on it. Focus on yourself, not the negatives of the job.

10. Failing to ask questions. We actually had a job-seeker recently tell us that she thought it was rude to ask questions in a job interview! Quite the opposite. Many hiring managers will make the assumption you do not really care about the job if you don’t ask questions in the interview. But do NOT ask obvious questions you could have learned from doing the proper research. And — if not discussed in the interview — your last question should always be about the next steps in the hiring process.


To read the full article, please visit the Quintessential Careers Blog: http://blog.quintcareers.com/ways-job-seekers-bomb-job-interviews/



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