Sources for Events, Conferences and Job Fairs

by Kristy Amburgey

With the Embry-Riddle Industry/Career Expos quickly approaching, it is good to also know about all the other career-related opportunities that you can seek out for your job search and professional development.  The opportunities are varied but include professional association conferences, local job fairs and military/security clearance-specific events.

Most professional associations have annual conferences, chapter meetings and networking functions.  The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Women in Aviation and many others offer opportunities year-round.  Identify the organizations in which you are most interested in joining and then learn about their development and job search options.  The best way to find information is to sign-up for news feeds and newsletters or bookmark the websites for easy access. For inspiration, view a list of relevant professional organizations on the Career Services website.

Geographical-based job fairs are another opportunity to consider, although you may not always find the companies that best fit your career goals.  Consider government-organized, university-based and for profit-run events to attend.  Before heading out, always review the company attendee list and understand the event entry policies (IDs, fees, pre-registration or resumes may be required).  A web search should be used to find these opportunities, and many major cities will advertise large events via ads on local websites, newspapers or TV.  Several city, county or state agencies, such as Workforce Centers, will offer events, and some of the events are virtual.  If you have a university in your local area, you may also inquire with the organizing department, most often Career Services, to see if they allow non-students and alumni to attend.  There are a number of for-profit groups that sponsor and advertise local events, including,, and others.

Former military personnel and those holding security clearances have additional fairs to consider., Lucas Group and are just several of the sites to explore for career fairs.  The government also hosts events specific to veterans; check out for details.

There are many additional sites, resources and opportunities for you to attend, and this list is just a starting point.  Attending a career-related event can be advantageous for you, but you should put in the preparation, time and enthusiasm to achieve your desired outcome.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.


Alumni Career Spotlight: Roger Battistoni

Roger Battistoni

Roger Battistoni, DB 1994

Roger Battistoni (DB Aeronautical Science, 1994)  is no stranger to Embry-Riddle’s Career Services Office. A Captain for NetJets and President/Owner of MultiCorp Aviation, he has dedicated his time and finances to come to campus regularly and talk to flight students about their future careers. Roger participated in our Alumni Industry Panel in 2009 and for several years now, he has presented Making the Most of Your Pilot Career.

Students and alumni can come and hear Roger speak tonight at 5:30pm in COB 114.

What factors, traits, or skills have enabled you to become both a successful Captain and business owner?

I think the ability to look forward and “see” my future.  When actor Jim Carrey arrived in Hollywood with only what he was wearing, he envisioned himself walking down the red carpet and actually wrote himself a check for $10 Million dated 10 years in the future.  What happened? Four months prior to that date, he received his largest commission check for a movie; that’s right, $10 Million.  You have to believe in yourself before you can make someone or some company believe in you.

If you could go back to your college days, what would you do differently? Why?

I would not change anything.  For me, the largest tool that I have used in my life and career to move forward has been my education from Embry-Riddle.

How do you utilize your network to help you in your career?

As they say, aviation is a very small world.  Your First Officer today could be your Captain tomorrow.  I remember when I started flying…I was 10 and I flew with this great instructor named Joe.  He moved  on to bigger and better things just a couple of years later, and I never heard from him again.  That was, until I was flying for the regionals and he walked in my cockpit… as my First Officer…

Everyone has an opinion and I think it is very important to seek out different opinions and use the “Embry-Riddle” network to obtain those opinions.  As they say, measure twice, cut once.

What is one piece of career advice you would like to share with ERAU students and alumni who are seeking work?

Take the blinders off, aviation is not just about the airlines…there are a lot of rewarding jobs in aviation other than the airlines.  Most importantly, do something that you are passionate about and you will be successful.

Live from AOPA

Kristy Amburgey, our associate director and employer relations manager, is at the AOPA Aviation Summit this week representing Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as a Trade Show Representative. Below, Kristy shares a little insight into her experience, along with some photos taken on her smartphone:

Held in Hartford, CT this year, the AOPA AviationEmbry-Riddle booth at AOPA Summit is a three-day event with static displays at the local airport and many different exhibitors in the convention center in downtown Hartford. Closest to the Embry-Riddle booth are Landmark Aviation, Meggitt PLC, Champion Aerospace, MassDOT and Baldwin Aviation although many more companies are represented. We are enjoying the wonderful comradery and networking that AOPA brings to the aviation community.

The Embry-Riddle booth saw a variety of visitors, including alumni and their families, employers seeking ERAU candidates and prospective students. Many people stopped by to tell us their Embry-Riddle stories, and it was great to hear stories both humorous and heartwarming. It is amazing how many people have been impacted by Embry-Riddle in some way. We have heard wonderful success stories from our alumni, and had to meet some our current students. Professionals from many fields have also stopped to talk shop.

The AOPA Aviation Summit promises even more excitement over the next few days, and our group can’t wait to meet and get to know even more attendees.

You Don’t Have a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

by Grissel Rivera, HR Recruiter with Verizon Wireless, Boca Raton, FL

Professional etiquette will help you make a lasting impression in the interview process. Consider the following tips:


  • Dress appropriately to show you take the interview seriously.
  • Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find a restroom to freshen up, etc. Arrive early — 15 – 20 minutes prior to the interview start time.
  • Take a pad and pen along with you for any notes you wish to make during or after the interview.
  • Offer a confident greeting and have a friendly expression when the interviewer welcomes you. Maintain good eye contact and display other indications of interest during the interview.
  • Be honest and be yourself. You want a good match between yourself and the position.
  • Explore motivational fit when an interviewer gives you a chance to ask questions. Some sample questions include:
    •  How would you describe the work environment here? Team oriented? Competitive? Fast-paced?
    • What’s your management style like?
    • Will training be provided to the new employee?
    • How is performance evaluated?
  • Show a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
  • Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Complete your research about the position in advance and ask questions that you did not find answered in your research.
  • Make sure you understand the interviewer’s next step in the hiring process; know when and from whom you should expect to hear next. Know what action you are expected to take next, if any.
  • Write a thank-you letter to your interviewer promptly. Electronic mail and voicemail are acceptable.


  • Make excuses as you answer questions. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions.
  • Make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).
  • Falsify application materials or answers to interview questions.
  • Treat the interview casually, as if you are just shopping around or doing the interview for practice.
  • Make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not the interviewer’s job to act as a career counselor to you.
  • Be unprepared for typical interview questions. You may not be asked all of them in every interview, but being unprepared will not benefit you.
  • Show frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
  • Go to unnecessary extremes with your posture; don’t slouch or sit rigidly on the edge of your chair.
  • Chew gum or smell like smoke
  • Take cell phone calls during an interview. If you carry a cell phone, turn it off during the interview to be sure it doesn’t ring.

Alumni Career Spotlight: Kandi (McCoy) Spangler

Kandi Spangler

Kandi Spangler, DB 1999

This week’s Alumni Career Spotlight features Kandi Spangler, a 1999 BS Aviation Business Administration graduate  from the Daytona Beach campus. Kandi is now Vice President, Marketing for Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) and has helped to recruit several Embry-Riddle students into internship positions within her company.  She graciously served on our Alumni Industry Panel last year and we are thrilled that she has agreed to share more of her wisdom with our job seeking students and alumni.

What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?

There are so many highlights in my career, but one in particular stands out to me.

Last year, our company decided to run a sweepstakes for a flight in a dual-control P-51 with an outfit called Stallion 51 out of Kissimmee, Florida.  We were planning to announce the winner at the 2010 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention and I was tasked to contact world-renowned aviation icon, Bob Hoover, who we wanted to make the announcement for us.  We thought Bob was the perfect person to make this announcement given his vast experience in the P-51, and we felt that his presence would draw many people to our booth.

To my surprise, Mr. Hoover answered when I first called to see if he would be interested in working with us.  Many people I tell this story to, don’t even know who Bob Hoover is, so I tell them it felt like I was on the phone with Harrison Ford!  I was giddy with excitement when he answered the call, so I did my best to remain composed and not act like a kid in a candy store.  Over the next several months, I got to speak with Mr. Hoover on numerous occasions and had the opportunity to talk about flying and aerobatics (I only recently started flying aerobatics myself) and I was amazed by his professionalism and interest in my aerobatic training.

Unfortunately, I received a call from Mr. Hoover less than a week before the NBAA Convention, in which he advised me that his doctors had restricted his ability to fly commercially due to his health.  Without pausing, he went on to say that he was in touch with his good friend, (astronaut) Gene Cernan to see if he would be able to stand in for him at the event.  Mr. Hoover felt terrible about the short notice and apologized several times before we hung up.  The next morning, I received two phone calls within an hour of each other.  The first call was from Captain Gene Cernan himself, to let me know that he would be happy to stand in for his friend, Bob Hoover.  The next call was from Bob Hoover, asking if Captain Cernan had called and if we got everything squared away for the announcement the following week.  I hung up with a huge smile on my face and thought, “how many people get to talk to Bob Hoover and Gene Cernan on the same day.  I love my job.”

While that was quite a highlight, it was equally amazing was when I got to meet Captain Cernan the following week and work with him for the event that took place in our booth.  He too was a complete professional and fantastic public speaker.

I expect to have many more career highlights in my lifetime, but it’s not often one gets to touch aviation and aerospace history like I did that week.

What traits and skills do you most attribute to your success?

There are a few traits and skills that I feel are important to my success:

Communication:  I have always been an outgoing person, but that didn’t automatically make me successful.  Effective communication is so much more.  Something that I’ve learned over the years is to balance my outgoing personality with the ability to listen.  Truly listening is probably the hardest thing an outgoing person needs to learn to become successful.  It’s necessary however, if you want to effectively communicate with your boss, your co-workers, your vendors and your customers.  The good news for you introverts out there, is that you’re likely already a good listener!  It’s the engagement part that you might need to refine.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses, it’s just a matter of taking the initiative to improve those areas where there are shortfalls.

Be Passionate: This applies to everything in life, not just work. Be passionate about what you’re doing; your family, your hobbies, the new project at work. I am an all-or-nothing kind of person and when I focus my energy on something, I give it 110%.  I don’t show up to work with a mindset to “stay under the radar”.  Nor I do work 40 hour weeks.  Passion does not happen between the hours of 8 and 5.

Collaboration:  I also like to foster a collaborative approach with any project.  Involve others.  Not only will the end result be something much better than what you could have come up with yourself, but you now have instant buy-in of the new initiative because of everyone’s involvement.  It’s a win-win situation.

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

 The alumni community with Embry-Riddle is unlike any that I’ve ever seen with other universities.  Want to have a fraternity of friends to cheer on your alma mater’s football team or basketball team?  Well, there are plenty of universities that have that.  But when it comes to a fraternity of professionals in the aerospace industry where there is an inherent reverence for the education you have – no one comes close to Embry-Riddle.

Truth be told, this is not something that weighed into my decision to attend Embry-Riddle.  I went because it was billed as the “best” for aerospace education in the world.  In hindsight however, this fraternity of friends is probably one of the biggest benefits you’ll experience long after you graduate.

Keep in mind that the “doors” that are opened don’t only apply to getting a job.  They apply to all sorts of things, like landing that big deal, or getting favorable terms with a vendor.  The simple connection to our alma mater can turn an awkward first business meeting into a walk down memory lane like you were old friends (even if you graduated 20 years apart and never met the other person).

What is one piece of career advice that you would like to share with job seekers?  

Stand Out:  I’m not telling you anything you don’t’ already know when I say that the job market is tough these days.  Finding a job will not be easy, but if you’re creative, you have a much better chance at landing a great job.  The key is to find a way to stand out.  This doesn’t mean calling the HR Director everyday for two months (a sure-fire way to get your name permanently removed from consideration, by the way).  It means being tactical and persistent, and whenever possible, having someone on the inside to help you.

One suggestion I have is to join groups or associations in the field you want to be in.  And don’t just send in your dues, participate!  Be active.  Being a member is not enough.  Volunteer your time and get involved with the association.  The friends you make are the people that can get you in the door.

Get involved with your local Embry-Riddle alumni chapter (even if you’re still in school).

One thing you don’t want to do is hand your new-found friends a resume on your first or second meeting.  Be genuine.  Be passionate about aviation/aerospace and be curious about what they do.  Ask them where they work and about their positions.  Listen and engage.  Desperation is not becoming, but common interests and passions are.  Give your relationship time to develop.  There will come a time when they will ask what you do or what you want to do.

Whether you are looking for a job, finding new customers or looking to get the best deal – people like to do business with people they like and trust.  I used to think “networking” was just a fancy term for people to go drink, hang around and talk about whatever – but not necessarily business.  Now I realize that networking is the critical foundation for how business gets done.  You do business with the people you like and trust.  You get a job from the people that like you and trust you.  So let your hair down, put the resumes away and go make some friends… lots and lots of friends.

About Kandi Spangler:

Ms. Spangler joined Jet Support Services, Inc. in 2006 as JSSI®’s Midwest Sales Representative and in September 2009, she was promoted to Director of Marketing. In January 2010, she was promoted to her current position.

Ms. Spangler is responsible for all marketing for the company, including trade shows, advertising, collateral, market research and direct mail and phone campaigns.  Her mission is to gain the mindshare of decision makers, existing clients and key influencers that result in new sales and/or customer satisfaction.

Previously, Ms. Spangler held various sales positions in the aircraft charter and management industry, working for The Air Group, Inc. in their Los Angeles and Chicago locations.  Prior to The Air Group, she held positions in flight operations and crew management at NetJets.

Ms. Spangler has a B.S. in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She currently serves on the National Business Aviation Association’s Access Committee, and is member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and International Aerobatic Club (IAC).  She is an avid pilot and owns a Cessna 182 based at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC).

Job Search Strategy Insights

by Kristy Amburgey

Want to read advice from employers and career professionals? We have put together a short list showcasing a variety of tips. Check out the below list, evaluating each point to know how you can implement them into your job search.

  • For your targeted companies, set up profiles, RSS feeds and job notifications via the employment sections of their websites to make your search easier
  • Be an active participant in your job search; avoid passively applying online and just waiting for something to come to you
  • Read and understand the job description thoroughly; follow all company application instructions down to the last detail
  • Make sure your resume is customized, tailored for each job you pursue; this means revising the entire document and not just updating the objective
  • Go to websites, read available literature and be prepared to ask insightful questions that convey you have spent time learning about the company with which you are interacting or interviewing
  • Create impact in your resume, phone efforts and letters; in your follow-up, be professional and enthusiastic; make sure to practice your telephone, in-person and virtual interviewing skills •
  • You must SELL yourself in any interaction with employers; smile, relax and explain how you are the best fit for that employer’s position
  • Show enthusiasm and sincerity for the company and for the specific position for which you are interviewing
  • One great networking method, especially if you are new to the field, is to get involved in professional organizations; volunteer to accomplish tasks, participate in meetings or attend events to better market yourself to the members

Take advantage of these diverse ideas to ensure that you are on-target for your successful job search.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

Get LinkedIn with the EagleHire Network!

Starting today, when you log into your EagleHire Network account, you will be asked if you want to create a LinkedIn account. Agreeing will give you the option to connect an existing LinkedIn account with your EagleHire Network account as well.

At the end of the month, Experience (the company that brings you the EagleHire Network) will be associating professional connections with jobs and internships in the EagleHire Network. This should make it much easier and faster for you to “connect the dots” and utilize your connections to learn more about specific opportunities.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with over 120 million members and growing. Getting on LinkedIn is critical if you are seeking a job and are looking for a way to make connections, exchange ideas, seek advice, and learn about new opportunities. Once on LinkedIn, you are encouraged to join the Embry-Riddle Career Services and Alumni Relations groups (as well as other aviation and aerospace related groups on LinkedIn) to connect with members of the Embry-Riddle community to include alumni, employers, staff, faculty, and students.

It’s all who you know.


Preparing for the Industry/Career Expo

Embry-Riddle Aerona2010 Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expoutical University students and alumni are invited to attend the annual Industry/Career Expos at the Prescott, AZ and Daytona Beach, FL campuses.  The Prescott event is being held on Thursday, October 6, 2011.  The Daytona Beach Expo is occurring on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.  Information about each event is found under the “Upcoming Events” section of the blog.

The Industry/Career Expos highlight many of the employers who specifically target Embry-Riddle students and alumni.  These events are great opportunities for you to identify job and co-op/internship openings, connect with companies, meet new employers and network with the representatives, many of whom are alumni.

In order to focus your time at the events, you should review the following tips.  Most importantly, you must prepare for a career fair just like you would an interview.

  • Review the list of employers and decide what companies are your primary targets; be open-minded about meeting the companies that may not be at the top of your list
  • Research your targeted companies thoroughly
  • Apply for positions, either through EagleHire Network or the companies’ websites, prior to the day of the event
  • Bring customized resumes and copies of specific job postings/ requisition numbers that you have either applied to or are interested in learning more; you be may told to apply online as this is usually a requirement to keep in compliance with certain laws; do bring a few general resumes, still targeted towards the job you want…you do not need to bring cover letters
  • Prepare an introductory statement, often called the elevator speech or 30 second commercial, as a way to jumpstart your conversation with a potential employer; keep it brief but poignant
  • Understand your career objectives and goals and be able to clearly explain what you want to do and what you can offer the company

Career Services will be offering preparation workshops at both the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses. Check the EagleHire Network calendar for more information. Can’t make a presentation? View archives of past Daytona Beach Career Services presentations.

Alumni Career Spotlight: Natalie (Dixon) Bland

We are launching our Alumni Spotlight Series by featuring Natalie (Dixon) Bland, a 2006 Aerospace Engineering graduate from the Daytona Beach campus.  Natalie impressed us as a student assistant in the Career Services Office during her time at Embry-Riddle, so we are not surprised that she is going places as a Structural Analysis Engineer with The Boeing Company.

Natalie (Dixon) Bland

Natalie (Dixon) Bland, DB 2006

We know you have been to SSP – tell us about it!

Space Studies Program (SSP) is a 9-week summer program managed by International Space University. Every year the program moves to a different host city around the world. This year, we were at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) in Graz, Austria. The program consists of 3 main parts. The first four weeks are core lectures. We have 63 core lectures on every topic in space from economics and politics to life sciences to public engagement. After that we have an exam and phase two begins. In phase two, we are in one of 7 departments (life science, systems engineering, space & society, policy & law, small satellites, physical science, business & management). I was in the policy & law department. We have 12 sessions in our department. Activities vary depending on which department you selected. In policy & law, we learned about the various space treaties of the United Nations and we wrote a paper on any policy/law topic of our choice. I wrote about the contract issues NASA is facing with the Commercial Crew Program. I learned so much in this department. The third phase is the team project. There are 3 team projects with 40 students on each team. My team created a model to help mission designers choose the optimal mission scenario to accomplish an objective (Mars sample return, for example) taking numerous interdisciplinary factors into account. SSP is a very intense program, much like college. It was an amazing opportunity to network with 120 students from 31 countries as well as distinguished faculty / guest speakers. I wrote about my experience on my blog called “60 Days in Graz.”

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

Because of Embry-Riddle’s excellent reputation in Aerospace Engineering, and thanks to the contacts I made at the ERAU Career Expo, I was able to obtain a job with The Boeing Company upon graduation. Boeing is a great company, and I have really enjoyed my experience there so far (5 years). There are a lot of other ERAU graduates at Boeing, so it is good to see familiar faces. In 2008, thanks to my ERAU connections at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, I was invited to be part of a team of 30 “Gen Y” employees to create a 20-year vision for JSC. Through this incredible experience I learned about strategic planning, and I have been thinking about the “big picture” of space exploration since that time.

What is one piece of career advice you would like to share?

Take the opportunity to get an internship during college. It is a fantastic way to get experience and it makes it much easier to get a job when you graduate. If possible, do more than one internship during your time at ERAU.

What are your plans for the future?

I am looking forward to getting back to Boeing to share my SSP experiences. I am currently in a technical position, performing structural analysis on the International Space Station (ISS). I hope to work on Boeing’s CST-100 vehicle (commercial crew transportation for ISS). I hope that NASA will eventually send humans to Mars. If so, I would like to be part of that program. I have had opportunities to learn about Systems Engineering and Program Management at Boeing, so I am taking steps towards positions in that direction at Boeing.


Welcome to Going Places, the official blog of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Career Services. We hope to inspire you with our Alumni Spotlight Series, featuring Embry-Riddle alums who have successfully navigated the job search jungle and are now soaring in their respective careers. Additionally, we will keep you informed of events and happenings in Career Services and share tips and articles (written by Career Services staff and employers) to help you get where you want to go in your career.

Your feedback and ideas are welcome. Comments are encouraged. Sharing is appreciated.

We hope you enjoy the ride.

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