Seasons Greetings from Embry-Riddle Career Services

The Career Services Office is wishing you…

A season filled with opportunities to achieve your professional goals

A week to devote to your job or internship search

A day to spend confidently applying to your dream job

An hour to relax and de-stress

A minute to share your success story

A second to smile at a new friend and colleague

A new year that promises exciting opportunities for you

A lifetime to grow professionally


Fall Graduates’ First Destinations

On Sunday morning, the Career Services staff was at graduation, collecting data for our First Destination Survey. While the official report won’t be available until after Spring graduation, we thought you might like to see where graduates are heading after they walked across the stage this past Sunday.

  • AAR Corporation
  • AeroSim Aviation
  • Air Wisconsin
  • Allegiant Air
  • AWAS
  • Baxa Corporation
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • CIT
  • City of Franklin, KY
  • Epic Aviation
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • General Atomics
  • General Electric
  • General Motors
  • Gulfstream Aerospace
  • Hamilton Sundstrand
  • Harris Corporation
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Nuovo Wind
  • Raytheon
  • Rockwell Collins
  • Rolls Royce
  • Royal Thai Air Force
  • Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
  • Southwest Airlines
  • SpaceX
  • Swissport
  • Tesla
  • The Boeing Company
  • Trinity Air Ambulance
  • United Airlines
  • United States Air Force
  • United States Army
  • United States Navy
  • United States Marine Corps
  • US Airways

If you recently graduated and still don’t have a job, please contact Career Services for guidance and resources that can help you attain employment. Click to select your campus and view a list of services offered by Career Services.

Co-op/Intern Spotlight: De Paul Sunny

De Paul Sunny, BS Aeronautics

De Paul Sunny recently completed his third semester and second internship/co-op with JetBlue Airways. In summer 2010, he completed an E190 Training Program Developer internship with the airline. The following summer, he went back to JetBlue to complete a one-year stint as a Flight Safety Co-op, which he will continue even after his December 18 graduation with a Bache lor of Science in Aeronautics.

You are on your second internship and third semester with JetBlue Airways. What kind of things have you done in your roles as E190 Training Program Developer and Flight Safety Co-op?

Both the internships have given me completely different experiences in the industry. As an E190 Training Program Developer, I worked at JetBlue’s Flight Training Department known as JetBlue University (JBU) and took on several different projects that ranged from ensuring JetBlue’s compliance with aspects of FAR Part 142 to leading the project on upgrading our training certification system to utilizing the FAA’s IACRA system.

I think the most exciting part of the internship was that I was essentially “checked-out” in the A320 and E190 simulators to provide demos for business partners, crew members and other interns. It also meant that I could use the simulator whenever there were no activity and practice approaches into St. Maarten (beautiful!), fly a VFR trip to Boston from New York, or even see the New York City skyline.

I really enjoyed this internship and wished it lasted more than a summer. But in the end, it provided me with great experience and exposure in the industry and subsequently led to me getting hired as a full-time co-op at JetBlue in the Flight Safety department.

My position as a Flight Safety co-op is significantly different from my previous position. I work at JetBlue’s headquarters in New York on a full-time basis for a period of at least a year. In this position, I have been basically treated as a full-time air safety investigator looking into various flight events that may pose risk to JetBlue’s operation. As such, most of my daily duties include FAA and NTSB notification on events as applicable and performing initial risk assessments on events reported to the department by line pilots. I have taken part in several flight safety investigations where I had to collect and analyze flight data, conduct crew debriefs and coordinate with various departments within JetBlue to issue findings or recommendations to help mitigate areas of identified risk. The investigations conducted eventually lead to corrective actions implemented in various departments and sometimes even industry wide.

Being in this position has also increased my exposure to several key people in various departments because I am constantly in contact with various departmental heads for different events. Since most investigations involve either the FAA or NTSB, the exposure to these government agencies has also been great.

I am also sent to various industry meetings or conferences to represent JetBlue and provide feedback on industry wide actions. This year I was sent to the International Society of Air Safety Investigators Conference in Salt Lake City and also a Runway Safety Action Team meeting in Boston. I have also been able to visit the FAA Technical Center in Atlantic City to get information on an investigation that I was assisting with.

How have you been able to apply your internship experience in the classroom?

During my first internship I was a junior at Riddle and soon after the internship I had to take several classes that were directly related to the projects that I had done during the internships. During my internship at JetBlue University, I had to review the training materials on the Airbus A320 and the Embraer E190. This was a really great project because it essentially taught me the aircraft systems and it helped me in the Jet Transport Systems, Electronic Flight Management Systems and Aircraft Performance classes that I would take later.

On the other hand, since I am doing the flight safety co-op during my senior year and right before graduation, I have been able to apply more of what I had learned in my aviation safety classes such as risk assessment, crash-worthiness and safety in transportation to be better at the internship.

In either case, the benefit of an internship or co-op lies in the work experience it provides. Doing an internship will definitely enhance your view on things taught in the classroom and give a better perspective on the reality of concepts learned in the classroom.

 Do you have any advice for students who are on the fence about doing an internship?

Do it! I cannot emphasize enough the value of an internship! I am sure you have heard this before but I will say it again, an internship gives you a much better prospect of getting employed at the company of your choice after graduation. The contacts that you build during your internships will prove to be extremely valuable and an internship significantly increases your exposure to the industry.

Let me try to put it in perspective. I know several graduates that have wondered why an application to an entry-level job is sometimes rejected because “they don’t have enough experience.” I mean, that’s the whole point of an entry-level position right, to gain experience? Well this is where an internship could really help you out. It’s easy to see from an employer’s perspective how it is so much better to choose a candidate who is out of college with a degree and has work experience by way of an internship than a candidate who graduated, maybe a year sooner, without any experience.

I recently interviewed for a full-time position and I will say that the difference in the perceptions you have and the answers you give before and after an internship are like night and day. You understand the industry better, you know what the hiring manager is looking for, and you have a lot more experiences that you can pull from when forming your responses.

An internship may set you back by a semester or so but if your reason to get a degree is to get a job in your relevant industry, that additional semester you graduated early by will not help.

What are your plans after you graduate this month?

My short term plans are to continue working for JetBlue and gain some more experience. After this co-op is over, I plan to look for a permanent position within aviation safety. I am also entertaining the idea of getting a master’s degree in Human Factors while continuing to build my flight hours.

Congratulations, Graduates!

Best Job Search Resources on Twitter

by Alicia Smyth

Twitter has helped to make celebrities and political figures more accessible, so it makes sense that the micro-blogging site can also make companies, recruiters, and career development professionals easier to reach as well. Twitter also serves as a great resource for keeping you up to date on news and current trends in the industry, which is very useful in helping you to prepare for a career fair or job interview. Some companies and recruiters even post jobs on Twitter.

Below, you will find a list of recommended people/companies to follow if you are searching for a job in the aviation/aerospace industries. Think of this as a macro-blog #FF (twit speak for “it’s Friday, so here is a long list of tweeters we recommend that you follow”).












Job Search Experts:


















Job Postings:














Professional Organizations:










Industry News:







Alicia Smyth has been with the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2000. In her time at Embry-Riddle, Alicia has worked primarily at the Daytona Beach campus but has also served in roles with Prescott and Worldwide. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida. Alicia currently serves as the director and information systems manager for Career Services and loves all things social media and technology. 

Notable Job Search Apps to Add to your Holiday Wish List

by Alicia Smyth

There is a good chance you have at least one gadget on your holiday wish list…an iPhone, iPod, iPad, laptop, or the like. Once you have your new device in hand (or your old faithful from last holiday season), be sure to download these apps to help you in your job search…

Jobs by CareerBuilder – iTunes (Free)

Has the full functionality of the website.

Job Search by Indeed – iTunes (Free)

Free access to millions of jobs from thousands of company websites and job boards.

Good Job by Code Beyond – iTunes ($4.99)

Manage job search activities like tasks, events, follow ups and interviews. This app can also save your login information for some job and company sites.

iGetaJob – iTunes ($.99)

Keep track of phone calls, e-mails, and personal visits, as well as jobs that you are interested in, including job name, contact person, date, pay rate, and any other information you need. It conveniently organizes all of the contacts that you use for your job search in one place.

In The Door – Facebook  (Free)

See jobs for which you already have an in via your Facebook friends.

Job Secrets Toolbar – Windows, Mac, Linux (Free)

Access job search information and business resources right on your browser.

LinkedIn Mobile – iTunes (Free)

Network on the go.

 SnapDat – iTunes (Free)

This app quickly creates and sends digital business cards from your iPhone to your new contact’s email.

Job Search Organizer – iTunes (Free)

Neatly organizes every job you’ve applied to so you can more effectively manage your job search and stay on task.

Perfect Interview – iTunes ($3.99-$9.99)

The mobile version of Perfect Interview has three versions: Graduate, Professional, and Executive. Practice interviewing in a simulated environment; record and review to help perfect your interviewing skills. Also available for free on your PC on the EagleHire Network homepage.

BeKnown by Monster – Facebook (Free)

Provides an easy way to apply for jobs without leaving Facebook while keeping personal information private. App also lets you see company information, get endorsed by contacts, and create an online version of your resume which can convert to pdf.

BranchOut – Facebook (Free)

BranchOut brings professional networking to Facebook. Browse jobs and internships and learn how your Facebook connections can help you professionally.

Hidden Jobs – iTunes ($.99)

An organized database of U.S. companies that are hiring, growing, and expanding.

There are many others out there worth checking out – do a Google search of “job search apps” for your favorite device, and you’ll be amazed by how many amazing resources are right at your fingertips. Literally.

Alicia Smyth has been with the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2000. In her time at Embry-Riddle, Alicia has worked primarily at the Daytona Beach campus but has also served in roles with Prescott and Worldwide. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida. Alicia currently serves as the director and information systems manager for Career Services and loves all things social media and technology. 

Pick-up Lines: Not Just for Dating

by Kristy Amburgey

Imagine you are sitting in a conference, and a complete stranger sits down next to you.  The person seems friendly and willing to talk.  You make eye-contact and smile at each other.  You feel like you should say something and may even want to start a conversation, but you don’t.  The conference session is over, and you both walk away, never to know what could have been.  You missed an opportunity to meet a person who could have, at the least, helped you to pass the time, or better yet, been a great connection.

How many chance encounters have you passed up because you were uncomfortable with the thought of talking to a stranger?  Approaching a new person can be distressing and often brings to mind many doubts.  Will they want to talk?  Will they be receptive to personal questions? Will the person be friendly?  Could they help me in any way?  Here is the thing, an obvious answer really: you need to be able to initiate conversations with people who appear ready and willing any chance you get.  Better yet, prepare yourself by having a batch of conversation starters, or pick-up lines, which could work in any professional or personal networking scenario.

Great networking opening lines are not too far away from the pick-up lines used by those looking for love.  You could talk about the weather, the environment you are in, your passion for flying, her career path, his company-branded polo shirt, cheese steaks, the great speaker you just heard…the list could go on!  Your list, though, should be geared towards your interests, personality and professional goals.  Be well versed in industry news and developments but play to your strengths at the same time.  You should select topics of conversation that you enjoy speaking about and are passionate for, and you want to identify any shared interests and use that common ground to build on your rapport.

Using common interests is a great way to pickup a new contact, and many people are naturally able to jump into any conversation.  There are other people who need to prepare and practice in order to feel most comfortable.  You don’t want to use canned responses, but you do want to sound confident and able to smoothly start the conversation.  Again, utilize what you do best when you are connecting with others.

With great pick-up lines comes great risk, and you do need to read situations and people in order to know how best to make your approach.  Eye contact and a smile often signal an invitation for further conversation.  If someone is absorbed in their Smartphone or newspaper, it may not be the best time to start talking.  Anyone who puts on headphones or has a Bluetooth in an ear is rarely ready to start a conversation.  Don’t start a side conversation during a discussion or speaker; save it until after the meeting.  Always identify the best time, environment and way to approach a person before starting a conversation.

Picture this scenario.  You are sitting in a workshop.  You make eye contact with someone who is from the company you truly want to work for, so you smile and remember one of your professional pick-up lines.  You feel the situation is right, so you open with a, “I see you work for ABC Company.  I have heard great things about that organization.  What do you do there?”  You and the person start talking about ABC Company, and your conversation leads to an invitation to attend an event the company is hosting later.  You go to the session and meet the hiring manager for the department you have been targeting.

Let’s just say that I can see great things in your future.

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.

Expo Survey Results Show the Value of Career Services

by Alicia Smyth

Every year we survey Daytona Beach campus students who attend the Industry/Career Expo to find out about their experience at the event and if there were any positive outcomes. The results are always fun to tabulate because year after year, they show how valuable the Career Services Office can be to current Daytona Beach Embry-Riddle students if they decide to utilize it.

Each year, we ask questions about how students were dressed, how prepared they felt, if they received any interviews or offers, and what interaction they had with Career Services prior to the event. The results, year after year, tell us the following:

If you dress professionally, you are more likely to receive an interview

Pretty common sense stuff, right? But still, not all students attend the event dressed professionally.

If you use the Career Services Office more than once within the three months before the Expo, you will feel more prepared and increase your likelihood of scoring an interview

The key takeaway here is using the office more than once. Students who come in for one advisement session or a simple resume critique are only slightly more likely to feel prepared than those who never come in at all.

Those students who work closely with their Program Managers tend to have greater success overall. They feel more prepared, are more likely to get an interview and in some cases, an offer, within a month after the event.

This is because job search preparation takes time and requires know-how. Your Program Manager is there to guide you and offer sage advice regarding aspects of the job search, company insights, and career development. You can go it alone, but why would you want to?

If you attend presentations that are related specifically to the Expo, you will have greater success at the event

Students who attend targeted presentations, such as Ace the Interview or Working the Expo, are more likely to feel prepared and obtain an interview. If you miss a presentation, you can always watch it online.

Practice makes perfect

Students who participate in a mock interview with Career Services or who attend the Speed Interviewing event prior to the Expo are most likely to feel prepared and obtain an interview. It takes an hour of your time but could save you months of frustration because you can’t land a job.

Career Services is a valuable resource for you – if you choose to use it wisely

While this information may not help you for the 2011 event, it surely can help you in the future. It is never too soon to start using Career Services. Imagine how successful you could be if you truly took advantage of our office! A resume critique is important, but a resume alone won’t land you a job. Make an appointment and meet your Program Manager, complete your EagleHire Network account, work on your resume, attend our upcoming presentations, utilize our resources, and do a mock interview. You are investing a lot of time and money into your education and your future…let Career Services help you to get a return on that investment.

Keep in mind that one-on-one career advisement services, including mock interviews, are only available up to one year after graduation. It is important to take advantage of the interactive services we offer while you can.

For a full list of services available to students and graduates, please visit our website:

Alicia Smyth has been with the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2000. In her time at Embry-Riddle, Alicia has worked primarily at the Daytona Beach campus but has also served in roles with Prescott and Worldwide. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida. Alicia currently serves as the director and information systems manager for Career Services and loves all things social media and technology. 

To Apply or Not to Apply? That is a Really Good Question

by Kristy Amburgey

Please don’t read this article hoping to find a definitive answer or quantifiable evidence to support or dissuade you from applying for a position to which you don’t have all the prerequisites.  In the research accomplished, I can tell you that there are many different takes and no one answer to this question.  Everyone has an opinion about applying for a job to which you don’t match all the qualifications, and that opinion may not always match common sense, career advice, recruiter feedback or your own instincts.  This article is here to give you some guidance on how to go beyond the qualifications to build your case for employment.

Most feedback you will get on this subject typically falls into three categories: the go-for-its, the no-ways and the it-depends.  First, there are the go-for-its who feel that it never hurts to try, and there are success stories from people who have gone for it.  There are many people, including job seekers themselves, who see applications as chances to get their feet in the door, and that may be the case under certain circumstances.  There are also the no-way people, who expect candidates to have mastery of all the qualifications for a position.  This group will have expectations that the job seeker have above and beyond what is expected and would be reluctant to take a chance on someone who does not meet all criteria.  The third part of this equation is the group that advocates the it-depends school of thought.  Most people in this group ask that job seekers carefully consider if they can truly do the job and whether or not they have the ability to relate their backgrounds and accomplishments to the specific positions.  This group also advocates for ideas that you can implement in your job search to help you move beyond the qualifications requirements.

Before we proceed, there are several important topics that must be addressed.  First, there are a number of requirements set forth by the company that can’t be compromised.  These can include citizenship, education and certification requirements.  Please recognize that there are policies that a company must follow, and it is not in your best interest to try and convince them to ignore these basic rules.  Secondly, remember that you do need to honestly evaluate your ability to do the job and your desire to actually do that work.  Consider spending your time pursuing other opportunities if you have no interest in that career field or any background, education, experience or passion for it.  And finally, don’t ever lie to get the job.  If you don’t have the qualifications, be truthful and identify ways to further your candidacy before applying.

If you don’t have all of the qualifications but feel you can do the job, you can consider some of these action items to implement into your job search both prior to and after applying, which are hopefully things you are already doing.

Write a Cover Letter

A cover letter gives you a chance to explain how your background, while not a match on paper, is a great fit for an organization. Not all employers read the letters, but you can give your resume a boost in terms of expanding on your accomplishments as related to a specific job.  Before applying for a position, there are many ways to gather information to integrate into your job search documentation, including an informational interview.

Conduct an Informational Interview

Request a meeting, or informational interview, with an expert in the field you want to pursue.  Sit down with the person and ask them well thought out questions about how to succeed in the field.  This type of conversation is yet another way to gather information about an organization, but it also allows you to get an insider’s view into the job to which you may not have the qualifications.  Better yet, read the Alumni Spotlights on the Going Places blog as we ask these experts for their insight into their career fields.  Once you have a grip on what it takes to break into the industry, it’s now time to build up your qualifications.

Build your Qualifications

You can always work to add qualifications to your repertoire even if your credentials are not up to company standards at this point in time.  If the job description lists a specific quality, certification or requirement, figure out how you can gain that exposure.  Before deciding on what qualification to build, you should take time to identify your transferable skills to see if you already have some of the prerequisites needed.

Address your Transferable Skills

You may have an entire set of skills valued by employers that you may not know you possess.  These qualities are known as transferable skills.  The key to transferable skills is to connect your previous experiences and accomplishments to the job you are hoping to obtain.  Identify and then address (via resumes, cover letters and conversations) your transferable skills, which are those attributes that are valued by employers regardless of the environment in which you developed them.  Transferable skills can include your ability to analyze, communicate, manage, organize, research, resolve and more.  In order to know what transferable skills you need to emphasize, you must ensure that you research the organization.

Research the Company

Even though researching the company should be a standard for any job search, learning as much as you can about a company is often the best way to figure out how to get your foot in the door even without all the published requirements.  Arm yourself with plenty of company knowledge as a way to understand the path to the job and as a way to build your connections.

Utilize your Connections

Even without all the qualifications, you still have a chance of being granted an interview if you have a connection inside the company who can influence hiring decisions.  Having an acquaintance such as a fellow alum share your resume with a hiring manager can be beneficial in making your resume a priority.

If you don’t have all the requisites for a position, it can be a daunting decision to pursue the position or wait until your background more closely fits the company’s requirements.  The decision is entirely a personal one, but it should involve careful consideration, planning and action.  Build your case for employment, regardless of whether or not you have all the qualifications, by following these steps.

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: Stephen Smyth

Stephen Smyth, DB 1995

When Stephen Smyth graduated from Embry-Riddle in 1995 with a BS in Aircraft Engineering Technology, he was certain that he was going to complete a 20-year career in the Army. As a First Lieutenant serving at Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley, KS, Stephen was exposed to new career possibilities and decided to leave the military to enter the civilian workforce. Today, he is a Medical Device Consultant with DePuy Orthopaedics, a Johnson & Johnson company.

How did you go from a degree in aircraft engineering to a career in medical device sales? 

I was Army ROTC at ERAU and the engineering degree enabled me to secure a full 4-year scholarship. Upon graduatiuon, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. During the next four years on active duty, I served in a variety of leadership positions. During my final assignment, I worked in the hospital at Ft. Riley, KS. I was the Chief of Materials Management. In this position I was able to meet a wide variety of civilian pharmaceutical and medical device sales consultants. The job sounded amazing and fit my interests. When I finished my commitment to the Army, I obtained a position as a Pharmaceutical Representative and later was able to break into Medical Devices.

What does a medical device consultant do?

I provide technical support and make recommendations regarding our products to surgeons and their staff in the operating room for a variety of surgical cases (e.g., Total Knee, Total Hips and Trauma in Orthopaedics).

How has your Embry-Riddle degree been helpful in your position?

As an engineering graduate, I consider myself to be a problem solver. When problems are encountered in surgery, which seems to happen a lot, I am able to lend my advice to the surgeon and provide various solutions. I always have a plan B, C, and D when I start a case. My degree has also helped me to easily grasp the highly technical nature of my job. In addition, my educational background has allowed me to stand out among other candidates when vying for job opportunities.  

Do you have any career advice for ROTC students getting ready to enter into the military, and/or military personnel getting ready to transition to civilian work?

Network, Network, Network! Establish relationships with senior officers so that when you need a letter of recommendation, you’ll get it easily. Network with civilian contractors too. Work to continously update and build on your resume. Work on your master’s degree while serving. Start the relationship process early in your military career with some of the better JMO (Junior Military Officer) recruiting firms. Create a LinkedIn account and post your resume on Monster and some of the other job boards. It also doesn’t hurt to get to know the Career Services staff at Embry-Riddle and to check out the resources they have available on their website for those who are transitioning from the military.

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