Co-Worker Etiquette: Tips for New Job Success

by Valerie Kielmovitch

Beginning a new job or internship can seem overwhelming for many different reasons.  Anticipating who your co-workers will be and adjusting to the office culture can be one of the most nerve racking parts of a new position.  Adhering to general and office etiquette, though, can help you transition into the work force with ease.

Here are some tips on how to be a great co-worker:

  • Communication is Key: Make sure all of your office communication is professional and detailed.  Follow all email and voicemail etiquette.
  • Be Personable:  It is important to acknowledge co-workers with a ‘good morning’ or ‘have a good night.’  Remember to be friendly with all personnel from custodial workers to the head of the company.  Allow yourself to be approachable.
  • Co-worker versus Friend:  This is a thin line, and you want to be sure you do not overstep boundaries with co-workers.  Be careful of how much personal information you share with a co-worker.  Remember that you are at work, and humor or jokes that may be funny outside of the office may not be appropriate.
  • Personal Hygiene: Some workplaces have small work spaces so ensure that you have good personal hygiene, but remember not to overdo the perfume or cologne as some co-workers may have allergies and or the scent could become overwhelming.  If you are a smoker, make sure you follow all company policies regarding breaks and designated areas and be aware that the smell of smoke may affect others as well.
  • Common Area Cleanliness: Many offices have a common break room or kitchen.  It is not one person’s responsibility to keep this space clean so always clean up after yourself.  If there is a shared refrigerator, try not to take up too much room and consider others’ needs.  Make certain that the items you bring for meals or breaks are not too overwhelming or disturbing to the office environment.
  • Personal Workspace:  Sharing a workspace can be challenging, but remember to be considerate of your co-worker(s).  Make sure all personal pictures are appropriate and keep music to a minimum as not to disturb others.  Arrange your desk so it is presentable/organized if others rely on you for information/paperwork.
  • Volunteer: If a special event or community service opportunity arises, take time to volunteer.  Remember special holidays like Boss’s Day or Administrative Professionals Day along with co-workers’ milestones such as birthdays or anniversaries.
  • Timeliness:  Being on time to meetings or appointments is essential.  It shows others that you respect their time as well.
  • Network: When attending company-wide events, ensure that you meet co-workers from other departments.  Try to break out of your normal clique to socialize with people you may not know.  Even in the workplace, it is sometimes all about who you know.

Serving as a great co-worker will get you noticed and make the working environment more enjoyable for all!

Valerie Kielmovitch has been working as a Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for nearly two years.  She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida and Master of Education specializing in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina.  Valerie has a diverse background in the field of higher education from residence life to career services.

Alumni Career Spotlight: Ralph Wainwright Jr.

Ralph Wainwright, DB 2010

Ralph Wainwright is a May 2010 Aeronautical Science graduate.  As a student at Embry-Riddle, Ralph did everything right. He held leadership roles, was a member of the Eagles Flight Team, volunteered, participated in several internships, kept his grades up, and worked as a flight instructor to build his time. It came as no surprise that less than a year after graduation, Ralph landed a position as a First Officer for Air Wisconsin Airlines flying the CRJ-200.

Can you share how your Flight Operations internship with Continental Airlines assisted in the progression of your pilot career?

Looking back to the Spring of 2009, the Continental Airlines internship was the best career-related decision I ever made. I was fortunate enough to intern in the Newark Airport Chief Pilot’s Office and work for the Chief Pilot of Continental’s Newark hub. My experience included FMS (flight management system) training, the high altitude chamber, various tours of numerous facilities in the aviation industry (including Boeing), and 24 hours of full motion simulator time in the 737. This internship gave me a firsthand look at the industry, as I was able to speak with many pilots on a daily basis. This was important because it validated my childhood dream to one day become an airline pilot. Along with networking and technical skills, the most important asset this internship provided me with was the ability to be granted an interview with the MINIMUM flight time required for a pilot position at Continental (which is now United).

In such a competitive industry with thousands of qualified applicants and a limited number of pilot slots, I cannot stress how important this internship can be. To put it simply, this internship is the difference in making it to a major airline at 30-35 years old versus the age of 25 (or even younger!). Be prepared to work hard during an internship, but also keep in mind that it is basically a 3-4 month interview and, should you succeed, it will certainly pay off in the end. To put the question into perspective, I am currently 22 years old in the right seat of the CRJ-200 jet, and with United Airlines forecast to hire within the next 12 months, the internship has put me in a fantastic position to eventually join United.

How has your Embry-Riddle education enhanced your position as a first officer?

Embry-Riddle provided me with an extremely well-rounded education to meet and exceed the job requirements of my first officer position. Because of the structured curriculum at ERAU, there were many important topics that had already been covered in class before I had ever stepped foot into the airline industry. These were topics that were new to most new-hire pilots such as Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Flight Management Systems (FMS), along with many others. The education provided at ERAU was extremely in-depth to the point where there were many important topics that were not even covered by airline training. This included in-depth aerodynamics, knowledge of the mechanics and components of jet engines, and numerous air traffic control classes and labs. This list was endless and ultimately set the Embry-Riddle student apart from everyone else. Flight training provided at ERAU was second to none, and having instructed/been a student at numerous flight schools, the level of safety and quality of training is incomparable to all but the airlines. Aside from this, you will find that ERAU can open many doors for your future if you work hard.

What advice would you provide to a pilot who will be graduating in the near future?

This is a really exciting time for pilots, especially those pilots in the making who are attending ERAU at the moment or will be within the next few years. Major airlines will be opening up their doors in about 12 months to hundreds and eventually thousands of pilots to replace those who must retire due to the mandatory retirement age of 65. It is important to have a plan to make sure you are in the right position to meet your goals and work for the company you want.

Always carry yourself professionally and presentably. You never know who you will meet and where. There have been many times where I have run into various people in unexpected locations (such as an airport, restaurant, etc.) who have helped my career. Opportunities can present themselves when you least expect it. It also may not hurt to always keep a resume or business card on you. Keep your resume updated constantly (I’d say about every 100 hours or so) including your logbook if you are a flight instructor. Keep an open mind when apply for jobs and going on interviews. The last time I was interviewed, I was only given a few days’ notice and I was extremely skeptical about receiving this job. I had already seen a few of my peers turned down for the position who were more qualified than I was, and it got to the point where I had considered turning down the interview in its entirety to prepare for another one I was scheduled for only a few days after. However, this was truly the job I wanted, and I had all my paperwork all ready to go so I took the chance. It certainly paid off because over a year later, I am still flying the CRJ-200 for Air Wisconsin Airlines, and I am really glad I went on the interview! Stay in touch with as many people as you can (and be friendly with them too!) because you never know who will be that  helping hand in landing you a job. When you do achieve your dream job or hopefully something close to it, please remember to be humble about your ERAU education. Your skills will speak for themselves so when you safely land your airplane during a snowstorm on a short runway in windy conditions, don’t boast about it! That will make you well-liked among your co-workers. Always be honest so…if you mess up…fess up! That is the path of least resistance of getting through a situation. It is a great time to be a pilot at ERAU so work hard now, and it will certainly pay off later!

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

Perseverance: Since I was 3 years old watching airplanes with my parents at Newark Airport, I have always wanted to be an airline pilot. That dream has never left my sights since that day. Determination is key and if you want something bad enough, you must work hard for it. I never let anything get in my way of my goal since I started ERAU, and good decisions were a must in order to get here. I was really anxious to achieve my dream, so I put in an extra effort by giving up a few weekends to prepare for something important such as a test or check ride. Instead of taking the summers off, I spent my time more constructively by taking extra classes and working on my next flight rating. As a result, I was able to graduate a full year early and earned my Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science in 3 years. By managing my time effectively and efficiently, I was able to accomplish my goals in a shorter time period. My perseverance was the motivating factor to my success at Embry-Riddle.

Ability to work efficiently with other people: No matter what job you are in, being able to adapt to the work environment (which is extremely dynamic in aviation) and the people in it will make tasks easier to accomplish. Everyone has different insights and personalities, so it is important to accept everyone for who they are.

Attitude: Being arrogant with a “know it all” attitude will not get you anywhere in an airplane, especially with the people with whom you constantly work. I am fully confident in what I know, but I am always open to learning new things everyday. Taking your bad mood out on the world solves nothing, so I like to treat people the way I would like to be treated.

Spring Graduates’ First Destinations

On Sunday morning, the Career Services team was at graduation, collecting data for our First Destination Survey. While the official report will not be available for a few weeks, we thought you might like to see where graduates are heading after they walked across the stage this past Sunday.

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 on the appropriate campus link to view a list of services offered by Career Services.

It’s Never Too Early to Get Ready for the 2012 Industry/Career Expo!

by Amy Treutel

Mark your calendars right away, the 2012 Industry/Career Expo is October 10th!  With the Expo being just six weeks after the start of the fall semester, it is imperative you start taking measures to prepare yourself for this on-campus hiring event.

  • Begin preparing your resume.  A resume is an ever-changing document, so take some time this summer to accumulate your accomplishments and projects onto one page.  Remember to pay attention to any awards or scholarships you have won, flight ratings you’ve received, or research projects you have worked on in past semesters.  Also be sure to add any work experience you have to your resume, whether it is related to your degree program or not.
  • Research companies attending the expo.  An up-to-date list of companies registered for the expo is available on our website, so you can monitor the companies seeking candidates from your specific degree program.
  • Make a list of the companies you want to target at the Expo.  Even though your list will be ever-changing as companies continue to register for the event, start figuring out which companies have jobs or internships that interest you for the future.  Research the individual companies to learn more about the corporate culture, locations of different divisions, and what projects are currently in the works.
  • Plan your business attire.  The Industry/Career Expo will require you to have business attire to attend.  If you don’t have a suit and tie, or suit and blouse, shop the summer or back-to-school sales to find an affordable option.  Remember to pair a dark suit with a neutral colored shirt underneath, and always have clean, non-scuffed dress shoes.  Outlet malls and discount stores are great options to find a reasonably priced, professional outfit.  It’s also important to have extra outfits planned for the company information sessions that happen in the days both before and after the Expo.
  • Put together your professional portfolio.  The summer is a great opportunity to take the time to compile all of your professional accomplishments together.  A portfolio typically contains projects you’ve worked on, writing samples, and letters of recommendation from faculty and previous employers.
  • Keep updated with Career Services.  Career Services’ Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Blackboard communities will be updated throughout the summer with the latest information and articles pertaining to your job search.  Make sure to check back often so you don’t miss any important information!

Amy Treutel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Management.  She currently works as the Office Associate and has been part of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Career Services team for five years.

 

Congratulations, Graduates!

Alumni Career Spotlight: Debarati Ray

Debarati Ray, DB 2011

Debarati Ray received her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle in May 2011. As a student on a F-1 visa, Debarati knew she would face many challenges in her job search, and she was successful at landing a position as a Systems Engineer in Flight Management Systems, Commercial Systems with Rockwell Collins. Debarati shares her experience and advice.

As an international student, you knew the challenges to finding employment in the US. What did you do to overcome those challenges?

Finding a job is a stressful process for all students. For international students, the lack of opportunity can sometimes be disheartening and discouraging. My most important advice for international students is to remember the reason and purpose for traveling so far away from home. My reason for coming to ERAU was to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a successful Aerospace Engineer, and I worked very hard to accomplish that. If you work hard to shape yourself into an exceptional student in your field of study, it is hard for companies to turn you down. I got involved  and took up leadership positions in a lot of organizations like Sigma Gamma Tau, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, Up ‘Til Dawn, Mentor in ERAU’s First Women’s Mentoring Program, Theta Phi Alpha to name a few.  I gained a lot of time management, organizational, communication and leadership abilities from these organizations. Leadership involvement and organizational skills are one of the key things that all employers keep an eye out for. They are looking for all-round, exceptional students and not just book smarts.

What would you say to an international candidate that would like to pursue employment in the US?

Other than getting involved on campus and acquiring leadership experience, actively search and apply for internships and co-ops. Don’t get discouraged if you do get rejection letters; keep on applying. You never know when a window of opportunity will open up for you. For international students, try and get internships at companies back home for when you go back for summer or winter breaks. Any experience is good experience and will not go to waste.  My sophomore year, I worked for 5 weeks as an intern at MSE Engineering Enterprises in Muscat, Oman. I learned how to electrically calibrate instruments and create verification certificates. I also had to observe and create a process flowchart of the calibration procedure. None of this had anything to do with my degree, but it still gave me the experience of working in a corporate environment. My junior year, I was lucky enough to get a semester-long co-op with the same company and team that I am working for presently. It gave me an insight to the structure of the company and its ways. I also realized that being a Systems Engineer was what I wanted to do.

If you cannot attain an internship or a co-op, ask your professors if you can help out with any research projects that they or the school are working on. This is a great way to gain experience as well. Don’t leave any stone unturned.

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

I was told by a recruiter at my company that ERAU is one of the few schools where they hire new graduates without a master’s degree, as they are aware of our rigorous curriculum and all the hands on experience that we get.  We have a large ERAU base at our company, and it is great working with the alums on a daily basis. Pursuing and achieving a degree at ERAU means that you have the discipline to work under any condition. ERAU has a great name and reputation in the industry, and you have to live up to it every day.

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

Even after getting a job, don’t stop learning. Acquire mentors in your company in fields in which you are interested and want to learn about. Don’t close any doors.

Facebook Privacy: Taking a Stance the Professional Way

by Kristy Amburgey

There has been much publicity lately about employers asking job candidates to hand over their Facebook login information in order for the employers to dig into their job candidates’ accounts.  This practice is concerning to most people, more so for the actual job candidates and their Facebook friends.  While several articles made this violation sound commonplace, additional reporting has shown that it is not a typical request made by most employers.  As a job seeker, though, you should know that this practice exists.  As a savvy job seeker, you should understand the policies about any Facebook privacy violation and be able to react to any request for this type of information in the most positive way possible.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the leading organization for college career centers, has released a statement about Facebook privacy.  NACE specifically states that an “employer should not require or request that job candidates provide password/login information to their personal social network accounts as a condition of employment or as a condition of consideration for employment.” Facebook also took a stance by making it a “violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to share or solicit a Facebook password.”

If you are ever faced with this request, you should have an understanding of the policies and common practices, and you should have a statement prepared that shows you are cooperative and willing to provide details of your professional persona but that you don’t want to break the rules.   Here is example wording that you could customize for your situation.

I am certainly willing to answer any questions you may have about my candidacy.  I have accomplished X, Y and Z as related to the job, and I belong to multiple professional organizations to which I devote much of my time.  I understand that it is against Facebook’s policies to share any password information, but I am more than willing to connect with you via LinkedIn if you would like to send me a connection request.

As our job search and professional development intersect with all these great online tools, you need to protect yourself and those with whom you are connected.  Ensure you are up-to-date on general social media policies and how employers are using these tools.   You have a choice in these matters of privacy, and you should be well-informed before making any decisions.  Once you take a stance,  you should treat employer interactions and requests for private information, where it might be illegal or even makes you a bit wary, in the most professional manner.  Offer to provide them details, via your resume, e-portfolio, portfolio, interview, phone conversation, website, LinkedIn profile and more, that prove your value as a candidate.

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.

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