What to Know for the Expo

by Kristy Amburgey

ERAU Industry/Career Expo

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle” is an oft repeated phrase, most often in jest, in our household.  It came from the G.I. Joe cartoon that was great entertainment to a generation of young people several (ok, many) years ago.  As often as it is used to laugh, there is great truth in the phrase.  I am going to recommend that we all take this sentiment to heart and remember that knowing really is half the battle to achieving what we want.  Specifically, this phrase is most apropos for the preparation for the Industry/Career Expo.  What you know and how you prepare beforehand is equally as important as your presentation and representation abilities at the Expo.  Knowing can be the difference between you having a successful event or feeling that the Expo was not for you.

Know what companies are coming to the Expo

Check out the list of companies attending the Expo [link to list], knowing that the attendee list will be revised all the way up to the day of the event.  Instead of just glancing at the list, review the information available by clicking on the company names.  You will find information that the companies have provided, including a list of targeted career focuses and experience levels.

Know what companies you want to target while at the Expo

As you find out what companies are attending, you should narrow down the large list and develop your own targeted company list.   These companies should be the ones you are definitely seeking out at the Expo (although you may and should visit with other companies not on your list). Spend some time linking out to the company websites to research your list.

Know basic information about the companies

As you develop your targeted list of companies, you now need to gather basic knowledge about them.  Find out what they do, what products they make/develop/impact, who their competitors are, where they are growing, their locations, what jobs are available and more.   Most importantly, be prepared to answer, “Why are you interested in [Company Name]?”, which shows the company you did your homework and put some thought into matching your goals to the company.

Know your strengths and value to a company

Although there are qualities and skills (transferable skills) that any company values, you need to understand what your strengths are and how you might add value to a company.  In addition, know how you are going to present the information to the company attendees and prepare what you want to say.

Know what you want to say to the companies

Before you talk to anyone, prepare and practice what you plan to say to the companies.  Know how you are going to introduce yourself and have your 30-second pitch (or elevator speech) ready to use.  At times, your pitch may turn into an actual conversation, so you want to be ready to show-off your communication abilities. In addition, you should have questions that you want to ask a company, questions developed specifically for that company that shows your interest and passion for the organization.

Know where and how you might fit into the company

This step is much harder, but you need to understand, as best as possible, where you fit into the company.  A company values a candidate who can come up to them and share where or how they might fit into the organization instead of asking a question such as, “Do you have any jobs in X field?”

Know that your attitude, enthusiasm and professionalism matter

There are certain characteristics that companies tell us over and over again that they want to see at the Expo: a great attitude, enthusiasm and passion for the company/position/industry and professionalism.  Hands-down, you should integrate all three of these approaches into your Expo repertoire.

Know that extra effort can pay off

Although all of the above points are important, know that it can be the few extra steps you take that make the best impressions.  Dressing in your absolute most professional attire is imperative and required to enter the Industry/Career Expo.  Customizing your resume for a specific company is a great approach to differentiating yourself from other candidates.  Following up with a thank you email or note can leave a great impression.

The Industry/Career Expo is your chance to network, connect and impress the companies.  Take the time to prepare and sort out all the information to ensure you are successfully interacting with the companies.  Be prepared, be confident and mostly be in the know.  As you may have heard, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”

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.

Check Out The New and Improved ERAU Career Services Website

http://careers.erau.eduEmbry-Riddle Career Services has a new website! Please update your bookmarks and check us out at http://careers.erau.edu.

The new Embry-Riddle Career Services website is inclusive of all three campuses and includes information on everything you need to know to be successful in your job search, including, but not limited to:

  • Upcoming events, including the Industry/Career Expo
  • Career planning
  • In-person and social networking
  • Resume/CV tips and samples
  • Cover letter and references tips and samples
  • Interviewing preparation
  • Resources for special populations, including military transitioners, career changers, international job seekers, displaced professionals, disabled job seekers, and PhD candidates
  • How to access and utilize the EagleHire Network, Embry-Riddle’s online career management system
  • Co-op/Internship Program information
  • Interns in Action
  • Federal employment, civic service, and research opportunities
  • Useful links
  • Information on the services and resources available at each of the three ERAU campuses
  • How to recruit candidates for full-time and co-op/internship positions

Alumni Career Spotlight: Stephen Boyce

Stephen Boyce, ERAU-DB, EP

Stephen Boyce, DB 2011

Stephen Boyce graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from the Daytona Beach campus in May 2011. As a student, Stephen completed internships with IMP Aerospace and HINZ, a Rockwell Automation Company.

Soon after graduation, Stephen was hired by Schlumberger as a Maintenance Engineer Trainee, serving as a key link between the field maintenance organization and the Engineering & Manufacturing centers to help improve equipment design reliability and maintainability. After ten months in this role, Stephen moved up to a Field Engineer position and is currently in training to become a Technical Sales Engineer.

Can you tell us about your company?

Schlumberger (pronounced Shlum-Ber-Jay) is the leading oilfield services provider, trusted to deliver superior results and improved performance for oil and gas companies around the world. We are the world’s largest oilfield services company employing 120,000 people. Schlumberger was founded in France in 1927 and now operates in around 85 countries around the world. Our 2011 revenue was $40 billion, and thus far in 2012, we are enjoying continued financial and technological growth. I work in the Artificial Lift Segment, where we focus on the installation, deployment, startup and commissioning of Electric Submersible Pumps. These ESP’s provide the lift necessary to produce oil to surface with enough pressure to reach a surface facility for transport. The company hires freshly graduated engineers, mid career professionals and prospective employees from several different training backgrounds. Generally Schlumberger hires hardworking, team-oriented people who love to travel and accomplish goals.

What factors went in to your decision to select your place of employment?

It is actually an interesting story how I first heard of Schlumberger. I was at a friend’s cottage on summer vacation when an old friend asked me about my plans after graduation. He mentioned that he had worked as a contractor for Schlumberger and began telling me the stories of his travels to dozens of countries around the world in his 20 years with the company. He gave me the direct recruiting contact, I submitted an application and the rest is history. Schlumberger was an attractive employer to me for several reasons. First and foremost, the company is a performance based company. Basically that means that your promotion within the company lies directly in your performance and motivation. My decision was also based on the opportunity to be given mobile status. This means that while I am based in Canada, I can be sent to any of the Schlumberger locations worldwide depending on field activity and training requirements. The training is what sets Schlumberger apart from its competitors. This attracted me to the company, and I have been fortunate to travel to Paris, France, as well as Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Houston, Texas, to our main Artificial Lift training locations. Schlumberger offers excellent work-life balance including time off allowing opportunities to see parts of the world I would have never expected. The benefits, relocation and compensation at Schlumberger are among the best I’ve seen and played a large factor in my employment selection. The relocation process from Florida was handled by Schlumberger which made my transition seamless. Schlumberger promotes healthy growth of employee investments through Retirement Savings Plans, Deferred Profit Sharing and flexible stock options. Fitness is promoted within Schlumberger as well, as we are allocated funds each year for gym memberships and physical activity. The diversity at Schlumberger is unbelievable. Since taking the job, I have met people from every continent, and in a way it reminds me of my time at Embry-Riddle. Ultimately, the level of professionalism and endless opportunities to move up attracted me to Schlumberger as well.

For your job with your current employer, what was the interview process like and how did you prepare? 

After I submitted an application on the Schlumberger Career Portal online, I received an email a few days later requesting a phone interview. I spoke with their recruiter in Houston for about 40 minutes on the phone. We discussed my job interests, combed through my resume and internship experience as well as personal goals, skills and proficiencies. Within a few days, I was called by the national recruiter to travel to Canada for a 3-day technical interview and location visit. During this process I was introduced to several location managers as well as some of the current employees. The technical portion consisted of 4-5 recruiters and managers as well as 10-12 prospective employees for the position I currently have. On the 3rd evening, I was given a verbal offer that was followed by an official offer letter about a week later.

I prepared for the interview by researching the company extensively and using the ERAU career services resources as much as I could. We had several mock interview sessions with the questions getting more difficult each time. We also scrutinized my resume together before submitting it online.

Do you have any interview advice after going through that experience?

I recommend that students utilize Career Services as much as possible. They helped me with resume optimization, interview preparation and overall confidence. The more you prepare, the more confident you will be in yourself, and ultimately you can put your best foot forward. Cater your resume specifically to the job you are applying to, since employers can spot a generic mass resume from miles away. Be sure to establish your added value to the company during the interview process. Remind your recruiter that you are interested by following up with a phone call and email. A recruiter sees hundreds of resumes a week – the more times your name goes across their desk the better.

What doors have been opened for you from all of your hard work at your current employer and during school?

I couldn’t have predicted the opportunities that have come up so far with Schlumberger. Since joining the company in August 2011, I have been promoted from a Maintenance Engineer Trainee to a Field Engineer and now a Technical Sales Engineer in training. As part of the Maintenance program, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris for a 6-week instruction on Electric Submersible Pump Application Engineering and was approved for travel to Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and the Canary Islands, Spain. Following the recommendation of my instructor in Paris, I was transferred into the Sales program which includes customer relationship management, client development and overall revenue generation for Schlumberger through enterprise selling. While in Houston, I was in charge of populating a sales opportunity worth $5,000,000. Lately I am also tasked with application engineering designs, where I develop an equipment string to produce oil based on downhole reservoir pressure, temperature, flow rates and operating conditions. The most recent promotion features a temporary work term in Abu Dhabi where I will engineer equipment designs for aggressive well conditions as well as develop commercial proposals that will be used to submit to clients in future bids. Following the work term in Abu Dhabi, the manager of our Singapore facility has offered me the opportunity to travel to Singapore, observe how things operate in that facility and monitor for improvements at our home location in Canada.

My long term goals with Schlumberger include managing an international sales account and establishing a company-wide program that enables our engineers to submit quotes seamlessly allowing streamlined transition between Schlumberger and the client. This is an area within the company with great potential for improvement and would allow Schlumberger to flourish economically and increase the distance between us and our competitors.

Get Your Resume to Employers at the Industry/Career Expo!

EagleHire Network LogoYou can still get your resume to employers recruiting at this event!

Through the EagleHire Network, resume books are available allowing you to submit your resume to companies attending both Industry/Career Expos.

To publish your resume to any of the resume books in the system, log into your EagleHire Network account and mouse over “Documents” in the upper navigation bar, then select “Publish a Resume” – you will then select from career focus-specific resume books in the system.

We are informing all Expo exhibitors at both the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses to log in and access the resume books in the system.

Note that if you haven’t already uploaded a resume into the system, it will first need to be approved before you can publish your resume to the resume books in EagleHire.

Resume Book Tips:

  • If you already have one or more resumes published in EagleHire, double-check to make sure your documents are up to date with your current contact information and most recent experience.
  • Only submit your resume to those resume books that apply to your level of experience and areas of expertise/career focus. Submitting your resume to every resume book, including those with no relevancy to your background, will not increase your chance of getting a phone call…if anything, it may decrease your chances.
  • Be proactive – research the companies attending the Industry/Career Expo at the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses and apply online to any opportunities of interest.
  • Submit your resume to resume books even if you plan on attending the Industry/Career Expo. There are nearly 1500 linked employers in EagleHire who have access to log in to the system and search for resumes at any time throughout the year.

Industry Spotlight: Industrial Automation and Material Handling

Blake Bearden, DB 2006

Blake Beardon, WW 2006

Blake Bearden is a 2006 graduate of Embry-Riddle’s Master of Business Administration in Aviation degree and a former USAF officer. While in the Air Force, he worked as an Acquisitions Officer and was involved in the development of new radar technologies as well as the development of weapon systems to be employed in space force application. Upon finishing up his service in the Air Force, he sought out a career which would not only pique his interest in emerging technologies, but also allow him to employ what he learned from his MBA classes at ERAU in the business world. Blake was given the opportunity to manage operations on the West Coast for Bastian Solutions, a leading system integrator of material handling systems.

Why did you pursue a career in the material handling industry?

Actually I knew very little about the material handling industry prior to beginning work with Bastian. My undergraduate degree in Human Factors Engineering gave me a good working understanding in optimization of the workplace for employees. The material handling career field built upon that foundation and has allowed for me to help other companies continue remaining competitive in their respective industries through use of automation technologies. I truly enjoy seeing our systems helping our customers and making them more productive and efficient in their respective markets. Knowing that we make a difference for so many companies is a very rewarding experience.

How does material handling and facility automation allow companies to be more competitive?

With today’s rapidly evolving global economy, increased competition, and expanding markets, business owners can no longer simply raise prices to improve profitability if they also desire an increased market share. Companies that desire complete success, no matter which industrial sector they may reside, are searching for ways to improve productivity, increase quality, and grow overall profitability by minimizing the cost of producing, storing, or moving their product. These goals create a burning desire for business owners to find every competitive edge possible, many times resulting in automation of their facility. With a career in facility automation, you will assist companies in more productive movement of their product through the application of Conveyor Systems and Robotics. Proper implementation of automation not only reduces labor costs, it also minimizes inefficiencies typically involved where operations are more manually intensive. It also allows companies to provide better service to their customers, shipping orders faster while minimizing order error rates.

What do you like most about your job?

I am very fortunate to work with a great group of people. The friendships and camaraderie that I share with my employees and fellow managers are what I cherish most of all. Aside from that, a career in this industry affords engineers the chance to work in just about every industry in the market. One day I may be helping an aerospace client implement an automated storage and retrieval system used in a highly specialized manufacturing environment while tomorrow I might be helping a clothing retailer or customer involved in food and beverage production with expanding their system. No two days are ever the same!

What advice can you give for students interested in a career in material handling?

Seek an internship with a material handling system integrator and get your feet wet in the industry to see if it’s a good potential fit for you. We hire a lot of industrial and mechanical engineers to design and sell our system, though we have a need for controls engineers, software engineers/programmers, logistics consultants and project managers. If you have a strong desire to make a difference, this is a great industry to become a part of!

More about Bastian:
Bastian Solutions is an independent system integrator dedicated to helping our customers increase their productivity through proven automation, information systems, and sound operating procedures. Bastian has historically been an innovator in the field of material handling and controls, with recent advances including mobile robotics, PC Based Controls, 3-D Human Machine Interfaces and Browser-Based Viewing. Bastian provides innovative solutions for automation including conveyor systems, automated storage systems, robotics, automated guided vehicles and also provides warehouse software solutions such as Warehouse Management Software (WMS) and Warehouse Controls Software (WCS). Learn more about Bastian and available positions for which we are currently hiring.

Professional Dress is Required to Attend the Industry/Career Expo

For the 2012 Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expo, Career Services  is teaming up with the support of SGA.  Professional attire is expected if you want to enter the ICI Center floor for the October 10th event.   If you do not meet the minimum standards, you will be asked to leave and come back once dressed appropriately.

Professional attire should include the following:

  • Both men and women should wear suits that fit appropriately; navy, gray, soft black and other dark colors are most appropriate
  • The length of a skirt should reach right above, below or to the knee
  • Gentlemen should wear button down shirts and ties
  • Ties should complement the suit and shirt color and should be in a conservative pattern and color
  • Ladies should wear conservative or appropriate suit blouses
  • Colors for shirts should be muted; white, off-white or light blue are the most recommended colors
  • Shoes should be polished and professional
  • Ladies should wear closed-toe shoes; pantyhose are good for the ladies wearing skirt suits
  • Socks, for both men and women, should match the shoe or pant color

The minimum professional dress allowed is business casual, but you must dress according to the industry standard for the job you are seeking at the Expo.  Business casual entails khaki pants and a collared (polo) shirt for the gentlemen and slacks/skirt and a blouse/sweater for the ladies.  Additional suggestions for the gentlemen can include a navy blazer, slacks or button down shirt without a tie.  Ladies can also wear professional dresses, khaki pants and collared (polo) shirts.

Flight and ROTC uniforms are appropriate Expo dress.  Religious and cultural attire will be accepted.

You will be turned away from the event if you wear any of the following clothing types:

  • Ripped or torn jeans
  • Baseball caps or other hats
  • T-shirts with inappropriate or crude images or wording
  • Overly revealing clothing of any kind
  • Shoes inappropriate for a conservative office environment
  • Mid-thigh length or above skirts

The Career Services Office is enforcing such a code to ensure our students are presenting themselves in the best way possible at this hiring event.  Employers have given consistent feedback that professional dress positively impacts you while inappropriate dress is a detriment to your candidacy for employment.  Please understand the importance of looking professional for any career-related event, both on and off campus.

If you have any questions about what you should wear to the October 10th Industry/Career Expo, visit Career Services, see ideal Expo attire on Pinterest and/or ask your local SGA representative.  There will also be professional dressing events during the fall 2012 semester.

You may also want to review the CareerSpots videos below on professional and business casual attire. PDF handouts are also provided for you below to download.

Co-op/Internship Spotlight: Joshua Ehrlich

Joshua Ehrlich, BS AE/MS ME ERAU

Joshua Ehrlich, DB, MS Mechanical Engineering

Joshua Ehrlich received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida in May 2011. As an undergraduate student, Joshua completed two internships with United Launch Alliance and an internship with the NASA Space Florida Academy. When he began his graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University last fall, he was determined to obtain a graduate-level internship. His hard work paid off, and he recently completed a Graduate Engineering internship with NASA at Kennedy Space Center.

How did you learn about this internship opportunity?

From the middle of the fall 2011 semester to the end of March, I was applying for as many internship positions as I could find every day, across the globe. I used the internet to my full advantage targeting websites geared specifically towards college students, as well job recruitment businesses and private company websites. I specifically applied towards a NASA internship program that involved a great deal of paperwork and supplementary documentation for my application, which included lengthy essays and recommendation letters from professional references. However, I was told by a fellow student that there was an additional internship within NASA called the Kennedy Intern Program (now called the NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program (IEP)). I applied, simply sending my resume and transcripts to the email provided in mid-February; I received an offer in mid-April and accepted. My advice: No matter how big, small, easy or lengthy an internship application or process may be, take advantage of every opportunity available to you, whether it’s a Fortune 500 business or a 40-person small firm. You’ll be happy you did when you get the call.

As a graduate student, why did you think it was important to obtain an internship?

I highly recommend obtaining an internship while a graduate student, especially if you did not have any extracurricular experience with a company as an undergraduate student. Internship experience reveals to companies, either when you apply for a secondary internship or a job after graduation, that you are desired and are equipped with a skill set that other potential rivaling companies seek. Internship experience prepares the student for what the lifestyle is like as a full-time employee. You learn and develop certain professional standards, communication skills, and technical knowledge that are not only specific to the company for which you are interning for but for the general field of work you are pursuing down the road. Additionally, an internship proves to both you and the company you are working for that you either are or are not capable of ‘keeping up’ with other employees, that you are able to provide support with the skills and qualities you possess and then some without having somebody watching over you; you must have the desire to work with minimal oversight. An intern gains experience by understanding what they are capable of in the workforce, as well as gaining the confidence to excel above and beyond the call of duty.

What projects did you work on while completing your internship with NASA?

I was involved in numerous projects within several divisions during my time at Kennedy Space Center. I was splitting my time between the System Engineering & Integration division and the Materials Engineering & Processes division. I tested and analyzed composite infusion processes for the Composites for Exploration (CoEx) project for the intent of developing and analyzing dry composite structures and materials technologies for future space exploration applications. Additionally, I supplied system requirements in the design of the Science Carrier Unit (SCU) for the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) system, an International Space Station (ISS) scientific payload to be delivered in 2015. I also supported APH mechanical design teams in developing Pro-Engineer models of the Expedite The Processing of Experiments to the Space Station  (EXPRESS) currently installed on the ISS under the APH project. Finally, I developed flight safety data packages, design verification matrices, and verification & validation procedures for qualification testing and supported fellow engineers in the build of VEGGIE, a small-scale expandable plant growth system to be sent to the ISS in 2013.

 What piece of career advice would you like to share with those seeking an internship/co-op experience?

 My advice to students seeking an internship/co-op, especially those who have no prior internship experience, is to become active on campus. Pursue research opportunities, attend clubs meetings/socials, and participate in any extracurricular activities that are presented to you or are available. You cannot be another face in the crowd, but rather a leader outside the classroom. To put it simple: You must want it! You are competing with hundreds of other candidates, so you need to ask yourself, “How am I going to stand out from the rest? What do I have to offer that makes me a highly desired candidate?” An internship will not be handed to you, so the only way for you to be offered the opportunity is for you to earn it. One last piece of advice I offer is do not give up. You will receive more rejections than offers, a lot more. But all you need is one, one offer to be presented to you. So take advantage of your time, become active at school, and apply for as many internships openings as possible, and you will succeed.

Embry-Riddle Students and Alumni…This is for YOU!

The Industry/Career Expos are quickly approaching, and we want to invite Embry-Riddle students and alumni to attend.

Prescott, Arizona Industry/Career Expo
Thursday, October 4, 2012 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Daytona Beach, Florida Industry/Career Expo
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Alumni Career Spotlight: Michael Crowley

Michael Crowley, ERAU, DB Aeronautical Science 2009

Michael Crowley, DB 2009

Michael Crowley is a 2009 graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach Campus. Michael has a great passion for aviation, and if you ever meet him, the passion is unmistakable.

Michael is living his dream, through dedication and tenacity. Currently he is flying a Boeing 737 for Sky King Airlines out of Florida. Recently, he was promoted to Captain, a goal he has achieved by dedicating many hours of flying and completing a degree from ERAU.

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

There are many traits that lead someone to become the model professional pilot that everyone tries to emulate or become.  These traits are vast, and by all means I and all of the other career pilots out there are still learning, but there are a few in my opinion that are core values which allow someone to strive to be that professional, day in and day out.

Ability to continually learn from others.  Being a “know it all” or “cocky” in an airplane has gotten people killed more than once in aviation.  The ability to be confident and sure of your abilities and knowledge is definitely a trait that one must have, but more importantly the willingness to learn from others is key to a person’s success in this position.  To say that I know everything or something to that matter just because I’m a captain at 24 years old would be arrogant and ignorant.  If I am not learning from others until the last day I touch an airplane in my life, I’m definitely doing something wrong.

Crew Resource Management. The ability of a pilot to “use all available resources” is not just a phrase that we say over and over in aviation training with no real meaning.  I cannot reiterate this phrase and how important it really is.  When flying with my airline (or in any multi-crew environment), the prospective and knowledge of my fellow crew members (or possibly even passengers) is so important to my decision-making as a Captain. Their skills and abilities to think of a different solution to a problem or situation is critical to the successful outcome of any flight. Always be open and inviting to other peoples’ ideas and input. In a flying career, this process will probably save your life more than once.  Also, remember that even in a single-pilot situation you do have people to help you, for instance Air Traffic Control and others on the ground to help you through a given issue.

Physical Skill of Flying the Airplane.  As crazy as this may seem to say, it is so very important to keep your skill of flying the airplane up to par.  We are all guilty of this, engaging the autopilot right after takeoff and disengaging it right before landing.  Do not misconstrue this to say automation is bad; it is great in a varying amount of situations.  However, flying the airplane with your hands and feet is still a physical skill.  A human being will loose a physical skill over time if not continually practiced and refined.  Too often people are not comfortable in the airplane because when the automation fails or doesn’t work the way it is supposed to, people are intimidated to take control and fly the airplane.  Keep your physical flying skill up to a level that would allow you to be comfortable flying that airplane through one flight with absolutely no automation helping you.

What was the pivotal point in your experience which enabled you to become a 737 captain at the age of 24?   

The first time that I actually sat in the 737 for my first flight, I honestly was so excited to be flying a Boeing that it clouded my thought process.  But as the minutes went by, and I got into the process and did what I was trained to do, I realized that it really is just an airplane, all be it a fairly large one, that I can do this.  It’s that attitude that I kept thinking about for a long time, because it is intimidating when you walk around something that is the largest plane you’ve ever flown before.  The turning point for me was when I was asked by the training department at my airline to teach ground instruction to new hire and recurrent training classes.  I then realized that all of my study and perseverance had paid off, and this was my final chance to prove myself.  Teaching others allows you to learn a lot more than you thought you knew, and I still enjoy it tremendously.  A few months after getting certified as an Air Transportation Ground Instructor (ATGI), I was given notice that I’d be upgrading to Captain.

Can you briefly describe your pilot career progression, leading up to your current position with Sky King Airlines?

I have been very fortunate with my career progression, but it has been associated with a lot of hard work and determination.  I have wanted to fly ever since I can remember and knew what an airplane was. I received my Private Pilot certificate on my 17th birthday and received my Instrument rating and Single-Engine commercial certificate while in High School.  During this time, I also starting working at a private jet charter company, Florida Jet Service, doing odd jobs not associated with a pilot job.  Eventually and while attending Embry-Riddle, I was given the opportunity to fly as a First Officer in this company’s Learjet 55’s after I had received my Multi-Engine certification. I also received my Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), and Flight Instructor, Instrument (CFII) while attending ERAU. During this time I was given the opportunity to fly for a private corporation which owned four different types of business jets.  I had this part-time job for about 9 months after graduation from ERAU and then got hired as a First Officer at Sky King Airlines in June of 2010.  I recently upgraded to Captain in January of 2012.

How has your Embry-Riddle education enhanced your pilot career?

The Aeronautical Science degree program at ERAU will, in short, give one all of the knowledge to become a professional aviator.  I have absolutely no regrets and my degree is an integral part of how I have attained my position in my career.  Working hard and paying attention to everything the professors tell you in class was critical in my development as a pilot.  They have all “been there, done that” and know what it takes to actually do the job right.  Also, my membership on the Embry-Riddle Eagles Flight Team and being an Instructor Pilot at ERAU have helped me to become the pilot that I am today.

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