Bryan Dietz graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Air Traffic Management, with minors in Business and International Relations. Bryan was an active leader on campus during his time at ERAU, with his most visible role as the SGA president. Bryan took advantage of all opportunities to get involved and develop professionally, which included participating in the Co-op/Internship program. Bryan’s internship led to his current position with the Allegheny County Airport Authority as an Aviation Business Analyst. Bryan is engaged to be married and is looking forward to personal and professional milestones to come.
Tell us what you have been doing since graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in May of 2010?
I think the most exciting thing so far is meeting my fiancée, Shannon, after coming back to Pittsburgh. I am very fortunate to have found someone who appreciates my passion for aviation as well as the need for me to look at every airplane above us when we are outside! We enjoy Pittsburgh and it is a great place to live with plenty to do so we find time to enjoy the city.
Following graduation, I was able to come back home and work for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which manages Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and Allegheny County Airport (AGC). While I work with multiple departments at the airport, I work primarily with Air Service Development to develop passenger and cargo flights from PIT. It has been a great experience being able to work with multiple airlines, other departments, fellow airports, and the ever increasing number of Embry-Riddle alumni.
I stay in touch with Embry-Riddle as a member of the Alumni Advisory Council (AAC) and through the network of Embry-Riddle Alumni. It is amazing how the campus has changed since just two years ago!
You completed an internship at Allegheny County Airport Authority prior to graduating. How did this experience help you to obtain your current position?
My internship did three things for me. First, it made me look outside of the possibilities of my degree program. While I was an Air Traffic Management major at Embry-Riddle, I wanted to see what airports did in the role of aviation. I was able to do an internship between my junior and senior year only to find out Airport Management was a better fit for me personally. I have not regretted that decision one bit and would not have known airports were the right fit for me without that internship.
Secondly, the internship exposed me as a potential employee to not only the airport but other aviation sectors as well. Being able to have a company see your work in action is the single best advantage in doing an internship. I feel it is a advantage ahead of those who apply to a job because the employer can see the type of work you do first hand.
Lastly, the internship brought a whole additional learning element to my degree. Not only did I learn real world experiences and knowledge during my internship, but during my last year on campus, I felt as if I was able to apply more of what I learned in the classroom. I remember specifically, that I appreciated a class I took in Human Resources much more after seeing how important it was in the airport environment.
What have you found most surprising about your career and your work environment?
The most surprising part in my career has been how “small” the aviation industry really is. In fact, it often feels like the world’s biggest family. No matter where you go or what you do, you meet someone who knows a friend of yours or who has worked with a colleague of yours at a previous company. Embry-Riddle is also a big part of what makes the industry feel so small – there are so many graduates out there who I am connected with.
Can you share some advice for current students?
Without a doubt, do not rush your college experience and become involved on campus. Looking back, the time at Embry-Riddle does move very quickly and I miss the friendships and the campus quite often. Becoming involved not only makes that experience that much better but it really does prepare you for the work world. At work, we interact with so many colleagues and customers that have different personalities, backgrounds, and culture that it takes time to find the best ways to interact with those groups. But getting involved on campus in the clubs, organizations, or sports teams, does give you real work experience in working with different types of people while giving you other skills such as managing the budget of a club and learning how to run a meeting. Having the chance to get involved on campus not only makes you more effective at work but also gives you actual experience and examples to share with your future employer.