Resource Highlight: Professional Associations

By: Sandi Ohman

professional associationsMany professions have a professional association they can turn to for assistance with best practices, collaboration, tips & ideas, conferences and networking opportunities. Below are a few ways student, recent graduates, as well as experienced professionals would find membership in a professional association beneficial.

Students/Recent Graduates

For students, and recent graduates, being a member of such a group demonstrates to a prospective employer a true interest in wanting to be a part of a specific profession. Membership can also provide networking opportunities, which can lead to job opportunities. An opportunity to attend an association conference is an excellent way to meet other industry professionals. Participating in events held at association conferences can demonstrate knowledge, skills and educational experience to other attendees; for job seekers this could be especially beneficial.

Experienced Professionals

Most experienced professionals are involved in professional associations and know the benefits they offer. As mentioned above, networking, best practices, and attending professional conferences can only enhance the professionals’ career. Professional associations offer opportunities to research with other professionals, publish articles and learn about industry leading concepts and ideas, as well as leadership opportunities within these organizations. Networking with other professionals can lead to recruiting opportunities both personally and professionally.

Though professional association memberships can be expensive, student memberships are significantly more affordable. The resources available to both students and professionals can be significant and well worth the investment.

Some professional associations ERAU students and alumni in the aviation/aerospace industry belong to are:

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)

Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA)

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)

American Meteorology Association (AMS)

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (HFES)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI)

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

The Ninety-Nines

Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP)

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Women in Aviation International (WAI)

Sandi Ohman is the Senior Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She has been with the university for over 9 years and has advised students in most all degree areas while in Career Services.  Sandi brings additional experience having worked in the finance industry for over 6 years in her previous career.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.

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