Congratulations ERAU Graduates!

Graduation

From, The Career Services Office

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Good Luck on Final Exams!

FinalsThe Career Services office is wishing you a great finals week!

Alumni Spotlight: Rick Uskert

Richard Uskert 2x3_6367Rick Uskert graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in 1996 with a degree in Aircraft Engineering Technology.  He is currently a Senior Engineer at Textron Systems Unmanned Systems.

What has been your career path since graduating from Embry-Riddle?

My career started during one of the slumps in the aerospace industry and I took a job with a company in NW Indiana designing industrial equipment. After a few months, I interviewed with a consulting engineering firm in the Chicago suburbs which providing structural and fatigue fracture analysis to the aviation industry, both commercial and military. The guys I worked for and with were brilliant, having written fatigue analysis and damage tolerance of structures content for several publications; however, I as a more creative person at heart – and still am – so post-damage analysis wasn’t a path I wished to pursue.

The next five years were spent working in the medical industry, designing instruments for minimally invasive open heart surgery, stents, airway management and many other products. As the company manufactured product for many of the big companies, such as Abbott, CTI and Stryker, I touched many products which were mainstays of the operating room and in-home care products during the 1990’s and 2000’s.

From there I turned back to aviation and, while working at Pratt & Whitney, furthered my education and career through a Master’s degree in Management and New Product Development at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford, CT. During my time at P&W, I worked with a great team in the Compression Systems Module Center (CSMC) designing and analyzing composite components for the F119 and F135 engines which power the F-22 and F-35 aircraft.

My next hop was to Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis to design Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) components for the hot section of advanced technology gas turbine engines. The composite technologies used between the front end of the P&W and the back end of the RR engines couldn’t be more dissimilar and each had their quirks and limitations which needed to be accounted for in the product designs, which made each task challenging. Working at the leading edge of ceramic matrix composite technology application has led to a number of patent applications for our team.

Currently, I work for Textron Systems Unmanned Systems, formerly AAI, in Maryland as a Sr. Aero/Mech Engineer, responsible for managing project tasking and the associated resources to integrate new product onto the legacy Shadow UAVs, increase capabilities through airframe upgrades and provide product designs to future systems.

You have worked in a variety of fields, what lessons have you gained from varied experiences?

The first lesson I learned was engineering is engineering and the fundamentals are the same. Designing a product to save someone’s life in the operating room is not much different than designing one to protect a soldier’s life on the battlefield. Each project starts with requirements, progresses through material selection, design analysis and manufacturing. I’m simplifying here, but the fundamentals are the same; one only needs a willingness to learn the differences in materials and how best use them in each application.

With each employment change, I have been able to draw upon knowledge I gained from past experiences, all the way back to the beginning of my career, even though it has been based upon dissimilar products and/or industries.

I have also learned what I enjoyed the most, and personally that is working in a small company environment. Those companies are the most dynamic and they offer opportunities to act in multiple roles and to get one’s hands dirty building product. That has been most enjoyable for me.

I have worked with a number of great, experienced teams; resulting in products which have helped many people continue their own lives and professions. Because of this, I do not look for a greatest accomplishment in my career, as I associate that with an object and I tend to be more of an experience type of person. That being said, I have considered meeting soldiers who have stated that our products have been responsible for their safe return from the field as well as people which have used the medical products I helped develop as highlights to my career. Those instances act as reminders as to why I choose to work on these products.

What advice do you have for graduating students to be successful in the job search?

Everyone is encouraged to research the company and the job they are considering applying for as best as they can. Many times a job posting is very general, especially for entry level positions, so one should understand the type of products that company and/or division develops. Make sure that is what you want to work on and tailor your experiences to that company. It takes time and effort; however, it allows you to stand out as a candidate.

All companies are interested in understanding what you have accomplished individually and as a team member. Include two or three examples of this information on your resume in a concise manner. If you are invited for an interview, be excited about being there and confident in presenting your product: yourself. During the interview process, we are judging your personality and how well you may fit with those already established on the team in addition to your technical ability.

Finally, look for opportunities that may not be the vision of your dream job, as one does not fall into that position upon walking off campus. These other experiences open doors in the future, allowing you to set a path towards that end goal, as it changes over your career.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

happy-thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

From,

The Career Services Office

Need Some Inspiration? Part II

inspiration part 2The Career Services staff at Daytona Beach wanted to have a part two to a blog from in August.   There are so many quotes that can continue to motivate through a co-op/internship and/or job search.  Here are more of the staff’s favorite inspirational quotes.  Feel free to read part one here.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” –H. Stanley Judd

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky

“Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.” Paul J. Meyer

 “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 “Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless” –Jamie Paolinetti

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us” –Helen Keller

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” –Albert Einstein

“You have to learn the rules of the game.  And then you have to play better than anyone else.” –Albert Einstein

“If opportunity doesn’t Knock, build a door” –Milton Birle

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising after you fall” –Vince Lambardi

Co-op/Intern Spotlight: Mark Payne

Mark PayneMark Payne is an Aerospace Engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach.  He transferred to Riddle in spring 2014 in order to study Aerospace Engineering.  Although he is fascinated by planes, the reality is that he grew up in a ship yard.  His father owns San Juan Towing & Marine Services, which specialized in commercial vessel repair and small scale towing.

How did you land the internship and how did you navigate the process?

Landing an internship for the summer was nearly impossible. The reality was that my GPA was just below the required GPA for most employers and I would usually be cut off because of that. After several months of constantly applying to most major companies, and calling many smaller companies, I had not heard any responses.

By late April, I was worried for obvious reasons. The idea of applying to as many as thirty internships and not even landing one interview was not very motivating. My father actually mentioned the fact that I should diversify. That is when I decided to look for a company which was not related to the aerospace industry. I found the International Ship Repair & Marine Services in Tampa. In order to “land the internship”, I scheduled a meeting with the company Vice President two days after finals had finished and was working the very next Monday.

What experience have you had and what did you do on your internship?

My experience was definitely unique. I had the opportunity to be rotated between three different departments. These were the machinist department, the quality assurance department, and the estimating department.

As a machinist, I was out in the field with the workers. I was able to obtain real exposure and got hands on shipyard experience. I was also able to learn how to use manufacturing equipment such as lathes and milling machines.

While working in the quality assurance department I was responsible for the visual inspection of drive shafts and propeller blades that were both coming in and out of the machine shop.

Working with the estimating department was my favorite. I was given the tasks of designing engine mounts for three ton diesel engines and a propeller stand which could hold a five ton propeller.

What advice would you give students who are contemplating doing an internship experience?

I would tell students to pursue any and every opportunity possible. Not only will they gain valuable experience which will make them better engineers and more hire able, but they will also, in most cases, be able to obtain engineering tech elective credit in an engineering student.

Talk about your learning experience both professionally and personally.

While interning, although my schedule varied, I was working 40 hours per week. While working with the machinist and job estimating departments, I had a 7:25AM to 3:55PM work schedule. While working for the quality assurance department, I was working by 6:00 and out by 2:30PM. I had a 1/2 lunch break.

Besides interning, I was also taking two of ERAU’s online classes. I was able to both work full time and take two classes. This was definitely a very big plus.

Would you do a second internship? Why? 

I have already begun applying for many internships. I believe that while one internship is definitely necessary, having two internships is even better.

What are the benefits you will take away from doing the internship when looking for a full-time career?

When looking for a full time career I will have the benefit of having prior work experience. This is extremely valuable in a very competitive job market. Having prior work experience is a very big plus.

Any other general advice to share?

As for advice, I have to emphasize that there is nothing more important than constantly applying to internships. If you’ve applied for twenty positions and think that you are done, think again and apply for twenty more. In my case, I was able to land an internship on my last attempt.

If you are unable to land an internship because of grades, take summer courses, either on campus or online. By doing so, you will improve your GPA and have a better chance of being hired when applying for future internships.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Ways Job-Seekers Bomb Job Interviews

Dr. Randall Hansen posted a great article on the Quintessential Careers Blog in regards to various ways job-seeks can bomb job interviews.Quint Careers

Below is the article:

10 Ways to Bomb Your Job Interview

1. Late to the interview. Repeat this mantra: I will ALWAYS be on time for job interviews. There’s no excuse for being late to an interview, and even if by some amazing chance the employer finds the time to interview, you have dug a hole that very few job-seekers ever recover from. Plan ahead, take a test run, and leave early enough for contingencies (accident, road construction, weather). And if it’s a Webcam, Skype, Google Hangout interview, there is NO excuse for not being online for the start of the interview.

2. Bad attire/grooming. I will never forget the time a graduating college student arrived to an interview dressed in a beautiful and expensive suit, crisp white shirt, and power tie… until he got closer and we saw he was wearing sandals. The rest of the interview, the interviewer kept dropping snarky sandal comments; the interview was over before it started. You should ALWAYS dress the part and be well-groomed — even for Webcam interviews.

3. Limited eye contact. Making eye contact is a sign of confidence — and employers want to hire confident job-seekers. Don’t start at the interviewer, but practice making frequent eye contact. In a panel interview, make eye contact with every person. If you have a hard time looking directly into someone else’s eyes, focus on looking at the bridge of each person’s nose.

4. Weak knowledge of employer. Nothing turns off an employer faster than a job applicant who appears to know little of the organization — or the job itself. One of the most important things you should do upon obtaining an interview is to research the employer — both for your own knowledge, but also so you can speak intelligently of the organization — as well as ask intelligent questions.

5. Bland, weak, or boring interview responses. Find the middle ground between providing too little detail — and not providing enough. Your interview responses should be crisp, short, and to-the-point. Know your accomplishments and practice answering typical job interview questions. If you are relatively inexperienced (or it’s been a long time since you have been on an interview), conduct at least one mock interview.

6. Lack of enthusiasm. Do not interview when you’re tired — and do not overcompensate with one too many energy drinks. Try and maintain a strong, but not over-the-top energy level throughout the interview so that the employer knows you are definitely interested in the job.

7. Appearing desperate. Even if you NEED the job, if you appear too eager, too willing, too desperate, many employers will see this as a weakness — just as they see someone who is currently unemployed as a weakness. Express your interest in the job, but don’t cross the line.

8. Willing to take any job. You MUST know the job you seek — and then SHOW the employer why you are qualified for it. If you appear unfocused — or willing to take any job “just so you can work for such a great employer” — you will likely NOT be asked back for another interview. Employers hire job specialists these days.

9. Complaining about past jobs/bosses. Never — NEVER — talk negatively about an employer or manager… even if you hate your current (or last) job, you MUST put a positive spin on it. Focus on yourself, not the negatives of the job.

10. Failing to ask questions. We actually had a job-seeker recently tell us that she thought it was rude to ask questions in a job interview! Quite the opposite. Many hiring managers will make the assumption you do not really care about the job if you don’t ask questions in the interview. But do NOT ask obvious questions you could have learned from doing the proper research. And — if not discussed in the interview — your last question should always be about the next steps in the hiring process.

 

To read the full article, please visit the Quintessential Careers Blog: http://blog.quintcareers.com/ways-job-seekers-bomb-job-interviews/

 

Ways to Be Eligible for a Salary Increase

Raise$By: Valerie Kielmovitch

After putting in time at a job, sometimes people become interested in the next step or being able to earn more for their work. Though every industry, company, and/or job may have a different method for administering salary increases to employees, but here are some general ways to ensure that you are a viable candidate earning a raise:

  • Stand out from the crowd
    • This can be demonstrated by doing outstanding work, volunteering when needed, and/or creating a strong reputation for yourself among the company and/or team. Office gossip happens in many workplaces, but try to not contribute to this in order to create a positive image of yourself.
  • Step up to the plate
    • Try to take on leadership roles within your team and/or office. This could include training a new employee, organizing professional development opportunities or volunteer experiences, or demonstrating expertise on a project/assignment.
  • Create a strong case
    • When approaching a supervisor, make sure you have solid reasons for justifying your potential raise. Think about what accomplishments you have made, if this is the right time to be asking (e.g. end of year evaluations, at a career milestone, or after a profitable quarter), and do not ask for an exorbitant amount.
  • Involve your performance review
    • It may be a good idea to have the raise discussion around the time of your performance review as this gives you an advantage (if it is positive) as for reasons why a raise is justifiable.
  • Always end in a question
    • Asking questions and listening during the conversation with your supervisor would be advantageous to the discussion being productive. You do not want to go into a conversation demanding more money as typically you will not get the outcome you are seeking.

Valerie Kielmovitch was recently promoted to Associate Director and Employer Relations Manager within the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University- Daytona Beach. She has worked in the Career Services office at ERAU since 2010. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida and her 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.

 

Graduating Student Success Story: Krystel Parra

Krystel Parra is a recent graduate of the Aerospace & Occupational Safety undergraduate degree program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), Daytona Beach campus. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Occupational Safety Management at ERAU, Worldwide. Krystel also works full time as an Internal Evaluation Program Auditor in Spirit Airlines’ Safety Department.

KrystelBelow is a brief description of Krystel’s current position at Spirit Airlines and how her ERAU education helped her obtain this role:

As an IEP Auditor, I am part of the Internal Evaluation Program (IEP) in Spirit Airlines.

We provide a high level surveillance and evaluation of how well the company’s processes and procedures are performing in respect to safety. I work with Spirit’s business partners and Team Members in all types of operational departments to ensure that our customers get from point A to point B as safely as possible by performing evaluations, risk assessments, and providing corrective actions to the operational parties.

My Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Occupational Safety degree gave me the tools that are required in the safety profession. While in Spirit’s Safety Department, I use what I learned in the classroom and apply it to the workplace. For example, when performing evaluations of workplace conditions, my knowledge of federal regulations learned from classes such as Environmental Compliance & Safety, Industrial Hygiene, and System Safety provide me the tools I need to successfully perform my duties as an IEP Auditor.

Identifying companies that will be the right fit for you!

By: Sally Richards

Spend some quality time using a variety of resources searching for companies and researching those companies forsearch companies potential career employment. It is important to determine which company is right for you and if you are right for that company. Searching and researching go hand in hand.

You may already have a group of companies you are familiar with that you think are your targeted companies…but what about the other thousands of companies, contractors, agencies and organizations that you aren’t familiar with and may have overlooked?

Many job seekers tend to want a list of prospective employers, but that doesn’t address an individual’s preferences, goals, interests, experiences, background or desires. Based on your academic degree and passion, determine the general industry or focus that fits your education or your ideals and desires.

So, where can you begin to search for and research companies?

Take advantage of Embry-Riddle’s Career Services resources for your initial landing site.

  • Embry-Riddle Career Services website: http://careers.erau.edu/
    • Useful Links (Links to 100s of corporate websites, government agency websites, specific population websites, job search engines)
  • EagleHire via Ernie (Research potential employers)
  • Company presentations on-campus (Learn about companies directly from company representatives)
  • Career Services Organization on Bb > External Links
    • Career Shift (Company information and contacts from a compilation of job boards)
    • Going Global (Corporate profiles for worldwide companies in various industries)
    • AWIN, Aviation Week Intelligence Network including the World Aviation Directory also called the WAD (Utilized to conduct company research)
  • Embry-Riddle Hunt Memorial Library
    • Hoover’s – ProQuest Central online database/Publications Search for Hoover’s (Company information)
    • Business Insights: Essentials online database (Business profiles)
    • Business Source Complete online database (Business profiles)
    • AWIN -Aviation Week Intelligence Network including World Aviation Directory online database called the WAD (Utilized to conduct company research)
  • Corporate Company websites
  • Government Agency websites
  • Networking, contacts and connections
  • Social Media (LinkedIn-professional networking; Facebook; Twitter; Pinterest; Instagram)
  • Google searches on companies
  • Magazine articles
  • Trade Publications (Employers industry activity; contributions related to their field and organization)
  • Professional Associations (See how employers contribute to the profession)
  • Advertisements (Marketing information may be a key to how successful a company is in business)
  • Conferences (Opportunities to talk with company representatives attending professional conferences)
  • Faculty (Connections to industry from research and prior careers)
  • Databases (Targeted business profiles and information)
    • Dun & Bradstreet

Now that you know where to search for companies and view their profiles, you’ll be able to decide with confidence whether the company culture, growth, strategies, goals, policies, values, and mission of the company align with your current and future expectations. Discovering additional companies outside your initial handful expands your employment potential and opportunity for success.

Once you’ve searched, researched, and concluded a company is right for you, hence, earn your paycheck from, you’ll still have to apply, interview and be selected for a position. Remember, it is 100% your choice to apply to companies in which you have an interest and it is also 100% your choice whether you accept a company or organization’s offer of employment. Your choice will be based on an educated decision!

Sally Richards has 30 years of experience in higher education with a proven track record in Career Services. Sally started her career with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Aeronautical Engineering Department.  Currently as the Career Services Cooperative Education/Internship Program Manager, she manages and facilitates operations of the Co-op/Intern Program for the team of Program Managers and ensures adherence of Co-op policies and procedures while overseeing conflict resolution for co-op situations. Her credentials include aviation/airline industry experience in flight recruiting, maintenance planning and passenger service with two major airlines and one regional carrier, as well as studies at Kent State University in Ohio.

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