Alumni Spotlight: Kevin MacLean

Kevin McLeanKevin MacLean is a May 2001 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach.  He completed his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science and is currently a helicopter pilot for NextEra Energy.

What does your current role with NextEra Energy entail? 

Since 2006, I have been flying helicopters and jets for an outfit in Palm Beach, Florida called NextEra Energy. This Part 91 flight department has 2 Agusta helicopters, 2 Citation XLs, 2 Falcon 2000s, and 11 pilots.  The helicopters usually fly all over Florida and into the Keys, while the jets cover the entire North America, Caribbean and occasionally Europe.

Landing at a flight department like this was a career goal of mine. I fly the line and am also a Training Captain on the helicopters.I assist with new hire, recurrent, and instrument training. Interestingly enough, my dad is actually the one who first told me about NextEra’s flight department, having been and  engineer working with the company for over 40 years.

How did you make the initial transition from fixed wing to rotor?

My transition from fixed-wing to helicopters occurred six months after starting my initial fixed-wing flight training. Thankfully, my comrade Hugh, connected me with his good friend Josh, who was chief pilot for a helicopter company at KFXE in South Florida. Josh recruited me as an intern, where I quickly earned my helicopter ratings. In the year 2000, I was an ERAU student with a helicopter in Daytona. This served as my time-building flying job senior year and beyond graduation.

Based on your experience, what are the advantages of working in corporate aviation?

In my experience, corporate aviation is a real blessing. Each outfit I have had the pleasure to fly with has been like a small family with a very personal feel. It usually is a fairly low stress environment. Corporate aviation’s goal is to be safe, flexible, convenient, and comfortable. We often have very sophisticated equipment and there also tends to be a variety of destinations.

What personal attributes do you feel help to make one successful in the corporate aviation environment?

A good attribute for success in corporate aviation is flexibility. These groups are small, relying on the limited staff to do a variety of tasks.  A positive attitude goes a very long way. The flight crew is faced with new challenges best handled by the problem-solving personalities. Another valuable tool is the ability to work well with others, because everyone wants to be around quality people.
What advice do you have for current and future pilots seeking work in corporate aviation?

Emphasis on networking is huge advice for pilots seeking work in corporate aviation. Networking starts in flight school and continues beyond the time you actually find the job you are looking for. I personally have flown for over a half-dozen different corporate outfits, and each one of these opportunities became real due to networking. Stay in contact with your peers, and make new contacts: classmates, coworkers, social media, job fairs, internet research, and other methods.  Remain professional as you network and prepare for a flood of success.

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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.

Alumni Spotlight: Deric S. Dymerski

Deric S. Dymerski is a December 1990 graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach.  His Deric Dymeskydegree was in Aeronautical Science and he is currently President of Atlas Aviation.

Can you please discuss your career path since graduating from Embry-Riddle?

I started at the customer service desk for Butler Aviation at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), and went through the merger that formed Signature Flight Support.  After a couple months, I was promoted to Operations Supervisor, and eventually Airlines Supervisor (mostly for a UPS freight and cargo operation).  After a few years, I took a job as General Manager for Hawthorne Aviation (which became Piedmont-Hawthorne and is now Landmark Aviation) at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport (KLAL).  There, I was promoted to Regional Manager and covered four FBOs in Florida, two in Georgia and two in North Carolina.  After several years in the position, I left to form my own company and find an airport suitable for my own FBO plan.

After a year of doing some FBO consulting, my new company (Atlas Aviation) won the RFP for FBO services at Peter O. Knight Airport (KTPF) in Tampa, Florida.  We’ve now been here just over 10 years, and have a busy Part 61 and Part 141 flight school (Cessna Pilot Center), a full aircraft maintenance shop (Cessna Single Engine Service Center) and the full ground services of tiedown, hangar storage and aviation fuels.  We have hosted AOPA Expo and AOPA Summit at our airport, and continue to host several, large special events each year.  We have recently expanded into aircraft painting, and plan on a full avionics shop next.

Why is involvement in organizations outside the workplace important? 

I have been a member and attended the Annual Meeting of the Florida Aviation Trades Association for nearly 20 years. A few years into it, I was nominated to the Board of Directors, and learned a TON from the people I met and still call friends.  When it came time to start my own company, each service or vendor I needed came from my contacts within the organization; what an incredible support network for an independent company!  Once settled into Atlas, I rejoined the Board and am currently serving as President (we’ve changed our name to the Florida Aviation Business Association www.FABA.Aero).  Meeting and communicating regularly with other industry professionals (ERAU has a seat on the Board) is an incredible resource for running a business.

What has been your greatest achievement in your career?

Having come from a background of larger, “chain” type FBOs, I was warned by many that you couldn’t make a living selling Avgas, and certainly not with a flight school or even maintenance.  Many had the “gas and grass” mentality, and subbed out all the other services and just collected rent.  We now have a proven business model of teaching people to fly, then supporting our other departments by servicing the airplanes the new pilots ultimately buy (some simply continue to rent from our fleet, of course).  We have several tenants on their second or third aircraft upgrade since we taught them to fly.  We have made the “against the odds” business model work by hiring exceptional people and cultivating a professional yet fun atmosphere at the airport.

What advice do you have for current and/or graduating students to make them competitive in today’s workplace?

We’ve always appreciated ERAU grads and have several working for us.  More than education or experience (though both are factors), we look for a great ATTITUDE in an employee.  You should be willing to learn as you go, have a smile on your face and have an honest desire to help customers.  That will make both your career and the company for whom you work successful; I love what I do!

 

Advantages of Job Shadowing

By: Sandi OhmanJob Shadowing

What is job shadowing? As the name implies job shadowing is the process of following, like a shadow, another person in a specific job or career position/field/industry. For someone who is looking to find out about a specific career path, this is an excellent opportunity to see what the job is like over a short period of time. This activity can typically last a few hours, a day, or a week. Job shadowing is encouraged for middle and high-school aged students, as they learn about different career paths. However it is not just for this group, as college students, and people looking to switch careers could find this activity very useful. Job shadowing is also an extension of informational interviewing http://careers.erau.edu/land-offer/interviewing/informational-interviewing/index.html

The obvious advantage of job shadowing is that it allows a person to learn about specific career paths, as mentioned above. Learning about skills needed for specific careers is another advantage of job shadowing. An additional advantage is being able to learn more about a specific company and its culture. This could help determine if this is a company they really want to work for in the future. While this can be hard to determine in a few hours or even days, it is still a good view into possible career fields, which can promote further questions, research, and/or evaluation.

Where should someone start the search for job shadowing opportunities?

  • Check the Career Services Office for connections in the career area of interest. Many times they work with alumni in a specific career area of interest as well as companies that typically recruit specific career areas.
  • Local companies that offer careers in the area(s) of interest
  • If a current student or an alumnus, ask faculty who teach in the areas of interest if they would recommend a contact
  • Personal network – people know people in all areas of careers. Don’t underestimate connections!
  • Professional organizations could offer excellent connections for job shadowing opportunities – conferences, events, membership directories or other members

For more detailed information regarding Job Shadowing, check out the Quintessential Careers blog, Research Companies and Careers Through Job Shadowing (http://www.quintcareers.com/job_shadowing.html)

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.

Employer Feedback from the Industry/Career Expo

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The Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expo was another success this year.  There were 87 companies in attendance with 16 companies conducting interviews the day after the Expo.

Below is some of the feedback from the employers:

What qualities did those candidates that you favored most possess?

-“Communications, encourage candidates to relax and be confident”

-“Many presented themselves in a confident manner with great speaking skills.  The ability to speak to questions of technical nature set apart from others.  For those who have some work experience a great attribute (campus work is considered in this)”

-“Direct communication, willing to share/talk about themselves, calm/collected, comprehensive/thorough”

-“Excellent technical skills, understand job responsibilities and objectives, analytic skills, resume”

-“Strong analytical skills, good communication skills, knowledge of industry and company”

-“Honesty.  Our company values honesty and a strong worth ethic.  When candidates were talking about resumes you could quickly tell if they were honest.  This is because we are all ERAU graduate recruiters”

-“Maturity, preparedness/knowledge of company”

-“Practical experience, well-rounded, multitask”

Do you have any advice for our students to help make them stronger candidates?

-“Obtain more co-ops and internships and get involved in on-campus groups and program”

-“Projects, leadership, organized resume, list GPA if impressive”

-“Research company and know history.  Read job responsibilities and functions”

-“Be honest about your background.  Do not be afraid to say ‘no, I do not know.”

-“Research website and understand company, prepare specific questions and always be positive when asked about future education opportunities”

-“Students should be encouraged to look at local businesses. It was our impression that many students did not realize the opportunities that presented themselves locally. Also, we found that many of the engineering students liked the area and enjoyed water activities in their spare time, but had not thought of using their degrees with regards to boat-building.

-“Be sure to do homework before interviews; Check out company website understand their services and initiatives

-“It is great for Freshmen to come to this event, I would highly encourage it. They gain a lot of experience in the environment and from absorbing the whole process. They should meet with companies they want to work for and at least make introductions to themselves, and each year afterward.”

-“I followed the 3 rules stated by all recruiters:
1. Take on a leadership role within an organization
2. Keep GPA above 3.0
3. Complete one internship before graduation

 

Alumni Spotlight: Calvin Hart

Calvin Hart graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in December of 2004 with a Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems Engineering.  He is currently the founder and CEO of Tent Limited. Calvin hart2

How has your career progressed and changed since you graduated from Embry-Riddle?

I graduated with a Masters in Human Factors and Systems Engineering and I continued with this after I left but applied the same principles and learnings to the software industry followed by the financial industry. Moving from Florida to Silicon Valley, California then on to Hong Kong for 5 years and then to London where I opened up my own Digital Design studio. Its been recently nominated for a few awards including fastest growing start-up. In 9 months since starting this company, the team has grown from 3 people to 45 people today. I have teams in London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Miami, Seattle and Mexico City.

What made you decide to take the leap and open up your own firm?

I was working in the Finance industry for a very large Bank and started to create my own products (e.g. Online banking tools, platforms for wealth management etc.) which I got funding for from the bank. Once I saw people/customers getting excited about the products I built and increasingly using these products, I decided to set up my own studio and build these out for myself. Its exciting, and every day is its own set of challenges and with this comes reward (and yes, a lot of sleepless nights!) 🙂

Please tell us about your company.

Tent Limited is brand strategy and digital design agency. We provide innovative solutions to organizations through customer insight, strategic thinking and crafted story generation and design that brings our clients’ brands closer to their customers. 

Although we are a diverse team, we have some remarkable points of alignment. We are passionate, self-motivated, excited by what we do and unafraid of finding, following or even trail breaking on paths less trodden. We work hard, support each other and take the time to recognize great efforts, magic moments and have fun. We work globally; based in the heart of the London digital corridor at Shoreditch but currently working across five continents with multi-national, cultural and linguistic perspectives to bring to light.

What would you say has been the secret to your success so far?

Wanting everything we do, make and touch to be perfect! For this to happen, you have to be really passionate about your Brand and surround yourself with quality people. I am a brand fanatic! My core management team is a highly motivated, self-driven team and they get rewarded based on how much friction they can remove from my life.

What advice do you have for Embry-Riddle alumni who are thinking of starting their own businesses?

– It took me many many years to take the giant leap, and although I always wanted to do it, I was in no hurry. I built up my experience and exposure and learned a lot of lessons along the way (around the world in the last 10 years). My passion is always to improve something ‘just a little’…..very incrementally improve things around you and the bigger wins will fall into place. Use each and every experience as a learning experience no matter how good or bad it is.

– Learn to recognize talent and associate yourself with talented people. This is the core of any successful business or venture.

– With all said and done, it is a lot of hard work, and in my opinion….. a wasted day is a day where I don’t see the sun rise. Long hours are a part of it, but a few years of long hours and it all starts to pay off.Calvin Hart1

The Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expo is TODAY, October 8!

Embry-Riddle students and alumni, the Industry/Career Expo is today, Wednesday, October 8 in the ICI Center from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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Professional or business casual attire will be required for entrance. Students and alumni not dressed appropriately will be turned away at the door. Military uniforms, flight instructor/pilot uniforms and religious attire are acceptable.

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Example of Professional Dress

Companies Attending ERAU Daytona Beach’s Industry/Career Expo

The Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expo is Wednesday, October 8!LinkedHeroImage (1) (2)

Industry/Career Expo: Wednesday, October 8 in the ICI Center from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

See below for a list of the employers who will be in attendance, collecting resumes and/or speaking with candidates regarding full-time and co-op/internship positions. Click on the company’s link to visit the website to learn more about the employer and specific career opportunities that are available.

We look forward to seeing you at the Industry/Career Expo in Daytona Beach!

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