Co-op/Internship Spotlight: Nathalie Quintero

Participated in an amazing internship experience.NQ

Featured in Boeing’s Women in Leadership Association publication as the BWIL Member of the Month.

Successful on-campus leader. 

Nathalie Quintero should certainly be in the spotlight for her various accomplishments.  Nathalie is in the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach.  She is President of the Society of Women Engineers ERAU Chapter, and she is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  She participates on the  SAE Women’s BAJA team and is a Women’s Ambassador Program and O-Team member.  As an active student on campus, Nathalie has served as a mentor for various student groups.  Nathalie also spent the summer as an Interior Payloads Configuration 747/767/777 Intern at The Boeing Company in Everett, WA.

Here is what Nathalie had to say about her internship experience.

Having the opportunity to intern with a global corporation, such as The Boeing Company, was an extraordinary experience this summer. This internship not only allowed me to see other possible areas within engineering, but it also allowed me to explore options into engineering management. This internship allowed to create connections and network with different managers along my commodity and different groups across the company. It has been an experience that will definitely benefit my engineering education and my future in the aerospace industry.

As part of the Intern Experience and understanding the customer needs to elaborate new Interior Configuration for our airlines customer, I visited the “Customer Experience Center” (CEC). This center showcases mock-ups of the interior configuration for the 787, 747-8i, 737, 777-300ER. They also have flight deck configuration, where the customer can experience and use a high tech aircraft simulator for the new 747-8i. The photo depicts me flying the new Qantas 747 and understanding flight controls for the new aircraft that is sky rocketing the market of long distance airlines.

CEC Tour 005


Alumni Career Spotlight: Whitney Loubier

Whitney Loubier was born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida, where her family Whitneystill resides. She attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the Daytona Beach campus where she studied Computer Engineering and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in May 2012. In the summer of 2011, Whitney had an internship with The Boeing Company in IT Architecture in Puget Sound, where she worked on applications for cloud as well as telecommunications. During the internship, she applied and interviewed for an engineering rotational program within Boeing called the Engineering Career Foundation Program (ECFP). She was surprised to hear that she would be moving to the Seattle area to start her career with Boeing in ECFP. Whitney began her first rotation in July 2012 on the KC-46 Tanker program in Electrical Subsystems Exterior Lighting, where she worked with suppliers on requirements and design for the dimming controller of the lights. After 4 months, she moved to the next rotation in IT Electrical Systems Electromagnetic Effects where she was a part of an Agile team developing software for electromagnetic effects tools. Whitney is currently in her third rotation in a Boeing Research and Technology Radio Frequency and Microsystems Phased Array Antenna group, where she is involved in a trade study regarding satellite communications.

Can you explain what the Engineering Career Foundation Program at The Boeing Company entails?

The Engineering Career Foundation Program (ECFP) is a rotational program designed to give young engineers a wide knowledge base of the entire product lifecycle while offering professional and personal development opportunities. It is a 2-year program offered to Boeing interns that apply and interview during their internship the summer before they graduate. ECFP consists of six 4-month rotations that go through each step of the product lifecycle. This includes a rotation in requirements development, product definition, test/hardware support, product support, enterprise support and technology development. Along with our rotations, we each are a part of a program team that we also rotate through every 4 months. These teams include Budget, Professional Development, Community Service, Communications, and Social/Networking. These program teams provide leadership opportunities for participants, as well as other opportunities such as having monthly talks with executives, discovering the different engineering groups at Boeing, going on lab and factory tours, and many others.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

ECFP has been an amazing opportunity that has offered many highlights in my career, but if I were to pick one, I would say my first rotation on the KC-46 Tanker, where I was traveling often to meet with suppliers. I was able work with them on software requirements and LRU design, as well as attend multiple design reviews with not only our suppliers, but also our customer, the U.S. Air Force.

Do you have any advice for students and alumni who are seeking a position with The Boeing Company?

Students who have been interested in Boeing and have attended information sessions have probably heard it many times, but when applying online, it is important to tailor your resume to the position for which you are applying. Look for keywords in the job description and incorporate them into your resume. It takes a good amount of time to apply for each job requisition, but I promise it is worth it!

What are your plans for the future?

I have 3 more rotations to go through in ECFP, and after that I am hoping to be placed in a job in hardware/circuit design with Boeing. I also am planning on going for a Master’s degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering in the near future.

Co-op Spotlight from Summer 2013: Jason P. Alvarez

Embry-Riddle’s Cooperative Education/Internship Program at the Daytona Beach campus had 144 participants this past summer term.  Students gained practical work experiences in co-op or internship positions with approximately 103 companies in the U.S. and across the globe.

Jason is just one of the students whose summer was spent gaining valuable experience in an environment where he was being mentored and supervised by other professionals.

Jason P. AlvarezJason boeing

Estimating & Pricing Specialist Intern

Commercial Aviation Services Core Finance, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

My internship this summer in CAS Finance has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. My manager, Vance Bader, has been an excellent leader and has given me lots of flexibility to dive into complex projects and get a good understanding of how the business model works in CAS. Additionally, he allowed me to explore other fields (marketing, sales, finance, etc.) by conducting informational interviews with managers and the leadership team. These informational interviews have allowed me to expand my network, seek advice, and see how the other business units fit in the overall strategy of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

A few of the teams that I worked on projects for (besides CAS) were Flight Services and Digital Aviation. The Flight Services Estimating Project that I worked on with Kristen Roller was to clean up historical data and have it easily accessible to read and decipher. I broke down the costs to the right level of the specific business case activity and looked at costs by teardown, Jason another Boeingpackaging/boxing, shipping land, shipping sea, set up, and re-certify the simulator for training. The Digital Aviation Project that I worked with Rich Crowley was to contact AeroInfo, CDG, and ILS and see how they catalog and update prices for services. This project allowed me to contact the chief financial officers and ask them a variety of questions in order to gather the data for which I was looking.

My time away from work was enjoyable as well. For example, a lot of my time was spent outdoors (running, hiking, etc.) and traveling. I was fortunate enough to travel to San Francisco, Alaska, and Las Vegas. Also, I got to spend my 4th of July with my roommates/friends watching fireworks on the water and kayaking most of the day.

My time in Seattle has exceeded my expectations, and I cannot wait to return in the summer of 2014 as an intern in pursuit of an MBA!

Alumni Career Spotlight: Luis Sanchez

Luis Sanchez is a Quality Specialist for the Quality Business Management Luisdepartment of the 737 Program at The Boeing Company.  He currently manages the process and standardization of the Quality Business Plan Review functional & scorecard metrics; he also supports Lean+ Capturing the Value of Quality for 737, Quality Rate Readiness, Embry-Riddle Campus Intern Recruiting Team, and various productivity improvement projects 737 Quality.  Prior to coming on board with Boeing full-time, Luis joined The Boeing Company as an intern supporting the 737 Program under Brian Hoefig, Sr. Quality Manager for Field before transitioning to full-time at the end of his internship.

Luis earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, specializing in finance, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2011.  While in school, he worked as a Graduate Research Assistant, student tutor and research associate.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University.

What does your position at The Boeing Company entail?

I manage projects related to Quality Improvement for the 737 Airplane Program.

How were you selected to become a recruiter for The Boeing Company?

Mark Lyden, lead recruiter for The Boeing Company, gave me the tools and opportunities to join Boeing, so one of my main priorities was to join the ERAU recruiting team and bring more students to Boeing, as a way to thank Mark Lyden and ERAU for the dream come true event that happened in my life.

As a Boeing Recruiter, what are some of the biggest mistakes you have seen ERAU students make when seeking work at The Boeing Company?

One of the mistakes is that students only apply for opportunities during company visits or career events. Managers post jobs and internships based on their availability of free time to do so, so you should continuously seek out and apply for openings.

What advice do you have for students and alumni seeking work at The Boeing Company?

BE PATIENT AND APPLY, APPLY, APPLY!!!!!!!! Our system is very slow, so please be patient. Also, you need to be applying to 50 jobs or more; just because you get turned down from one job does not mean that you will automatically be disqualified for the other 49.

Co-op/Internship Spotlight from Summer 2013: Jeremy Asomaning

“You go to school for a degree that makes you marketable, but an internship can land you a career.” (JP Hansen, career expert and author of the Bliss List) 

Embry-Riddle’s Cooperative Education/Internship Program at the Daytona Beach campus had 144 participants this past summer term.  Students gained practical work experiences in co-op or internship positions with approximately 103 companies in the U.S. and across the globe.  Several students already have full-time job offers, once they graduate, from the host company. 

Jeremy is just one of the students whose summer was spent gaining valuable experience in an environment where a student is being mentored and supervised by other professionals.  Interns often have the opportunity to learn from the company or organization team members and network while working in a corporate culture.  They develop new skills and enhance others, including decision making, leadership and communication while making the transition from student to professional. 

Jeremy studied and analyzed  the existing structure in the 787 to determine which structures would be impacted after structural changes were complete. It involved the use of Boeing Software which was able to load the entire geometry of an airplane unto one’s  computer screen. He had to undergo a month-long training to learn how to use this and other software.

Jeremy studied and analyzed the existing structure in the 787 to determine which structures would be impacted after structural changes were complete. It involved the use of Boeing Software which was able to load the entire geometry of an airplane unto one’s computer screen. He had to undergo a month-long training to learn how to use this and other software.

Jeremy Asomaning, Aerospace Engineering

Structural Engineering – Design Intern

Boeing Commercial Aircraft,  Everett, Washington

Here is Jeremy’s feedback on his experience.

As a Structures-Design intern on the 787 Program this summer, most of my work was centered around performing a study on the structure in the upper half fuselage section, right above the wings of the 787-10.

I had to become familiar with and analyze the structure in this part of the airplane, which took weeks to complete, after which I documented and presented my findings to leadership on which structures would be impacted upon resizing some key structures within this area.

Working at The Boeing Company has been absolutely phenomenal. I had the opportunity to learn and be taught by people who were experts in their respective fields. I was also challenged by my project as it involved the use of new software to be able to successfully carry out the tasks assigned to me.  At Boeing, everyone worked together for the success of the project and that meant that you could walk up to anyone and ask them for their help or advice on what you were working on. People were just glad when you showed interest in what their work entailed or when you sought their expertise on a problem.

I also had the opportunity to work with other interns on a project which was highly beneficial. This experience with other intern teams helped me to better understand how iterative the process of building an aircraft is. There was heavy team collaboration which involved meeting regularly to discuss progress as well as challenges which kept springing up. One key thing which helped us to come up with solutions quickly to the problems we faced was the nature of our group intern project; Boeing gave us, interns, room to come up with solutions or figure it out. We were not restricted on how deep we could go or how broad we could extend our study to. Through this, we were able to develop an engineering mindset and come up with solutions which on some occasions had never been tried  or thought of by the company’s engineers.

Overall Boeing invested into me, giving me the opportunity to not only learn new skills but to think farther outside box.

Alumni Career Spotlight: Jonathan Weisberg

Jonathan Weisberg received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) Jon from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in August 2011, and he completed his Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management at Arizona State University in 2007.  Jon is currently a Research and Technology Supplier Management Procurement Agent with The Boeing Company.  Before coming on board with Boeing, he completed internships with JetBlue and the Walt Disney Company, both in finance-oriented positions.  Jon also worked for Mesa Airlines, prior to coming to Embry-Riddle, in crew scheduling.

How did you land a job with The Boeing Company?

Obtaining a full time position at Boeing was not an easy task as Boeing receives hundreds or even thousands of applicants for one position.  For my position alone, there were 1,100 applicants for just 3 openings.  I learned this the hard way as I started applying for positions back in the fall of my last year at Embry-Riddle.  I was fortunate to meet lead Boeing recruiter Mark Lyden who went through the 7 steps to applying for jobs as well as encouraged me to apply to multiple jobs, as in 20+ jobs.  I assumed with having an MBA, 2 years of airline experience, and top notch internships with JetBlue and Disney that I would be a shoe-in for a job with Boeing.  However, this was not the case right away.  Besides applying for full time jobs at Boeing, I also applied to finance and revenue management jobs with major airlines.  By the spring of 2011, I had a few interviews with the airlines, and after applying to over 20 jobs at Boeing, I secured an interview as a Procurement Agent.  I ended up getting the job and started working as a Procurement Agent within Boeing Research and Technology in September of 2011.

What does your current position entail?

As a Procurement Agent within Boeing Research and Technology, I enjoy the daily challenges of solving logistic issues as well as interacting with suppliers and engineers.  In Supplier Management, we are the liaisons working between the Supplier and engineer to make sure the parts I order run on time and all the orders are correct.  I have a broad range of experience having purchased numerous commodities and services, leases, and loans and having negotiated contract terms and conditions.  My favorite parts of this job are: negotiating price to find a best value solution for Boeing as well as our suppliers and traveling to meet with our suppliers face to face.  Being able to work for a leader in the aerospace industry has been a great experience thus far, and I look forward to what lies ahead with Boeing.

While working on your MBA, you completed internships with JetBlue Airways and The Walt Disney Company. How did those experiences benefit you?

Having the opportunity to intern at two world class companies such as JetBlue Airways and the Walt Disney Company were incredible experiences that have helped me in my current role.  Even though both internships were in finance, I learned a lot about customer service as well as building my Microsoft Excel and presentation skills.  While at Walt Disney World, I was working in Financial Operations for the Water Parks and Miniature Golf Courses.  All finance interns were required to work on an individual project and present it to all the other interns as well as finance executives including the CFO of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  My project was on weather-related studies and how weather during certain times of the year affects our operating income.  My project helped our operations team determine at what temperature the water parks should be closed to save Disney hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Do you have any advice for business students seeking a career in the aerospace industry?

My biggest advice for students who are sophomores or higher is to get as much work and leadership experience as possible.  The best way to get work experience is to complete summer internships in fields in which you are interested.  Even though you will learn basic theories and learn the aviation industry in school, you will not really understand it fully until you work there.  Plus a summer internship gives you insight into a company and is a 3 month interview that helps you secure a job with that company once completed.  My other recommendation is to network with leaders within the aerospace industry and find mentors.  Most business leaders within the aerospace industry love mentoring bright young minds, especially because they will be hiring these students, and someday these students will be running the company.

Alumni Career Spotlight: Christopher Higgs

Christopher Higgs graduated from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Chris HiggsBachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program in May 2011.  During his tenure at Embry-Riddle, he completed three internships with Raydon Corporation, The Boeing Company and MWH Americas.  He was also actively involved on campus with the Student Government Association (SGA), the O-Team, Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Gamma Tau and Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity: Florida Mu Chapter, among others.  He is currently working for The Boeing Company, completing his rotations in the Engineering Career Foundation Program (ECFP).

Tell us about the Boeing Engineering Career Foundation Program.

The Boeing Engineering Career Foundation Program (ECFP) is a two year leadership development and rotational engineering assignment that consists of six different four month rotations that span the Commercial, Defense, Research & Testing components at Boeing, whilst exposing its participants to the various stages of the product lifecycle.

What has been your favorite rotation so far and why?

That’s a difficult question to answer. At the point of writing this, I have rotated through five different groups at Boeing, each one providing a fantastic and memorable experience. One of my first groups had me blowing stuff up (stuff being the technical term) with plastic explosives, which ridiculously enough, resulted in a patent application. Another group sent me on a wind tunnel test in Farnborough, England.

If I had to choose just one, I would say my favorite is my current rotation, Sales & Marketing for the North East Asia region. Now this may sound somewhat blasphemous from an engineer, but the Sales arena is truly a confluence of engineering, business and customer interaction, a complex relationship that I find fascinating.

In what ways have your internship experiences helped you to be successful up to this point in your career?

A career does not materialize from nothing; it builds incrementally over time, one block after another. A key cornerstone at the base of that structure is your degree, while another is your internship experience. The internships I undertook while in college were fundamental to my marketability upon graduating; I never would have landed my dream entry-level position in Boeing’s engineering rotation program if I was unable to leverage industry experience during my application. In fact, the Engineering Career Foundation Program only hires from the Boeing intern pool.

To continue my Jenga-esque metaphor, this position is yet another block on which I will continue to build my career…without key pieces, like internship experience, your career (or tower) is more susceptible to toppling over.

Do you have any advice for graduates who may want to consider participating in a rotational program such as the Boeing Engineering Career Foundation Program?

Jenga! Ahem…I will be continuing with this metaphor. Rotation programs are typically very competitive, and the successful job hunting graduate will have several blocks on which to build their application. Again, solid performance in one’s degree program is fundamental, as is participating in internships to build industry experience. A third block, one that I feel made the difference in my application, is nothing new or unheard of. In fact, the first time I heard it was day one of orientation, freshman year… and again every day since: GET INVOLVED!

Companies, like Boeing, look for well rounded individuals; technical expertise 747-8I First FlightK65204-04from your degree and internships is critical, but the differentiating factor tends to be proving leadership at a collegiate level. Whether that is being a part of the Student Government, on the executive board of a Fraternity or Sorority, a project leader for an honor society or some combination of the above, this experience shows that you can operate in a team environment and work with others towards a common goal. That and listen to Mark Lyden’s 7 Steps!

Conference Spotlight: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Annual Convention

by Kristy Amburgey

DSC_3557Attending conferences and events is an excellent way to professionally network, learn new information as related to your career and identify employment opportunities.  The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) 39th Annual Convention, to be held March 27 – 31, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a great example of an event where you can both personally and professionally grow.  In fact, the annual NSBE conference, and the many events they host throughout the year, has resulted in great success stories for Embry-Riddle students and alumni.  Two such success stories come from Marie-Jeanne Steady Ndiaye (or MJ) and Vincent Bell.  We asked both of these alumni to share their experiences with the NSBE Convention.

Why did you decide to attend NSBE in 2012?

MJ: It was a very simple and pragmatic decision to come to. As an undergraduate student, I tried to attend as many professional conferences /conventions as I could; it is the best way to meet industry leaders and others who share your enthusiasm about your field.  The other reason why I attended the convention is that I quite frankly liked not being the “odd one out”. There typically aren’t many minority attendants; there’s this belief that we are not interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), so it’s nice to be reminded it is just a “myth”.

Vincent: I decided to attend the NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) Convention in 2012 after talking to Mr. Mark Lyden about working for The Boeing Company at the end of February or early March 2012.  He told me that Boeing and various companies go to the convention to hire knowledgeable minorities.  So my main reason for going was to obtain a job after graduating from ERAU.  However, I also saw an opportunity to present what I was working on at that time at the conference when I saw there were so many cancellations in the conference presentation schedule.

What was the conference like for you?

MJ: It was a bit overwhelming at first because there were thousands of attendees rushing and buzzing around. There was a multitude of sessions, workshops, and discussions panels. I just didn’t know how I was going to make the most of the convention and what events to attend. All I knew was that I wanted to take it ALL in!

Vincent: The conference was great, and I had an unbelievable experience.  The first day that I got there I met up with couple of other ERAU students.  And Mr. Lyden, who I had been in contact with prior to the convention, wanted to meet with all the ERAU students that attended the conference, and he invited us to an exclusive Boeing talk, to where we were able to talk to Boeing managers and Boeing engineers that came for the conference.  The second day I ended up presenting on what I was conducting research on with Dr. Bereket Berhane.

Everyone that has been to an ERAU career fair would enjoy the NSBE Convention.  The convention is one huge career fair with so many engineering companies/firms and graduate schools trying to get qualified students to come to their program and study. Plus this gives the companies opportunity to see what you know by means of presentation.  For example, after my first interview, which was with Boeing, I invited my two interviewers to my presentation, and one actually came.  So it was great experience for your potential employer to see what you know and how well you can present information to others that may or may not be as knowledgeable on the subject at hand.

Overall, it was great, and the feedback I received was amazing.

Where there any outcomes from NSBE Conference?

MJ: Definitely! I really enjoyed the Educational Sessions, including:

  • Professional Development sessions –  provided me with soft skills to my academic and professional career ahead
  • Mentoring sessions – provided a framework that I used for my grad school selection/application process. That session also helped me outline for myself how I wanted to maximize my grad school experience
  • Outreach sessions – we had an opportunity to interact with local high schoolers, conducting experiments and answering questions about different STEM fields. This sparked my interest for Science Outreach and more specifically promoting Space Ethos. So much so, that when I started working at the Kennedy Space Center, I joined the Speakers Bureau, which is a group of volunteers who represent the center at civic, professional, educational, and other public events. Bureau members are exceptionally qualified to discuss general and specific aspects of the activities and technologies associated with the space flight program

Vincent: Of course the big aerospace companies were there (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and others).  So I earned 5 interviews in those three days: Boeing, Raytheon, Goldman Sachs, Northrop Grumman, and Texas Instruments.

The interview with Northrop Grumman was for thermal analysis engineering, and I never heard anything back from them.  The Texas Instruments interview was for mechanical engineering.  Texas Instruments never contacted me back again.  The interview with Goldman Sachs was for financial analyst, where, if I received an offer, I would be inspecting engineering project funding.  I had a follow up phone interview but ultimately did not receive an offer.  The interview with Raytheon was for Navigation, Guidance, Control (GNC) engineering and with the Raytheon Missile Systems.  Raytheon Missile Systems actually flew me to Tucson, AZ for a hiring event with about 100 other applicants for various job openings.  I ultimately received a job offer with them.  My interview with Boeing was for a fuel system engineer.  The day after this interview, I was told that I would receive an offer within the month for a job with Boeing.   I took the job with Boeing over Raytheon.

Why should students/alumni attend this conference?

MJ: Three words: networking, development, and exposure! I think that is pretty self-explanatory. If you are a black engineer, you NEED to attend the national convention.

Because the National Convention focuses mainly on the big 4 (Electrical, Mechanical, Software, and Civil Engineering), I would strongly urge ERAU students with interest in space to join the NSBE Space Special Interest Group (commonly referred to as Space SIG). It is one of NSBE’s star programs and is opened to college students as well as alumni.

They are actually hosting a conference in January, Space Technology Session 2013 (next one won’t be until 2015!) that is unlike other conferences in that it is actually a hands-on engineering session.  Participants are divided into groups with each group being assigned to work on a pre-defined set of deliverables for one of NSBE’s space-related technical projects.   It offers students an opportunity to work in an apprentice-like setting with industry engineers, managers, and scientists. This is how I developed and honed my technical proficiency!

Vincent: Students and alumni should attend this conference because companies come to this convention to hire participants.   Knowing that you have a huge chance of getting hired is a main reason why the ERAU family should attend.  Even if you are a freshman, you can standout for the upcoming years and help your chances either with a job or internship, when you are ready.  When you are looking for a job and applying via the internet, companies do not know you nor see your passion.  They only see what you put on your resume at the time.  And that is if you did your resume right and tailored your resume to that job announcement to which you just applied.  But at this conference you are talking to people who are eager to talk to you to see what you know, and you can pick apart their brains at any time.  They want you to ask a lot of questions as much as possible.  Companies are really looking for the best applicant possible that they can hire.  So I think for ERAU students and alumni, we are those types of people that they can hire and train very easily.

Vincent also has some additional advice for students who will be graduating soon.

The advice I would give students who are graduating soon is to go out there and apply and apply to all jobs for which you are qualified.  Before I went the NSBE Convention, I applied to about 350 jobs in 2 and half months.  From these that I applied to, I only heard back from 10 or 15 of the companies.  None of them offered me a job at all.  After the NSBE Convention, I had two offers after talking to 5 companies.

Another piece of advice I will give is when you get a chance to have an interview (either over the phone or in person), ask as many questions that pertain to the job or the betterment of you ultimately receiving an offer.  For example, in every interview that I have had over the past 2 years, I have asked the employers what about my resume stood out to them.  If something stood out to them, it possibly may stand out to others as well.  Another question I have asked is what is something that I can change (either on the resume or the interview itself) that will help with next interview you may have.  This question will show employers you are eager to learn something new about yourself and work on weaknesses that may be apparent to them.  Also, you should ask questions on relevant projects that company has worked on and/or on which they are currently working.  This will show your interest in the company with which you are hoping to get a job.

At the end of your interview, make sure you have business cards of all those people that interviewed you.  Wait about a week or two and then email them.  In your email, you just want to tell them thank you for the opportunity to talk to them.  You are not asking where you stand in the interview process.  This step will allow you to pop back up in their head because they received an email from you, and it is another way to stand out above the rest of the people that they may have interviewed.

I hope these tips help all ERAU students and alumni get jobs upon graduating.

Based on our alumni feedback, you can see that the NSBE Convention is a great opportunity for candidates seeking opportunities, both right now and in the future.  Besides professional development and networking opportunities, you will have access to many premier companies who are hiring like Battelle, Boeing, CIA, General Dynamics, Johnson Controls, Lockheed Martin, Toyota, United Technologies Corporation and many more.

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.

Ready, Set, Go…with a Back-up Plan

by Amy Treutel

ATC Tower LabThe Air Traffic Management degree at Embry-Riddle is a very specific one.  Most students go through the program with the intent to become an Air Traffic Controller after graduation.  They know the courses they have to take at Embry-Riddle, and they know what steps they must go through after graduation to apply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and be on their way to pursuing their dreams.  What seems like a clear cut process can become slightly more complicated as things like budget cuts and increased wait times creep into the picture, however.

This is when it’s important to call upon your back-up plan!  Most students realize that they do have to do something between when they graduate and when they get hired by the FAA as an Air Traffic Control Specialist trainee.  As the hiring panel is only every six months (November and March), there will be a wait time between graduation and when the ball gets going for Air Traffic Control.  In fact, the average wait time for a graduate of the air traffic management degree program to be hired by the FAA is just over a year, but for others that time can stretch into two, sometimes three years.  Almost 80 percent of graduates jump right into the workforce after graduation, whether they are working as a Remote Pilot Operator at Raytheon or in customer service at Staples.  What many students don’t take advantage of, however, is this two to three year gap where they can get started on a career or pursue an advanced degree.

There are so many opportunities for graduates with backgrounds in Air Traffic Control.  It’s not advice you want to hear, but it is solid advice nonetheless: pursue other adventures!  Many air traffic graduates are in the industry right now, waiting to be hired by the FAA but at the same time working in a job they love and are passionately pursuing.  It doesn’t mean you’ve given up on your career goals, and it doesn’t mean your degree is worthless.  It means you were proactive and responsible enough to realize that you may have to take a different path to become an Air Traffic Controller than others, but in the end, you’ll be sitting in the same tower cab or radar room as the guy or girl who chose not to get that extra experience.

For example, take Alyssa Smith, a recent air traffic graduate.  She is currently working for The Boeing Company as a Quality System Specialist.  After completing an internship with Boeing, she was offered a full-time position.  While waiting to be hired, she is gaining great full-time work experience as well as growing her network by working in the industry.  Travis Gonzalez is another great example of a graduate of the Air Traffic Management degree program.  Currently, Travis is working at The Mitre Corporation, and while he initially had plans to become an Air Traffic Controller, he found another passion and pursued it.  Travis is still involved in air traffic but is working more with research and analysis.  Still want another example?  Bryan Dietz graduated with an Air Traffic Management degree and has also pursued a career outside of being a controller.

With the FAA’s recent announcement that just a very small hiring panel will be held this November, many air traffic graduates are left thinking, now what?  Now is the perfect time to call upon your back-up plan.  Get started early and don’t wait to be hired by the FAA.  Go through your career checklist.  See what other graduates have done and learn about companies hiring Air Traffic Management graduates.  Check out the Career Services website to see the many resources that are available to make a job search easier for you.  Choose a couple of minors that could translate into skills for alternate types of jobs.  Then get out there and make industry contacts while working full-time.  It’s important to get your foot in the door, and who knows, maybe you’ll find a new passion and calling doing something other than pushing tin.

Amy Treutel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Management.  She currently works as the Office Associate and has been part of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Career Services team for five years.

Alumni Career Spotlight: Alyssa Smith

Alyssa Smith, ERAU ATM

Alyssa Smith, DB 2012

Alyssa Smith is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Management program at the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach campus. After being encouraged by an alumnus, she visited The Boeing Company’s booth at last year’s Industry/Career Expo. This summer, Alyssa worked for Boeing as a Quality Systems Specialist Intern and was hired on full-time as a Quality System Specialist in August. As a student at Embry-Riddle, Alyssa worked both on and off campus and completed internships with AvPorts at Teterboro Airport and Brian Boyle Attorneys at Law.

As an Air Traffic Management major, why did you choose to apply to Boeing?

I honestly had never thought about it before speaking with an alumnus who encouraged me to go up to the booth at the career fair. When I did, I ended up finding out about Boeing’s NextGen program and learned more about opportunities in Boeing. 

What skills and traits do you find that are most beneficial in your work?

Communication is key in any job, but especially when you work for such a big company. Peoples’ time is so valuable; make sure you know what you need before you say anything. 

How will this position relate to your future goal?

This position is an awesome opportunity. There is so much room for growth in Boeing, and my manager makes it his responsibility to make sure I get any and all training I want, including leadership training, to help advance toward goals of management. 

What advice do you have for other ATM majors who are waiting for the FAA call?

No one wants to hear it, but it’s a reality that you could be waiting years before you get the call.  Go apply to as many other positions you can while you wait. Try to stay in the industry; market your minors or even the management portion of your degree.

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