Alumni Career Spotlight: Kruthika Srinivasan

Kruthika Srinivasan, DB 2011

Kruthika Srinivasan, DB 2011

Kruthika Srinivasan is a 2011 graduate of Embry-Riddle’s MBA program. Born and raised in India, Kruthika left her home country at age 17 to work on a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics from the University of Nottingham. Soon after receiving her degree, Kruthika realized she wanted to immerse herself in the aviation industry and decided that a degree from Embry-Riddle would be the best way to move forward with her goals. She moved to the United States and began attending Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus. As an MBA student, Kruthika landed an internship at Southwest Airlines. Soon after completing her internship, she interviewed for her current position. Kruthika is a Senior Analyst in the Network Planning Department, where she has been working for the last year.

Tell us about your position at Southwest Airlines and what you enjoy about working for them.

As a Senior Analyst in the Network planning department, I am part of the team that is responsible for routing and scheduling the approximately 520 aircraft in our network. We are constantly living in the future while we optimize the balance between the commercial requests of the schedule and the operational feasibilities. The fact that we are a point-to-point network just makes our lives as planners a lot more interesting as we solve this massive puzzle made up of at least 3000 flights a day. It is a very fulfilling job where I get to see my schedule working in the real world while making good profits for the company. I personally love working for Southwest Airlines. We, as a company, have a very different approach towards work which needs to be experienced firsthand. The culture at Southwest is outstanding, there is an excellent work-life balance, my co-workers are very friendly and the people here in general have a very positive outlook towards life. 

Many international students want to gain some work experience while in the U.S., either during their studies or after graduation.  What advice would you share with these students?

My advice to international students trying to get some work experience in the U.S.:  

  • Start early and plan ahead. This is most important.
  • Do a good amount of research about the companies that you are interested in.
  • Work closely with Career services and take advantage of the experienced counselors there.
  • Show the employer that they have a lot to gain by hiring you – not just in terms of knowledge and skill set, but also because you could bring a global perspective to their business practices and add to the diversity of the company.

You represented Southwest Airlines at the recent ERAU Industry/Career Expo.  Being on the recruiting side of the table, share a few things that stand out to you when you are talking with someone about working at Southwest.

Most students that I spoke to at ERAU seemed to have done their homework about Southwest Airlines and I definitely appreciated that. I would advise any student approaching Southwest to be confident, cheerful and have a good time. This is a company that gives importance to not only your work ethics and knowledge, but also to your all-round character.

We know that many times the education received at college is a solid foundation for the work world, but it does not completely prepare you for the career position you will have.  What skill have you found that has helped you adapt to your new position quickly?

Yes, I agree that just having a formal education does not prepare anyone for work in the real world in its entirety. However, I do believe that it is very important to have a good foundation in school as it is the basis for your thought process.  Education may not prepare you for every possible scenario, but it helps train your mind to identify the right to approach any problem.  Personally, I have found that keeping yourself up to date with the latest developments in the industry and associating how knowledge learned in the classroom could be applied to a real world problem will prepare you to hit the ground running. Also, team projects are an excellent way to learn and build on your emotional intelligence, leadership skills, time management techniques and most importantly, ability to be a team player.

Is there any other advice you would share about preparing to be successful in the work force?

Focus on the task at hand and aim to be a perfectionist. After attaining a certain level, when you are working with some of the best minds in the industry, hard work, the right attitude and good work ethic are the only things that will help you stand out in the crowd.  At the same time, don’t forget to have fun.

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I Have A Business Degree – Where Do I Find My First Career Opportunity??

By Sandi Ohman

An education in business provides a broad knowledge base, which is helpful in transcending across many industries.  However, it can present a challenge – having so many opportunities that you don’t know where to start looking.

To start, here are some questions to consider:

  1. If you have had an internship during your education – did you like it? If so, check out the opportunities at that company or similar companies.
  2. If you didn’t fully enjoy the internship, what parts of the internship did you enjoy?  Try focusing your career search on those aspects.  For instance, you liked the social network & website duties – check into marketing opportunities.
  3. Not having had an internship doesn’t mean you can’t find a career-launching position – it just means you will need to know yourself or do some self-evaluation to figure out where to start.  What do you like to do?  Consider what you liked about other work experiences or the classes you took – what kind of careers include those elements?  This could involve more education specializing in those areas (certificates, graduate degree, another few classes), but that can be a small investment for the work you will do the rest of your life!

Completing your degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) doesn’t mean you can only find work in the aviation/aerospace industry.  Your education should have prepared you to experience a shorter learning curve in this industry, but you can definitely cross over to other markets.  ERAU alumni have found their careers leading them into a variety of industries, including the following non-aviation related areas:

Commercial Banking, Consulting, Global Business Environments, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Military, Sports, Transportation, and Wall Street & Financial Markets

Once you have determined career areas you are interested in pursuing and research the companies in that industry, resume and interview specifics for that industry and start applying.  An internship after college is still an option for many recent graduates.  This is an excellent way to start in a new industry and let the employer evaluate performance before a full-time opportunity is offered.  We hear from employers from non-aviation/aerospace industries that didn’t know about ERAU previously but gave a graduate or student an opportunity and now want to recruit ERAU students/alumni because they are so impressed.  ERAU students and alumni can successfully cross into other industries!

Networking is so beneficial to the career search – before and after you have the job!  LinkedIn is an excellent resource for networking, along with professional organizations for that industry.  Check out the ERAU online Alumni directory eaglesNEST and ERAU alumni and Career Services LinkedIn groups to start the networking process.  There is also a list of aviation/aerospace professional organizations on the Career Services website.  There are just as many organizations for other industries as well.

Ultimately, your first career position might not start in the career/industry you were hoping for, but every experience offers learning opportunities (both personal and professional) and a chance to begin molding your experiences toward the career you are pursuing.  Often we tell students, “you get out of it what you put into it,” and this applies for the career search process and the experiences you obtain along the way.  If you are willing to learn new things, improve skills, grow personally and professionally, and continue pursuing your dreams, the likelihood of obtaining those dreams increase greatly!

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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