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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Alumni Spotlight: Derrek Ehrlich

DerrekErlichDerrek Ehrlich graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in December 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics.  He is currently working as a Systems Integration Engineer at Rockwell Collins.

Discuss your current position with Rockwell Collins. 

Currently, I am working as a systems integration engineer at Rockwell Collins.  In short, I help integrate and test all of the sub-systems for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Bombardier C-Series commercial avionics systems.  Our engineering team is the last team to touch the avionics system before it is uploaded to the aircraft.

What are some of your top tips for successful networking for students? 

From a networking standpoint, there is a lot that I look back on my time at ERAU and wish I would have done.  This that I feel like I was not pushed hard enough to do.  For one, any internship/co-op that you receive can be infinitely helpful in landing your first job, whether that be through the company you actually interned for or the work experience you gained that makes you look far more attractive to another employer.  Networking strategies can also be used to accomplish this.  My biggest tip I can give you, that can be done right now and on campus is to BE ACTIVE.  Yes, doing homework and studying is important, but aside from helping make you a more well-rounded person, campus activities, whether that be SGA, Greek Life, academic clubs, social clubs, or athletic clubs, can all be beneficial to landing your first gig.  These activities can strengthen a resume, but they will also introduce you to more senior individuals at ERAU.  Once these individuals graduate, they will obtain a job, and you never know who it might be that helps you land your first one.  Knowing anyone in the industry can be infinitely helpful.

Another suggestion I have is to get out to any conferences or competitions where there will be individuals in your prospective industry present.  Yes, ERAU is a great school and has great teachers, but I have very much realized that, at the end of the day, it is about who you know and not what you know.  Fortunately, another great aspect about going to a well-known and respected school is that you have more opportunities to take advantage of better networking connections, so don’t let that go to waste!

Since you recently graduated in Dec. 2011, what timely advice do you have for current students who will be graduating in the next few years? 

Nowadays, internships and/or co-ops can be worth their weight in gold in obtaining your first job.  Don’t slack off on getting one of these!  Engineering jobs are plentiful, but you still need to look attractive to prospective employers, as not “just anyone” is hired.  Also, numbers can be key.  If there is a specific company you want to work for more than others, that is great!  Apply for lots of positions with them, learn about the company, and try to make any connections you can, but on a similar note, do not put all your eggs in one basket.  There are countless companies out there looking for young talent.  Never stop applying!

What are your future plans with Rockwell Collins? 

One of the things I love the most about Rockwell Collins is the flexibility they allow you in defining your career path.  I plan on eventually using their tuition reimbursement program to get my MBA from University of Iowa (a very good, nationally ranked MBA program) and work on moving up into engineering management.

Annual Industry/Career Expo Reminders

The annual Industry/Career Expo’s at both residential campuses are open to all ERAU students and alumni.  To learn more information about these events please visit our website: http://careers.erau.edu/events/

Prescott Expo - 2014

Thursday, Oct. 2 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in Prescott, AZ

Blog image for DB Expo

Wednesday, Oct. 8 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in Daytona Beach, FL

Co-op Assistance Award Winners

The Co-op Assistance Award Program provides financial awards to a few deserving students each summer who participate in the University’s Co-op/Internship Program.  The Program helps students minimize their financial concern by helping them defray some additional expenses that would be incurred during the work term and allowing the students to get the maximum benefit from a great co-op or internship opportunity.  The Award Program which has been in existence since summer 2003 with $16,500 awarded to 60 students is funded by employers, alumni and the Career Services team .  Congratulations to the 13 Daytona Beach students who received a Co-op Award for the summer 2014.money

Jeremy Asomaning – Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering

The Boeing Company, Everett, WA; Structures Airframe Intern

 

Jacob Clinard – Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis, IN; Design Engineer Summer Intern

 

Samantha DeMarco – Master of Science in Engineering Physics/Space Physics

U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM; Research Scientist Intern

 

Davin Fonseka – Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management Science

Cape Air, Hyannis, MA; A&P Maintenance Intern

 

Zorororashe Gandiya – Master of Business Administration

Lufthansa Technik Component Services, Miramar, FL; Intern

 

Amy George – Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Psychology

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Ft Worth, TX; Technical Intern

 

Zachary Goff – Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering

AAI Corporation, Hunt Valley, MD; Systems Engineering Intern

 

Kristia Harris – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Teledyne Oil & Gas, Daytona Beach, FL; New Product Development Intern

 

Shizhen Huang – Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), Orlando, FL; Apprenticeship Program

 

Calvin Pereira – Associate of Science in Aviation Maintenance Science

Cape Air, Hyannis, MA; A&P Maintenance Intern

 

Carl Phelps – Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science

Grimmster, Port Orange, FL; Engineering Intern

 

Jay Rowland – Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Cessna Aircraft Company (Textron Aviation), Wichita, KS; Engineering Product Support Engineer

 

Michelle Sinagra – Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems

Express Employment Professionals/Embraer Executive Jets, Melbourne, FL; Designer Intern

 

Below are some highlights of gratitude from the award winners:

“I just really appreciate the help that I have gotten from Career Services!”

“I would like to thank you and the entire Career Services office for this award. I truly appreciate the support and please know that it will be very helpful while I am going through my internship…”

“I’d like to thank you and the other members of career services for this award! It is greatly appreciated and will be very helpful for my internship. Thanks again!”

“I want to say an even bigger thank you for awarding me the Co-Op/Intern Assistance Award! I am so excited. This will definitely help with the costs of setting up at the company for the summer. Please extend my thanks to Brian and the rest of the Career Services Staff.”

“This is great news!”

 

 

Internship Resources

By Sandi Ohman

thCA5BNMPOWhile it is extremely cold right now, even here in Florida, the summer is quickly approaching.  As students contemplate their summer plans, for some, an internship opportunity is high on the list. Many though don’t know how to start the search process for identifying internships.  Below is a list of resources to use to find internship opportunities:

  1. The Career Services Office (CSO) – The CSO at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) advertises internships through the career management system, EagleHire Network.  This is an excellent resource to consider for internship opportunities.  CSO partners with employers to advertise opportunities through EagleHire Network.  These companies are interested in ERAU students, so it is a good place to start the internship search.
  2. Company Websites –  Many large companies have well-established internship programs and choose to advertise internship opportunities on their company websites. Make sure to follow all application requirements and provide requested documents, since this shows the employer the applicant can follow directions.
  3. The Internet – Search engines such as Google, Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, Careerbuilder.com are good internet resources to search for internships.  Another resource is CareerShift.  This is an employment research tool for students and alumni to use when researching opportunities.  The Career Services Office has purchased the required membership needed to use CareerShift.  The log-in page can be found embedded in the home page of the student/alumni part of EagleHire Network.  Make sure to follow account creation/log-in instructions located in the CareerShift box.  There are also numerous internet resources listed on the Useful Links page of the Career Services website.
  4. Faculty – Faculty are excellent resources in the internship search.  Many have worked in industry, and they have contacts and companies contact them about open positions.
  5. Network(ing)Quintiessential Careers recently wrote in their blog that networking is one of the best ways to find out about opportunities.  So, let others know of your interest to find an internship in a specific field.  Also, LinkedIn is another networking source.  LinkedIn is a professional social networking internet resource.  Users can search for alumni that work at the company they are interested in, search for internships advertised through LinkedIn, or other contacts in the company.
  6. Career Fair/Recruiting Events – In 2014 the Daytona Beach Career Services Office will be hosting Career Week 360°.  This will be a week full of career-related topics and opportunities.  On Tuesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 5, there will be an Employer Recruiting Showcase.  This is a smaller event than the Industry/Career Expo, but it is an opportunity for companies to recruit for internships and full-time opportunities.   Another opportunity to meet recruiters is company visits.  There are numerous companies that will come to campus to recruit, interview and hold information sessions.  These are good opportunities to interact with employers and learn about internship opportunities.  Check the EagleHire Network calendar for dates.
  7. Letters of Interest – Letter of Interest/Inquiry can be used to reach out to companies to find out about internship opportunities or programs.
  8. Previous Student Internship Papers – When students participate in an internship for credit, writing a paper about the experience at the end of the term is part of the requirements. Those papers are posted in the Daytona Beach Career Services Blackboard organization.  This is a good way to read what other students experienced on their internship and also find out where other students from different degrees went on an internship.

Students should use the above resources to research and find internship opportunities.  When applying for internships, make sure to customize resumes (and cover letters if requested) to positions, follow application requirements and submit complete quality applications.  This will increase the chances of obtaining an internship and gaining the experience towards a future career.

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.

Industry/Career Expo Success Story: John Lobdell

By John Lobdell

John is a First Year student in the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus

DSC_2692The Industry/Career Expo is one of the most publicized events on campus. Starting from the time you arrive in early fall, you are constantly reminded of it through e-mail, posters, teachers, and even certain organizations. And for good reason–some of the top aerospace companies in the world attend, looking for students to hire as interns or full-time employees. It’s an amazing opportunity–but one that is highly competitive, as hundreds of students are contending for the same positions. It’s really quite frightening to think about the odds of actually obtaining one of these positions; because of this, many students–especially freshmen–feel as though it’s pointless to even try. I was one of those freshmen for a while.

It didn’t take long from the time I arrived on campus to realize how big of an event the Expo was going to be, from all the advertising. Fairly early on, I knew that I wanted to attend, but actually getting an interview–much less a position–with one of these companies was far from my mind. I was a freshman after all, and freshmen don’t get internships. The idea of getting an internship for the summer after my freshman year didn’t even cross my mind until I actually met an upperclassman who had gotten one his freshman year. At first it was just a small thought; I figured it would be a great experience to get an internship my freshman year, but I also thought it highly unfeasible. Then I met several more upperclassman who had gotten internships their freshmen years, and I started to think that maybe it was possible.

At that point, the idea really started to sink in. Rather than just a thought, it became a goal. I realized how unfeasible it was, but I was determined to at least try. That way, even if I failed, I would still have a much better idea of what I needed to do for next year. But I really didn’t know what to expect at the Expo, and had no idea how I should prepare. I decided that the best thing would be to go to one of the Expo preparation sessions, hoping that it would give me at least an idea of what to expect. Little did I realize just how helpful one of these sessions would be. They went over everything from what to expect from the recruiters, to how to format your resume, to what to wear, and everything in between. By the time the Expo came, I had gone to several of the different sessions and was feeling quite prepared. And then, after weeks of waiting and preparation, it was time for the Industry/Career Expo.

On the day of the Expo, I was feeling quite confident. My resume had been polished several times over, I had a nice suit that looked professional, I knew exactly who I wanted to talk to, and I had a general idea what to expect from them. I arrived at the ICI Center, walked in, and suddenly… lost all confidence. How could I honestly have thought that I could get an internship? I hadn’t built up my resume nearly enough to be competitive. I began walking around, eying out the different companies. Finally, I got up the courage to go up to one. Figuring that I was ready, I decided to go to one of the companies that I had researched before the Expo. I got in line and waited until it was finally my turn to talk to one of the recruiters. I walked up, shook his hand, handed him my resume, and got so nervous I couldn’t remember what I was going to say. I mumbled and stuttered every time he asked me a question and am fairly sure that my words were not completely coherent. It was a disaster.

I felt pretty unconfident after I finished talking to that first recruiter. I lost all hope of getting an internship. I was just too nervous to be able to accurately display myself to recruiters. So I decided to just go to various companies and practice talking with them. I went to several companies, but although I was slowly growing more used to talking to the recruiters, I was still nervous, and it was obvious. Soon it came time for me to leave for my first class, so I decided that I would visit one more booth before I left. I had noticed General Electric‘s booth earlier in the day and decided that I would talk to them. As I began walking to the booth, I started to think about some advice that a friend of mine had given me before the Expo. “Be yourself,” he said.  So I decided to go up and talk to the recruiter not as a recruiter, but as a friend…someone I knew. When I got to the booth, I walked up to the recruiter and just had a normal conversation with him. By treating him as a friend, I was able to dispel the nervousness. He asked me a few questions about my resume, and at the end, he pointed to the top of my resume where my phone number was, and asked, “Is this where we can reach you?”

Later that day, I got a phone call asking if I could come in for an interview the following afternoon. I, of course, accepted. That night, I did as much research on GE as I could in order to prepare for the interview. I wanted to know exactly what to expect. Going into the interview the next day, I was prepared with not only as much information as possible, but also the same mindset that I had when I had talked to the recruiter the previous day. Treating the interviewer as just another person that I can have a normal conversation with helped once again calm my nerves and allow me to accurately represent myself. The interview went well, and I left feeling quite confident. And about a week later, I got the e-mail offering me a summer internship with GE.

It is not impossible for a freshman to get an internship, as I can attest to. If you want one, you will be able to get one; you just need to put in the effort. Many freshmen feel that they don’t have enough experience to get an internship, but the truth of the matter is that companies that hire freshmen interns realize that they won’t have experience. What these companies are looking for is not a vast amount of experience, but passion…passion about what you do and about what they do. And they are also looking for people who can just be themselves. So when you talk to either a recruiter or interviewer, just be yourself, and show off all of your skills and talents. Find a way to weave in what you’re passionate about, in particular if it has to do with the job position. When all you have to go with is a resume, it’s a little more difficult, but the same concept applies. Get involved with clubs and activities that correspond to your major or your desired career. Not only will these things provide invaluable experience, if you are truly passionate about your major, they will also be enjoyable. And having them on your resume will show that passion.

Finally, one of the keys to getting an internship is being prepared. Do your research on whatever companies you may be interested in. And take advantage of Career Services and all that it offers. The sessions on what to expect at the Expo were invaluable to me; I doubt I would have gotten the internship had I not gone to them. They tell you exactly what to expect, and they give you many useful tips to help you get an interview. Make sure your resume has been polished several times over as well; a poorly formatted resume can give a bad impression to recruiters and may keep you from getting the opportunity to express yourself more fully through an interview. I encourage everyone, especially freshmen, to aim for an internship because as long as you are willing to put in the effort, there is nothing stopping you from obtaining one.

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

What Can I Do On My Internship?

By Sally Richards

72962_10152434783425716_7754667_nWoo-hoo!  You’ve landed an internship where you know you will learn valuable skills to help make you more marketable to the corporate world or other organizations.  Now, what in the world will your daily routine actually look like?

Your daily routine will depend on whether the company you will be doing your internship with is in the aviation, aerospace, or another industry and whether their focus is service, manufacturing and technology, space exploration or product research and development.

Routine or no routine?  Depending on the nature of the business you will work in, your position may be anything but routine and may include responsibilities or activities outside the box.  The requirements of a department or company will determine how varied your work and workload are.  You may be working on single projects as assigned during the semester.  Some may be for a short duration, so you will be tasked with completing multiple projects.  Others will take much longer where you may be working on one major project throughout the semester.

Previous interns have had a myriad of amazing experiences. You could too.
Just imagine!  You could participate in Co-op or Internship where you….

  • On the cutting edge working alongside seasoned engineers for future Falcon 9 launches
  • Dance…on a video made with interns about the JSC Co-op Program…Gangnam style
  • Take-off on an airline charity flight as a mentor for an organization like, “Wish for Kids”
  • Stand on top of Mt. Washington at an altitude of 6,288 feet and run weather data measurements
  • Research and test biomedical exercise equipment for use by NASA astronauts
  • Solve engineering problems and apply appropriate solutions for a general aviation aircraft manufacturer
  • Support an up and coming car manufacturer in creating tests for a bench vehicle in hardware and software. Wire up data acquisition system to controllers on the vehicle for testing.
  • Play in a golf tournament with some executives from the Ivory Tower
  • Work with the powerplant team as well as technicians in the shop and work the entire project from initiation and development to actual prototype in a fuel manifold project
  • Lunch with the CEO of a major U.S. airline
  • Work with Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) agency and its investigations
  • Attend design reviews with other team members
  • Fly a major commercial airline simulator and potentially earn 14 hours of 777 sim time for your logbook
  • Serve as the flight test engineer for some of the development flights, as well as for the entirety of certification flight process as a new avionics system is being addressed on a Seneca V
  • Instrumental in data collection of all reported accidents and incidents reported by pilots
  • Assist with work on the replica of Curiosity Rover in the “Mars Yard”
  • Fly on an initial flight on the first of a new aircraft series across the pond
  • Assist in designing military tank simulators and weaponry simulators for the U.S. Military
  • Certified to fly right seat in a commuter airlines operation
  • Try on a prototype astronaut suit or ride the vomit comet
  • Help design, build, test, and work as dragster crew for a motorsports company while adhering to safety regulations
  • Work with the Chief of Flight Test for a major helicopter manufacturer
  • Work in wind tunnel testing with a major engine manufacturer
  • Make significant suggestions during the evaluation process of a contamination issue
  • Have a bio written on you for a newsletter published by a major commercial airline manufacturer
  • Travel with department team to other company sites
  • Improve procedures to increase productivity and work quality for Flight Data Analyses and for implementing AQP
  • Write company policies for safety and severe weather
  • Prepare analytical reports
  • Remake the store interfaces on android considering android guidelines
  • Observe and subsequently test your expertise at a firing range for law enforcement agency
  • Assist in setting up a manufacturing production line in China
  • Develop better communication skills with team members
  • Assist as a safety specialist in different workshops
  • Enhance your presentation skills and interaction with other professionals in the field during briefings
  • Research repairs, read manuals, and navigate information systems while understanding manufacturers’ aircraft drawings for a major airline

Previous interns have remarked that their co-ops/internships were the “best experiences ever!” Daytona Beach students, via Blackboard, can read the final co-op/intern papers that each intern writes at the end of a semester of practical work experience to learn their peers’ perception of a company culture and the responsibilities, duties, advantages and disadvantages.  This will give you some foresight about the culture, people and processes used by a company even before you start an internship.

Your initiative, motivation and good attitude can open up doors and windows for you.  With your internship, you’ve begun your journey towards a successful career.

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.

Co-op Spotlight from Summer 2013: Antoine Daugny

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, upon graduation, have full-time job offers from the host companies.

Antoine 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.

The photo was taken in a Falcon 7X just before engine start prior to a taxi test.

The photo was taken in a Falcon 7X just before engine start prior to a taxi test.

Antoine Daugny, Aerospace Engineering

Dassault Falcon Jet, Little Rock, Arkansas

Flight Test Engineering Intern

Here is Antoine’s feedback on his experience.

My internship was at the Dassault Falcon Jet plant in Little Rock. I was working for the Flight Test department, which was in charge of testing each Falcon that was produced, before it was presented to its future owner. My usual task was to prepare test orders to be performed during test flights, install test equipment in the aircraft (such as temperature probe and sound recorders) and process data gathered during flights. I also participated in some test flights and in troubleshooting problems.

This internship was very valuable as it introduced me to the flight testing world and enforced my motivation to pursue [a career] in that direction. This second rotation, I had a more “hands on” experience as I was working a lot on the aircraft itself. I learned a lot about the various systems of the Falcons which was my goal.

Your Guide to a Job Search

by Kristy Amburgey

Jobs

Your job search begins as soon as you select a degree program to pursue, a new career path or an expanded role within your current realm of expertise.  Your job search should encompass a variety of activities, including research and preparation, self-evaluation, networking, etc. until you actually have a job in hand.  Even then, you should continue to grow your professional knowledge and connections to further your career until you reach your ultimate goal.

Identify Career Paths and Options

Any job search begins with an understanding of what you hope to do professionally in your life.   As you make decisions about your future, consider various career paths and options that match your personal and professional goals and personality.  Opportunities can range from positions directly related to your courses of study or not related to your degree but that use the skills you learned in college.   You can have one career path in mind, or you might be open to several different options.

Research Jobs and Companies of Interest

After you have determined the job type you want to pursue, you now want to find out the various job titles that encompass your career path, and you need to identify the companies that offer these roles.  In addition, you want to learn about the companies’ expectations, what the job requires of candidates (at a minimum) and what the job would entail, matching it to your preferences.  Be sure to get a realistic picture of who the company typically hires for your desired role and how both your background and your personality fit that job.  Make informed career decisions based on accurate research you have conducted.

Create a Targeted Company List

Any job search should be focused (avoid the “I will take anything” approach).  One way you can focus your search and help yourself down the road is to develop a targeted company list.  The list can be as long or as short as you want, but it should be focused on the companies that offer the job or an iteration of the job you want.  Your company list should evolve as you continue through school, find new companies and gain new interests; routinely monitor your list.  Don’t be afraid to go outside of your targeted companies to find opportunities, but you should do your due diligence on the company before applying to jobs.

 Prepare Job Search Documentation

Using your resume, cover letter and other documentation, your goal is to prove you can not only do the job but positively impact the company’s bottom line.  Focus your resume and cover letter on one job type at a time, customizing the resume using the job description as you apply for positions.  Ensure that each part of your resume is focused on showcasing your accomplishments by listing outcomes and results of your experiences (from work to academic to project).  Quantify your accomplishments as often as possible using dollar amounts, numbers and percentages.  Avoid using terminology (i.e. fluff) that gives employers no real useful information upon which to make a decision about you as a candidate.  As always, proper grammar, accurate information, consistency, clean formatting and ease of reading are all important factors in your job search documents.

Consider Additional Skills, Trainings and/or Certifications

Going back to the career path research you completed, you should have an understanding of what a company expects from their candidates.  If you are not sure, check out a variety of job descriptions or ask your professors or people in your network.  If you are missing a requirement, take the time to complete it before graduating, if possible.  If you must wait to obtain additional skills or trainings, have a timeline for when you hope to accomplish them.

Gain Relevant Experience and Skills

Relevant experience can come in a variety of forms, including co-op/internship positions, projects, research, job/summer jobs/part-time positions, on-campus clubs or organizations, volunteer work, conferences and professional organizations, to name a few.  Through any experience, you should work to further develop your leadership, communication, initiative, analysis and other skills that apply to any job type (also called transferable skills).

Maintain a List of Achievements and Accomplishments

In order to accurately communicate your accomplishments, you need to keep track of them.  Maintain a list of things you achieved in any academic, work, group or other experience.

Network

In reality, networking is an action that you began early in your life.  Now it is time to build your network into a more formal support system for your job search and professional growth.  You can build relationships in any number of ways, but you want to place yourself in situations where you can make a positive impression on a future employer or future advocate.  Brainstorm about ways you can connect with others; do not fall into the trap of assuming you know no one.  Your network may fall outside of the job type you are pursuing, but keep an open mind about building relationships with people from all professional backgrounds.

Apply for Positions

Approximately six months to one year before graduation, begin to apply for positions, especially for entry-level candidates.  Some career types are more likely to hire as needed, so you may need to wait closer until you are degree complete to pursue a job.   As you apply for positions, you must gain insight into how the company selects candidates to interview, always following directions.  Many companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), where the system scans your resume for key words before being viewed by a hiring manager.  In these cases, you must reverse engineer or integrate key words from the job description and your knowledge of the company into your resume and cover letter.  Another important reminder is to keep track of the positions for which you applied.

Interview

Interviewing skills need to be developed and practiced.  Prepare for an interview situation by researching the company, understanding the position, having stories to relay during the interview and giving evidence of how you can help solve the company’s problems.  Practice your interview skills by reviewing and answering sample questions, either with a partner or by planning out your answers.  Ensure you have questions to ask the employer and always put your most professional self forward, from your dress to how you present yourself.

Follow-up

After an interview, networking event or other activity where a person helps you, follow up.  A thank you note or email is appropriate, and a phone call or other act of kindness can be nice as well.  Avoid contacting a person too often as they will soon lose their desire to help you, or you may even lose out on the job after an interview if you are too persistent.

Understand the Salary Process

Once you are offered a job, you will also be extended a salary and benefits package.  Typically, you want to avoid talking about salary until you have been offered the job; only if a company requests the information should you provide an expected salary, preferably as a range.  Once you have been extended the job with salary, you can decide to accept, negotiate or decline the offer.  Understand that factors such as your negotiation strategies, your worth, the cost of living, the company’s salary standards and more impact your offer.  Ensure you understand what you bring to the negotiation table if you decide to ask for more money or benefits and always thoroughly research the typical salary ranges for your industry, for the company and for your job type.

And Network More

Networking should be an ongoing activity in any professional career.  Never stop meeting new people and growing current relationships.  Most employers prefer to hire someone who has been recommended to them, so make sure you continue to place yourself in a position to be the recommended candidate.

A job search is a personal journey, but there are some common steps that you should take to put yourself in the best situation for job search success.

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.

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