December 2014 Graduates’ First Destinations

On Monday morning, the Daytona Beach Career Services team was at graduation collecting data for the campus-specific First Destination Survey. We thought you might like to see a sampling of where Daytona Beach graduates are heading after they walked across the stage at the Ocean Center this past Monday.

If you recently graduated from the Daytona Beach or Prescott residential campus and still don’t have a job, please contact Career Services for guidance and resources that can help you attain employment. Click on the appropriate campus link to view a list of services offered by Career Services.

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Congratulations ERAU Graduates!

Graduation

From, The Career Services Office

Alumni Spotlight: Rick Uskert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Alumni Spotlight: E. Blair Johns II

E. Blair Johns IIE. Blair Johns II graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in December 1998 with a degree in Aeronautical Science.  Currently, he works at Envoy (formerly known as American Eagle Airlines) as a commercial pilot.

What are the highlights of your career so far?

The path I took to build my flight hours, experience and  qualifications opened some unexpected windows into an adventure I had not seen coming.

Flight instructing and getting to fly C402 at Ocean Wings in  Nantucket not only brought about an adventure as to where I was flying but also to where I was living. Had I anticipated where I would lay my head at night I believe I would have looked elsewhere. From a hostel to a hanger office and eventually a  bedroom in a small house, made for meeting great friends along the way, and certainly filled that adventure craving I so anticipated from a career in aviation.

Eastern Air Charter stepped it up a bit as far as the techniques of flying my first turboprop. The Cheyenne II was the perfect fit to not only fly passengers expeditiously to their destinations, but we flew the Cheyenne at all hours of the night as a transport for organ bank donor flying. We would get called out at night as a reserve crew might, and quickly get the aircraft prepped for the medical transport. We would fly to a city, pick up a team of surgeons, and fly to another city where a deceased organ donor was operated on by the surgeons. Once the surgeons were finished with the  operation, we would then take them to another city, where a patient in need was urgently waiting for the organ and surgeon team we flew back with us.

This type of flight operation helped me prepare for the airline world of sometimes complex yet rewarding commercial transport. Through my time at American Eagle, now Envoy, I have been challenged many times and have felt as though each is a valuable learning experience. Nothing can drive home a lesson better than being thrown into a situation with little warning and allowing your training to instinctively take over. From inflight emergencies to customer anomalies on the ground, at the airline, the training happens as much on the line as at the training academy. It is a true sense of satisfaction when you can look back at a safely completed flight and talk over the whole situation with your fellow crew members about what went well and what you all might want to improve on. It is surely a skill refining exercise to go through these unexpected situations.

How has your Embry-Riddle degree opened doors for you?

One of the first memories which come to mind about my time at Embry-Riddle are the friends and camaraderie a student is immersed in the moment they arrive on campus. The collective love of aviation was electrifying and settling into a new and unfamiliar life, from everyday living to studying, was immediately put at ease knowing I was now amongst many other enthusiasts. All of this fervor helped me leap into the courses with a hunger for all that Embry-Riddle could fill. The lifestyle of managing the class schedule with early morning flights was a challenge at first but prepared me for the sometimes demanding schedule of airline life. Juggling a schedule like this is part of the college program across our country at many schools, yet the structure I was given through Embry-Riddle’s aviation curriculum helped carry me through those demanding days.

What three traits or skills have made you the most successful in your career?

Perseverance: Prioritizing my goals and envisioning the desired outcome, yet stopping every day and taking in the realization that my current place in my career was the goal at some earlier point in life. This helps me reflect on and appreciate where I am in my career.

Empathy: No person is isolated from the rest of world, we all have relations with others and putting this trait into action helps interpersonal relationships grow exponentially. In the customer relation business airlines are built upon, this trait is essential to nurturing and growing our airline’s business.

Teamwork: From departure gate to en route to the arrival gate, the amount of planning and work that goes into one flight is astonishing when realized. In the airline environment many people are involved in the process of getting a flight off the departure gate on time and much of this goes understandably unnoticed to the public eye. We operate every flight with a concept known as Cockpit Resource Management (CRM). This is essentially a communication loop built with teamwork where each inflight and ground crew member is involved in a feedback process whether the flight runs normal or encounters any degree of abnormality. Put simply, CRM is the fuel which the machine of an airline operation needs to run successfully. With the amount of customers and employees involved in one day of an airlines operation, we would be hard pressed to complete it all without a good teamwork environment.

Are there any challenges that students need to be aware of as they enter the workforce?
Do you have any advice for students seeking positions in the aviation industry?

Changes are happening rapidly in the airline industry as far as the modeling of regional and mainline staffing and operation. New flight hour minimums and regulations have increased the required minimums an applicant to any airline must need, 1500 total time with an ATP. Retirements at the three largest mainlines; American, Delta, and United are due to produce an approximate number of 10,000 positions over the next ten years. The third factor of massive growth for the next decade is the new rest regulations now in effect, requiring longer minimum rest overnights which increases staffing required to cover the schedule each week. Envoy currently has a pipeline program in effect with various flight schools including Embry-Riddle, where an applicant’s total flight time may be reduced to a lower minimum. This program allows the hiring of an applicant before they meet the minimum flight time and subsequently working to gain the flight time before flying the line at Envoy.

A couple of challenges which anyone interested in the airline career should be aware of is the family dynamics involved with being away from home three to four nights a week. Whether you live in base or commute like myself, having an understanding spouse at home is something I am very fortunate to have. My wife Amy and I met when I was on my way to new hire training with American Eagle, so from the beginning she understood the dynamics of being apart for periods of time and was acclimated to this by the time we lived together. Leaving Amy to a house full of kids mixed in with her full time job is not for everyone, though I am lucky to have such a compassionate and loving partner who understands very well the life we as airline pilots live. In the beginning of my time at American Eagle, Amy would come along on overnights with me and got to meet the excellent people that make this job so fun. Understanding the day-to-day life whether on reserve or flying a scheduled line of flying was a good foundation to our relationship in later years. While we may be gone for days at a time, we can have three and sometimes four or five days off at a time, depending on the way we can move our schedules around.

Overall, it is a great time to get into the airline industry with the known turnover from retirements for at least the next ten to fifteen years. It will become a very rewarding career with the changes coming. The flying bug bites such a diverse group of individuals and that fact makes this job a very fun and interesting one. Some pilots started young knowing this was their career of choice, while I’ve flown with many who have previous careers ranging from Wall Street stock floor traders to Psychologists, making the switch and starting over as a career airline pilot.

I often remark to my fellow crew members that we have what I believe to be the best corner office with a view unparalleled. It is quite a place to sit, watch and reflect on all that activity encompassing that fond planet we soar over each day.

Alumni Spotlight: Kevin MacLean

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

What does your current role with NextEra Energy entail? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alumni Spotlight: Deric S. Dymerski

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

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

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

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

Why is involvement in organizations outside the workplace important? 

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

What has been your greatest achievement in your career?

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

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

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

 

Employer Feedback from the Industry/Career Expo

Expo pic

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

Below is some of the feedback from the employers:

What qualities did those candidates that you favored most possess?

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

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

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

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

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

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

-“Maturity, preparedness/knowledge of company”

-“Practical experience, well-rounded, multitask”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Graduating Student Success Story: Arjun Gupta

Arjun Gupta recently graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in December 2013.  He completed the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree at the Daytona Beach campus.  He was an active campus leader, part of the Honors Program, on the Dean’s List, a tutor and more.  He completed two internships, one at Lufthansa Systems and one at Capgemini S.A.   He also completed numerous projects while on campus and made sure he participated in career development activities.  Arjun was an example student and job seeker.  He took advantage of many opportunities while in school while maintaining excellence throughout this campus experience.  Arjun recently accepted a Revenue Analyst position with United Airlines in Chicago, IL.  He made plans to continue his education and complete a master’s degree while working and to keep flying for fun.

As a graduating student, Arjun successfully navigated the career development and job search process.  He had some advice for current ERAU students about their time in school.

Open to Change

When Arjun started Embry-Riddle, he had many ambitions, from being a pilot to working in sales.  It took a while, but he was able to single out what he wanted using the campus resources available.  Several of the opportunities he took advantage of were the Industry/Career Expo, company information sessions and College of Business activities.  It was one of the United Airlines company information sessions that first caught his attention.  He was sold on the discussion about their corporate culture.  Even though he came in with a goal in mind, he researched and found what he wanted, which was not exactly what he entered school considering.  Arjun emphasized the importance of being open to other ideas since students never know what they might come across while in school.

Network

Arjun actively participated in many campus activities. He took advantage of speaking to industry contacts, making friends with alumni and going to company information sessions.  He also attended the Industry/Career Expo, met employers, got business cards and followed up with them via email.  He enjoyed talking to them about topics of personal and professional interest.  Arjun was consistently involved.  He went to open house forums hosted by his college.  He was a member of the student Advisory Board for the College of Business, where he served as a student host to the Industry Advisory Board members.  Arjun felt he was, “lucky enough to get to do these things,” but he was diligent enough to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him.

Get Involved

During his Business 101 class, he was recommended by the professor to be a part of the College of Business Student Advisory Board.  He participated in Business Eagles, a program for high performing College of Business students.  He consistently volunteered; he was the Vice President of the Humanitarian Advisory Board.  Arjun emphasized that it was important to do more than just academics; it showed that he was good with time management and focused on supporting others.

Arjun also recommended several skills that he felt were useful for his success.

  • Time management: must come to college putting time management as a top priority
  • Organization: know your personal abilities and how to use them to keep yourself organized
  • Relationship building: get to know your professors, make friends and hold conversations

Arjun offered several additional tips for job search success.

  • Focus on getting recruiters to remember you, starting your freshmen year; Arjun stayed in contact with his connections and went back to say hello every time they were on campus
  • Create a target company list and continually evaluate the targeted companies; he looked at each company he pursued for fit, culture of the organization and how it related to who he was and what he wanted

Preparing Your Elevator Speech for Expo Introductions

By Sandi Ohman

elevator_pitchThe Industry/Career Expo is around the corner – October 3 (Prescott, AZ) and October 9 (Daytona Beach, FL) will be here soon!  There are 80+ companies that have registered to attend the events, to date.  Attendees won’t speak to every company that attends, but hopefully, they will speak to at least one or more exhibitors.  First impressions are so important, and a bad first impression is hard to overcome.  From the attire, overall neat and professional appearance, recruiters begin to form initial impressions; once conversation begins, impressions begin to solidify.

An informal survey of recruiters who attended the Industry/Career Expo in the past indicated that the following top areas stood out and made impressions:

  1. The student has knowledge about the company and knows a few specific facts
  2. The student knows what they want to do for that specific company, or at least has an idea
  3. Ability to carry on a conversation with the recruiter – has satisfactory communication skills
  4. Has a good introduction
  5. The student knows their strengths and interests
  6. The students have  a true passion for their career interest
  7. The student has a good attitude and shows confidence – whether real or not
  8. The student is prepared – research, resume, note pad to take notes
  9. Well groomed and dresses appropriately for the event, a good handshake, makes eye contact and smiles
  10. The student has strong academics

Notice the theme of these responses is preparation oriented – either dress and appearance or communication.  Elements of the Elevator Speech can help attendees be prepared to communicate well with recruiters.  The elements are Know Your Audience and Know Yourself.  After you prepare these elements, organize your Elevator Speech into a quick, direct introduction that covers who you are, what you want and what you can offer.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience for Expo requires researching the companies that are attending.  Look at the current positions on their websites, any job postings in EagleHire Network, and what positions they are recruiting for at the Industry/Career Expo.  It is hard to find out the names/titles of the recruiters who will be attending ahead of time, since those attendees can change the day before or even the day of the event.  Many times alumni of ERAU attend the Expo event as recruiters for their employers.  Look for alumni pins on the recruiters’ collars or name tags as a quick sign that they are alumni.  You may want to ask them about their experiences and career paths taken after they graduated from ERAU.

Know Yourself

Know your strengths, how you would describe yourself (creative, energetic, flexible, motivated, etc.), why you are interested in this industry/company/position, and what you can offer the company.

Action

As the speech is developed, it is important to write the points down and even to write out the few sentences to make sure they flow well. Memorize the lines.  Be sincere, conversational and natural, while still being organized, prepared and rehearsed.  Practice the elevator speech out loud, projecting passion and interest, and talking at an average speed.  This will ensure effective communication.  Remember every conversation will not go exactly as rehearsed, so know when to change directions to follow the flow of the conversation.

Making eye contact with the recruiter, while not staring them down, is important since it conveys truthfulness.  Examples or a quick story worked into the Elevator Speech give credibility and content for the recruiter to direct questions.  The final part is to end the interaction with an action call – ask for a business card, a review of the resume, or an interview, if appropriate timing.

Check out the CareerSpot Video on the Elevator Speech for more information and for an example.

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.

eaglesNEST: Connect with ERAU Alumni and Start Building Your Network Today

7084d213-f715-474c-a331-ae8c4407ebdcOne of the most powerful tools for any job search and professional growth is networking.  Networking is a lifelong process by which you build strong connections with those around you.  Your connections can put you in contact with the right people to support your job search, career development and personal aspirations.  The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University community is a great place to start networking, and you have a built-in group of connections in your fellow alumni.

Embry-Riddle offers you a way to meet alumni through the eaglesNEST online community. Graduates may network virtually through a directory that allows alumni to search for and connect with former classmates based on geographic location and employment/company.  The directory is available to alumni only via a password-protected portal. Embry-Riddle graduates must sign into their eaglesNEST account in order to view the directory.  (Creating an account is easy and free, click here to start.)

One of the most useful ways to leverage the directory is by using the “Advanced Search” method. For example, let’s say you are an aerospace engineer interested in securing a job at Boeing in Seattle, and you would like to get to know alumni who are already employed there. You can use the Advanced Search tool in the directory to search by company name, city and major (and a number of other search terms). Our directory search engine examines the eaglesNEST profiles of our alumni to generate the results. In this instance, nine alumni were identified using these criteria. Alumni with an envelope icon next to their names have an email address tied to their eaglesNEST profiles, so you can send them a note and introduce yourself. Those with a yellow “Post-It” icon next to their names haven’t made their email addresses available; however, you can still send them a message and it will remain in their eaglesNEST inbox until the next time they log into the community.

The eaglesNEST also offers numerous opportunities for alumni to network face-to-face at gatherings hosted across the country and world. Events are often hosted by the Embry-Riddle Alumni Association at tradeshows and air shows, in addition to being organized by alumni chapters, which function similarly to clubs but do not require membership dues. Event information is posted regularly on the eaglesNEST. With more than 20 networks hosting events year-round, you are sure to find an activity near you.

To ensure that you stay informed about events and make yourself available for networking opportunities, keep your contact information current on the eaglesNEST by creating a profile and updating it from time to time, such as when you relocate or accept a new job. This helps the Alumni Association stay in touch and keep you apprised of events happening near you.

As an Embry-Riddle alumnus/a, your potential networking pool is 100,000-plus strong.  Make the most of Embry-Riddle alumni resources such as eaglesNEST and the official alumni LinkedIn group to identify and connect with colleagues who are also Embry-Riddle Eagles.  If you work to build and maintain these relationships over time, lifelong partnerships will result. Happy networking!

Article from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Alumni Relations Department and Career Services

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