Employer Spotlight: Cessna Aircraft RSA Rotational Program

Old planeClyde Vernon Cessna designed the very first Cessna in 1911 — a monoplane of spruce and linen. Sixteen years later, Clyde Cessna put his passion for flying and his love for aviation into action, and Cessna Aircraft Company was born. Little did Clyde Cessna realize, he was establishing a tradition of change which would make Cessna Aircraft Company the preeminent general aviation manufacturer.

In Cessna’s first decade, the company earned a reputation for safety and performance that it still holds today. More than eight decades later, Clyde Cessna’s passion and vision are mirrored every day by the people who work for Cessna. Whether in an office or in the factory, every Cessna employee is driven by a spirit of innovation and passion for aviation.

Cessna continues to lead the industry in aerospace engineering for general aviation. From our first standard-setting monoplane design to our super-midsize business jets flown by the world’s greatest leaders today, our company continues to dominate the world’s skies. We attribute our ongoing success to the tireless passion of our people and the undying loyalty of our customers. Cessna is looking for the best, brightest professionals to join our team and work to advance our position as world leaders in aviation.

Please tell us about Cessna Aircraft Company’s Rotational Sales Program and Sales Operations Internship positions.

The Rotational Sales Development Program and the Sales Operations Internship are the first steps in preparing early career individuals for success in sales at Cessna.  Both positions provide an exciting and fun atmosphere to grow and develop within the Sales Occupation.

new planesThe development program features 6 unique rotations: Sales Operations, Jet Contracts, Customer Service, Marketing, Propeller Business Team and Jet Business Team.  Throughout each of those rotations, the participants will gain operational and business experience while participating in tactical day-to-day responsibilities and significant projects for the functional leaders.

The Sales Operations internship will focus on the Sales Operations rotation of the Rotational Sales Development Program.  Interns will have the opportunity to work along-side the Rotational Sales Development Program participants and Cessna’s top notch Sales Operations team.  This internship gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience supporting the zone field sales personnel by communicating with prospects regarding Citation Sales and marketing matters.

Please give us the profile of your ideal candidate for these positions.

Cessna strives to bring the best and brightest professionals to fill every position within the company.  Ideal candidates for the Sales positions possess passion, energy, drive and are self-motivated with high intellectual horsepower.   Aviation experience is not required to be successful at Cessna.  Instead, candidates should be inspired by a challenge and demonstrate an interest or passion in working in the aviation field.

What can a candidate do to be successful when applying for Cessna?

Candidates should be sure to highlight their extracurricular activities as well as their professional presence throughout the application process.  It is important that Cessna’s employees get a complete picture of the students both inside and outside of the classroom.

Students should remember that the hiring process is an opportunity for Cessna employees to determine which candidates are the most qualified and which of those candidates will fit well in the Cessna culture.  Students should also use the hiring process as an opportunity to judge whether Cessna is a good fit for them.  With that in mind, students shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.

What is the best approach to a resume when applying to Cessna?

Resumes should be organized, clean and concise.  Students should highlight their educational, extracurricular and work experiences as they relate to the functional area in which they are applying.  For the sales positions, we encourage students to highlight how their experiences relate to the sales function, teamwork and customer facing activities.

It is important for students to remember their resume is just a snapshot of their experiences.  Candidates will have an opportunity to elaborate during the hiring process, so it is not necessary to add every detail to the resume.  Instead, students should add only the most important and most influential details of their experiences.

What additional opportunities are available for students and graduates at Cessna?

Endless!! Not only does Cessna have opportunities within the Sales field, there are open opportunities across the functional areas, including Customer Service, Engineering, Marketing, Finance and more.  New positions continue to be posted, so we encourage interested students to check the website often.  All open Cessna positions can be found at Cessna’s parent company Textron’s University Relations Job Site collegejobs.textron.com.  To view Cessna specific positions click Find a Job > Advanced Search > Recruiting Company – Cessna Aircraft > Search for Jobs.

textron logoThe opportunities go beyond Cessna to include all Textron Business Units.  Textron is the parent company of Cessna Aircraft, Bell Helicopter, Kautex, EZGO, Greenlee Tools, Jacobsen, Textron Systems and Textron Financial.  The Textron enterprise continues to grow as more companies are added to our family.   Students can explore positions at each of the Business Units, and their openings can be found by visiting Textron’s University Relations Job Site: collegejobs.textron.com.

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Alumni Career Spotlight: Ryan Antisdel

Ryan Antisdel, DB 2011

Ryan Antisdel, DB 2011

Ryan Antisdel is a 2011 graduate of the Master of Business Administration program at the Daytona Beach campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Ryan was interested in aviation, but his interest in using his degree within another industry called to him more.

Through hard work, perseverance and focus on his goal, he has been able to cross into the automotive industry and successfully utilize his ERAU MBA degree to pursue his career passion.

As an alumnus of the MBA program at ERAU Daytona Beach, tell us how you ended up in the automotive industry and what you like the most about your current position/company.

Working in the automotive industry has been a life long goal. My very first job began as an entrepreneur, and it involved starting my own car detailing business. As time progressed I held various positions with several motorcycle dealers, including BMW, Ducati, Honda and Triumph. During my time at ERAU, I worked as a graduate assistant with the EcoCAR program as an outreach coordinator, which was sponsored jointly by GM and the Department of Energy. The EcoCAR program gave me a great deal of insight into the difficulties of engineering a hybrid vehicle along with exposure to media highlights such as meeting Federal Congressman John Mica.

Immediately following my time with EcoCAR, I was selected to join BMW Manufacturing for a 6-month internship and worked for the Human Resources department while specializing in Technical Training. The highlight of this position was being surrounded by major manufacturing, German culture, and being able to drive camouflaged prototypes that other people dream of even seeing.

All of the positions mentioned above helped to open the doors for a job at American Honda Motors as a Sales Analyst. My favorite part about this position is having the ability to see exactly how vehicles are sold and marketed from the factory, regional, or field level. Another great part about this position is being able to meet unique Honda Dealer Principals; one for example has a family history in automotive racing. The general public goes into a dealership and has no perception of how much effort and coordination it takes, months in advance, to make it all work. Honda developed this position to help entry associates gain essential skills and knowledge before becoming a District Sales Manager. Obtaining a role that contains a diverse portfolio of training and encourages questions is exactly what I require to further develop a solid foundation in the automotive industry.

As your career positions have been in a typically non-traditional industry for Embry-Riddle alumni, how did your ERAU degree prepare you to be successful in this industry?

ERAU gave me a unique insight to the world of aviation and the complexities of that business. While a class may have focused specifically on Boeing vs. Airbus, I was always thinking in terms of automotive companies like GM vs. Toyota. Aviation and the automotive industry have similar fundamentals. They all require engineering, design, manufacturing, logistics, product planning and sales/marketing to name a few. ERAU prepared me to think of the corporation as a whole and conversely on an international level. Instead of load factor per flight per day, I am now thinking in terms of vehicle sales per dealer per day. While the labels may have changed, the task and objective remain the same: maximize sales to remain competitive.

During my studies some of the courses actually had case studies within the automotive industry which were beneficial, and if they didn’t, I would be the student who always would try to make the problem fit into the automotive industry. I still recall an instance where Lamborghini was working with Boeing on new composite structures, both for their upcoming products that were being developed. Even though an Italian supercar has very little in common with a several hundred passenger aircraft, there is still a connection; you just need to look closely.

A degree from ERAU prepared me in too many ways to list, even my 65 hours of flight training helps with understanding some vehicle dynamics. However, it is the combination of my degree and the applied experiences that have led to my success in this industry.

What advice do you have for a current MBA student, that would help them after graduation?

Start applying for internships, graduate assistantships and part-time jobs during your first semester. While I was fortunate to have an amazing 6-month internship at BMW Manufacturing, I waited too long and missed the opportunity to have a second one. The key is to take the initiative and apply right away. Secondly, if you have a passion for a certain field or company, look at all of your options. For example, I had to apply to BMW North America and BMW Manufacturing separately. You want as much experience as you can obtain before you start applying for a permanent position, so do not sit idle and expect to be handed a job. Another piece of advice would be to not rely on anyone but you. I had several reliable connections that fell through along with many of my colleagues, and that was of course very discouraging. Never give up and always keep looking ahead.

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