Aviators' Thoughts

My job search and business aviation as seen on AviationWeek

ERAU Expo Experience

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ERAU is having its career expo today and tomorrow at the ICI center. I have just returned from the opening day and found the experience very beneficial. Heres what I found.

I arrived about 1/2 hour early. The parking lot was already full and I managed to grab what seemed like the last space available. Surprisingly, there wasnt a line outside or around the block, but that doesnt mean that it was by any means slow. ERAU does a really good job of managing these career expos and had everything set up and ready to go. I signed in quickly, got my name tag and waited for the expo to start with the rest of the crowd waiting inside.

Having a chance to sit down, I talked to several other perspective candidates. Some were recent graduates, while others (fewer) were alumni. Overall there was a good mix of people from curious students in flip-flops (!?). To more professionally dressed candidates in dark suits and ties. I did see a few older people like myself. It seems the candidates ran the gamut from engineering to management and business to a few pilots like myself. Fortunately, that could also be said of the exhibitors who represented a good mix of businesses. The exhibitors, of which there were several dozen, were arranged in neat rows that made it easy to get around and the school was nice enough to have a professionally printed brochure about each employer and more importantly a floor plan which made it easy to target specific companies to speak with.

Upon entering, I walked around a bit to see what kind of openings might be available. Some noticeable trends included engineering, maintenance and especially UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) work. There were at least 3 companies involved in the production and implementation of UAVs for both civilian and military purposes and several job opportunities existed for all types of aviation related fields including flight operations. The UAV business is definitely a growth industry (if not booming) and a bright spot in what has been a rather dark year. I did see several candidates speaking with these companies.

As for me, I first set about seeking out two employers specifically. One is a major manufacturer in the United States and I have applied to them for years. I had the opportunity to speak to one of the pilots and quickly realized that we had corresponded several years ago. We had a thorough and VERY pleasant conversation and I look forward to speaking with this person again in the very near future.

I also had the opportunity to speak with one of the pilots at a major airline as well. In the small world of aviation, he knew one of the people I had worked with when I flight instructed.  Also a pleasant conversation and it was great to be able to meet a mutual friend. That is why it is so important to talk to EVERYONE. Your contact or their contact could be the ice breaker that makes you stand out. In aviation this is never so true.

Since the crowd was not huge, I had the opportunity to speak to other employers about their openings. Although some did not have a specific opening in my field. Each one of them was very friendly and helpful. I talked to a few of them about my Social Networking work and some seemed impressed. I think for employers, Social Networking as a hiring tool is going to be extremely important in the future. As usual there was the customary SWAG that you could pick up at the show. From candy to bags to pens that had little wings on them, there was no shortage of stuff to be had. I grabbed a few freebies.

I also managed to walk around the back of the Expo to the “interview” area. ERAU set up several private areas in the back so that employers could spot interview candidates. I was disappointed that I did not see anyone in these booths, but it did not mean these companies werent hiring as many of them now want you to put your resume online first.

As I said the overall experience was very positive. I made some good contacts and even generated a couple of leads. Considering the how difficult the job market is these days, it was good to see REAL employers with REAL openings at a job “fair” and not just schools or people wanting to “sell” you something. If you are an ERAU student or alumni and havent attended one of these events, I highly recommend that you do so.

Todays the Day.


Written by tdwnds1

November 4, 2009 at 7:41 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Embry-Riddle, ERAU WW Career Svcs. ERAU WW Career Svcs said: The Expo was a great success! Read about one jobseeker's experience: http://bit.ly/2V6LC9 […]

  2. Hi just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that I found your website to be extremely helpful in my research. The points that I have read here are really in line with what I was thinking as well. Great Site, and I would like to thank you for the effort you put into bringing this info to your readers.

    Karolyn Selzler

    April 16, 2010 at 3:15 am

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