One of the best benefits as a Florida Tech College of Aeronautics student and a member of Collegiate Aviation Business Executives (CABE) is all of the opportunities to tour airports and aviation facilities.
Sometimes the tour can be of a small, local airport like Melbourne International Airport, or sometimes the tour can be of a large airport like Miami International Airport. Other airports that Florida Tech students have visited include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York, NY), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport.
The most recent tour was a day trip to Orlando International Airport. These airport tours are great opportunities to network with aviation professionals for future jobs and contacts– and most of the time they can even be Florida Tech alumni!
It is very important to make sure that you prepare correctly before a tour of an airport if you want it to be a successful trip. Here are some suggestions based on my experiences of touring airports and networking with industry professionals:
Dress to Impress
You never know who might show up while the group is on the tour. Occasionally, you will get lucky and be introduced to airport executives, so it is very important that you dress to impress. First impressions are extremely important in the professional world, and they could lead to future opportunities. At a minimum, you should wear a collared shirt with slacks or khakis and dress shoes. If you want to go the extra mile, feel free to wear a tie or a suit– it would only help with the first impression. Make sure to keep the weather in mind, because many times the tour could take you to the tarmac, which could either be very hot or covered in snow.
Update Your Resume
Whether you are a freshman or a senior in college, you should have a few resumes updated and printed for the tour. Sometimes you will meet people that are hiring for jobs or internships while on the tour or the tour guide will forward your resume to the right person. Many times, the employees that are on the tour will be proud Florida Tech graduates that work to fill positions with more Florida Tech graduates.
Before the tour, take a little time to personally prepare yourself so that you can take away as much as possible from the experience. It may be helpful to research the airport and come up with a few questions for the airport employees. This will show them how interested and passionate you are about the airport and aviation in general. Showing them that you already have knowledge on the airport could lead to internship and career opportunities.
Lastly, make sure that you have fun on the tour! It is great to bring a camera to take pictures to show your friends and family after the tour. If you have a friend who is interested in aviation, then bring them along too! It is important to make memories in college, and an airport like Orlando International is the perfect place for an aviation student.
(Featured Photo Credit: World Airport Codes)