Spread Your Wings at Embry-Riddle

by Richard Santi

Hi Everyone! My name is Richard Santi and I am currently a Senior at Embry-Riddle in Prescott. I am majoring in Aeronautical Science – Fixed Wing, with a minor in Business Administration. On campus, I am a member of our national championship winning Golden Eagles Flight Team, and work as a Senior Campus Ambassador at our Admissions Office (If you come and visit campus, I might be your tour guide)! 

I am incredibly excited to be sharing a bit about my experience at Embry-Riddle with all of you, and will be writing to you regularly, so be sure to check back! I wanted to start off by introducing myself a bit more and sharing with you my journey to Embry-Riddle. I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in the Chicago area. From a young age, my eyes were always turned skyward, and I could only dream of one day working in the cockpit of an airplane. When I was looking at colleges that had aviation programs, only one stood out to me as the very best. I asked different people who were in the aviation business what school they suggested, and the answer was almost unanimous. “Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.” Without a doubt. 

I have always been a Midwesterner. Most of the landscapes I was used to were farms and skyscrapers. But after all, college is a time for adventure and I was very excited to see a new place for a few years, moving to the beautiful mountains of Arizona. I moved to Prescott in the summer of 2017. I only had about 4 flight hours in my logbook; virtually nothing. No real flight training or formal flight education. Despite this, I flew my very first week here. The first lesson was incredibly simple. How to turn the aircraft left and right using proper rudder coordination. I remember feeling very comfortable, knowing this is what I was meant to do, but I also remember the feeling that I had a long way to go.   

As it turns out, a long way is not so long when you are training at Embry-Riddle. Three more years of flight training and now I am a licensed Commercial Pilot. I have over 270 hours of flight time and have flown in collegiate flying competitions. I have a job offer from a major regional airline and plan on starting flight instructor training soon. I have learned about topics I knew pretty much nothing about before coming to college. Extensive details of aircraft systems, how the stability of the atmosphere affects thunderstorms, the detailed aerodynamics of a tailspin… All topics I had literally zero understanding of prior to coming to Embry-Riddle. All of this was done while simultaneously earning a college degree.

The reason I am mentioning all of this is that I wanted to let you all know that as I post my future blogs, I will be explaining in detail all of my cool experiences at Embry-Riddle, whether it is going through flight training, being on the flight team, or hanging out with friends and enjoying all of the awesome scenery that Prescott has to offer. But really, the main point I would like you to take away from my experience is that whatever you do here, you will learn way more than you thought possible. You will gain way more skills than you thought possible, and you will become someone ready to succeed in whatever field you go into. You will do all of it while having a blast! 

I look forward to sharing more with you!

Online Courses Vs. Campus courses

I apologize for not writing a blog in such a long time! I have been so busy this year with all of my classes and work. I also got an internship in town, which I will discuss more in my next blog. This semester I took 2 online courses and 3 courses on campus. My class schedule include Environmental Science and Statistics (online) and Geography, Environmental Economics, and Spanish I (Prescott Campus). I have enjoyed my classes, but I definitely like campus classes more than online courses. When you are deciding whether or not you should take an online course, you have to weigh your options. I would suggest only taking online courses if it is a class you need for your degree, but won’t use a lot after you graduate. This means do not take upper level courses online, it will be very difficult for you in the long run. Even taking stats and Environmental Science online had a toll on me because I did not have a professor in front of me, helping me out. I did not have lectures and I had to be completely self-disciplined. It was difficult, but it did give me more time to work and save some money. Also, I got to finish my 2 online courses early, which gave me a great opportunity to work on my huge papers and projects for my campus classes. I also found an awesome internship at the police department which has been a great blessing. I have enjoyed it a lot! I have already learned so much and I continue to learn every time I go. Next blog I’ll share a little more about what I have been learning and which department I have been working in.

I wanted to share my experiences with my online courses to give others an insight to them, because I know it can be a hard decision to make. Sometimes we have no option when we have to hold down a job or take care of family, but if you are fortunate enough to only take campus classes, I would definitely recommend it. Online courses are nice because you can get them over with and have the freedom to study when you want, but there are still due dates every week. You have to be self-motivated and I suggest trying not to procrastinate as long as possible. I wish everyone the best of luck with the upcoming final exams in December. I know there are a lot of projects and term papers due! I hope we all stay focused and do a good job. Don’t forget to register for Spring classes soon. Just remember to choose classes that you need, but also work best for your schedule!