We’re down to just days until the 26th annual Women in Aviation Conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference will take place Thursday through Saturday March 5-7, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole. There will be hundreds of women and men gathering to share their experiences, network with industry leaders and expand their careers.
“Connect-Engage-Inspire” is the Conference motto, for good reasons.
Attendees will be able to meet face-to-face with dream employers in the exhibit hall for internship, co-op, and job opportunities that are available. Additionally, networking opportunities will be available during the opening reception, luncheons, and the formal dinner on Saturday night. You never know who you will be sitting next to at dinner.
“It was possible to meet everyone,” said recent Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) MBA Graduate Holly Hewitt. She regarded her time at the 25th Annual Women in Aviation Conference as rewarding and added that the diversity of the attendees was impressive.
Many aviation and government organizations will be sending representatives to recruit new employees and even conduct interviews on-site. Chelsey, a recent ERAU graduate, received a job opportunity from last year’s WAI Conference. She was able to complete her initial interview on-site and was offered the position shortly thereafter.
Those not actively seeking job or internship opportunities will be able to meet with representatives from organizations they are active in: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Professional Women Controllers, and The Ninety-Nines, Inc, just to name a few.
Bose, Pearls with a Purpose, and the Abingdon Company (as well as other companies) will also be on-site for product support and purchase. For these companies, opportunities to market to such a unique clientele only come a few times a year.
Attendees can take full advantage of two day’s worth of education sessions as well as AOPA’s Rusty Pilot Seminar, two seminars featuring WWII WASP Pilots, and a panel discussion on the new medical reforms taking place.
This year speakers include: Amelia Rose Earhart – the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft, Heather “Lucky” Penney – Major, F-16 Captain ordered to take down Flight 93 on 9/11, Colleen Barrett – President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, as well as many others.
“The experience of being around so many successful, driven people is motivation in itself,” said recent Embry-Riddle graduate and last year Conference attendee Yreka Flores. “It really makes you feel like you can achieve something great,” she said.
Last year, jet dragster racer Elaine Larson inspired me to never be afraid to take that leap of faith, to step out of your comfort zone to do what you’re put on this earth to do. Eileen Collins, first female commander of a spacecraft, told me to follow my dreams and never let gender or typical gender stereotypes get in my way. And Deborah Hearsman, then NTSB chairman, put my education at ERAU into a real-world perspective and challenged me to help make change.
ERAU’s WAI Daytona Beach chapter will be sending 13 student members to Dallas this year. Last year they were able to send 18 members and many were pleased with their experience. “Seeing everyone make connections and some people getting interviews [was my favorite part],” said Janelle Walsh, former President of ERAU’s WAI Daytona Beach chapter. “It made me feel like all the efforts we put into getting everyone to conference [paid] off,” she said.
Personally, this will be my third year attending. I’m excited to volunteer in the Press Room on Thursday and hopefully meet many new contacts in my new-found love of journalism. I’m hoping to cover a few different stories while attending and help my fellow WAI chapter members achieve their personal goals.
Are you going to the WAI conference?