Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Former SMC Student

It is time for another in our series of “Where are They Now” postings, featuring former political science majors discussing the careers they have pursued since graduation from Saint Michael’s College. 
We hear from Michael Riccardi, class of 2008:

I majored in Political Science and minored in French. I chose Political Science as a freshman because the concentration offered me a specific, yet adaptable, basis of knowledge and understanding. I say this because through the structured study of a narrow topic—national and international political relationships—I felt I could apply this set of skills in anything I chose to do after college.
What direction did I end up choosing? Aviation. OK, maybe I chose it before I went to college, but I knew a sound liberal arts education would get me where I hoped to go. I work for a ‘green’ private aviation company called Heritage Aviation, based at the Burlington International Airport. The company owns and operates a fleet of 9 business turboprop and jet aircraft, with customers ranging from Green Mountain Coffee to Burton Snowboards. We provide maintenance, and ground handling for our own airplanes, as well as other charter and quarter-share jet companies, and certain airlines as well.
My department coordinates how the charter aircraft get ‘turned’ for their next departure – ranging from exterior and interior aesthetic appeal, to some light maintenance, and coordinating with company pilots to make sure they have everything they need for the flight. I share the duty of managing 20 employees to make sure our fleet is in top shape for when our customers fly.
Everyday I draw on something I learned from my Saint Michael’s education, whether it is analyzing a situation, organizing my time, or instituting increased efficiency…but the biggest, most heavily used skill I attained at SMC is undoubtedly effective communication. In every class at Saint Michael’s I was pushed to communicate through writing or verbal presentation something that I put together either singly or in a group. Now that I work with a tight group of leaders where communication is imperative, I am thankful that I had so much undergraduate practice. 

In addition to his administrative duties, Mike is a commercial pilot.

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