Chris Carta received his master’s degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is currently working as the Manager for Admissions and Marketing for the Aviation Maintenance Science department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach campus.
What is your background?
I grew up in Maryland, was taking private pilot lessons with my grandfather before I drove a car. I enlisted in the US Navy in the beginning of my senior year in high school and served as an Aviation Electronics Technician on Seahawk helicopters (squadron HS-15 Red Lions, out of Jacksonville, FL). After the Navy, I worked for a couple years as an avionics technician on general aviation aircraft in Sarasota, FL. Then I went to Santa Fe State College (community college then) and the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree.
What motivated you to pursue a career in this the aviation industry?
I’ve always been interested in helping people and aviation is one of the few fields that has always held my interest. I love the dynamic nature of the industry and how it connects people.
What motivated you to come to Embry-Riddle?
Well, I was a recent University of Florida graduate and I was working on my officer packet for the US Coast Guard, to fly for them. My grandfather flew med-evac helicopters for the Maryland State Police, and I really wanted to follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in search and rescue. While I was putting my officer packet together, I wanted to work in education as my back-up. I was substitute teaching K-12 in the local area and interviewing for teaching jobs. I was also keenly aware of ERAU and its reputation in the industry. I ended up applying for a position with the Alumni Relations department and have now been with ERAU since February of 2007. I have worked in Alumni Relations, Undergraduate Admissions and since July 2013, the Aviation Maintenance Science program.
What is your role at ERAU?
I am the manager of Admissions and Marketing for the Aviation Maintenance Science (AMS) degree program. I really love the AMS program. For a variety of reasons, but I love the history of the program, the important role it prepares students for and the outstanding reputation our graduates have out in the industry.
If you could go back to your college days, what would you do differently and why?
I went to undergrad on the GI Bill, I really loved my time at the University of Florida. I grew as a person there, made lifelong friendships and met my wife there! I really don’t think I would change much. I was involved in clubs and student government and always felt I got the whole student experience. Degree wise, I would maybe choose a more technical degree if I could go back.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Well, serving in the Navy was a great highlight and privilege. During my time at ERAU, I have enjoyed all of my roles thus far. Each had their highlights, but the common theme is helping people. In alumni relations it was helping alumni reconnect or stay connected with their alma mater. In admissions, it is really special when you get to help someone pursue their education. It is awesome to be a small part in someone investing in their future.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m working on my instrument rating and plan on getting my commercial, single engine certificate as well through the employee flying club (great benefit for ERAU employees!). I have my MSA degree from ERAU and have been teaching UNIV 101 in the fall for the last four years. I want to continue to grow and get better in my current role at ERAU and see what the future holds. Personally, I love spending time with my wife and daughter and look forward to some cool trips to interesting places with them.
What skills/strengths make our graduates stand out in the work force?
I think ERAU graduates stand out for a variety of reasons. One, students here are usually very focused and resourceful. Couple that with the outstanding faculty, facilities and resources on campus and you can see why we enjoy a phenomenal reputation across the industry. I also think our diverse campuses add a lot of value to the student experience, and help prepare them for the diverse work force in the industry. Lastly, I see a high percentage of our students being actively involved with their campus community. This is outstanding as being involved and showing future employers that you are a dynamic individual who can manage their studies, life and extracurricular activities helps set our students apart from peers.