Aeronautics Grad Finds Knowledge, Networks and Confidence at Embry-Riddle

B.S. in Aeronautics grad Pedro Najera turned to Embry-Riddle when he wanted to transition from a military to civilian career.

Aeronautics alumnus Pedro Najera ('21) was active-duty Navy while pursuing his B.S. in Aeronautics. (Photo: Pedro Najera)
Aeronautics alumnus Pedro Najera ('21) was active-duty Navy while pursuing his B.S. in Aeronautics. (Photo: Pedro Najera)

Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Pedro Najera (‘21) was always fascinated with aviation. It was this fascination that eventually led him to a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics at the Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus.

“With Embry-Riddle the leading university in aeronautics, I knew it was the place for me,” said Najera. “When I finally decided to start taking college classes and choose a career path, Embry-Riddle was at the top of my list.”

What is a B.S. in Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle?

The B.S. in Aeronautics is designed specifically for students who work, have worked or want to work in aviation-related careers. For students with existing aviation-related knowledge and skills, this degree acknowledges a student's valuable acquired experience through the award of advanced standing prior-learning credit and then builds on those skills and knowledge.

Najera was active-duty Navy during his undergraduate education. While juggling his family, work and classes was difficult at first, he eventually learned how to find a healthy balance.

“My time at Embry-Riddle taught me to prioritize,” Najera said. “I worked full-time and took classes part-time, and on top of that, I had a family that I wanted to spend time with. I had to make sure that I spent my time wisely so that I could finish all my homework each week, excel in my job and still be a father and a husband.”

A Flexible Program for Transitioning Veterans

His experience allowed him to continue working and still gain the fundamental concepts to continue excelling in his education. The faculty and staff helped to create an environment that fostered continued learning with the flexibility to still maintain shifting priorities.

“All the staff that I have worked with at Embry-Riddle have been great,” he said. “Anytime I had an issue either with homework, registering for classes, or financial aid, the list is endless; whomever I spoke with was always polite and helpful.”

Crossing the SkillBridge at Embry-Riddle

A year after graduating, Najera returned to Embry-Riddle for a Part 65 AMTP SkillBridge program. This nine-week course was one of his favorite experiences at Embry-Riddle. The program instructor, Kevin Beatty, is a veteran and helped to guide Najera in his civilian transition.

“I was able to relate with him and gain confidence in my decision to separate from the military,” Najera said. “He understood the challenges of transitioning from active duty to civilian life. I admire his teaching style and his tenacity to ensure that everyone in the class grasped the concepts.”

Even now, Najera continues to see the benefits of his Embry-Riddle education.

“It has helped me tremendously,” he said. “An array of alumni networks has opened for me both in my workplace and virtually.”

Najera is currently working as an Aviation Maintenance Technician at Falcon Aviation Services, Inc. and plans to eventually return to Embry-Riddle to get his master’s degree.

“Many of my current co-workers are Embry-Riddle alumni and being a graduate may have even helped me get my current job,” Najera said. “I know that it will help me in the future.”

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