Transfer Q&A: Eagle Pivots to Pursue True Passion

Aeronautical Science senior Skyler Williams shares his experience transferring to Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus.

Following graduation, Williams will continue as an Embry-Riddle flight instructor before transitioning to a regional airline and ultimately the United flight deck.
Following graduation, Williams will continue as an Embry-Riddle flight instructor before transitioning to a regional airline and ultimately the United flight deck. (Photo: Connor McShane)

Becoming a pilot wasn’t always the plan for Skyler Williams (’22). Since transferring to Embry-Riddle to pursue a B.S. in Aeronautical Science, he is well on his way to a career in the clouds.

When did you start at Embry-Riddle, and what made you want to be an Eagle?

In the fall of 2019, I was on a study abroad trip in the U.K. and knew I wanted to transfer to a flight school to finish my degree. I started doing research when a friend of my dad’s told me to look into Embry-Riddle. After asking around, I found that several people I knew had already heard of this relatively small university due to its incredible reputation. I applied and transferred without ever visiting the campus.

You began as a neuroscience major at your previous school. How did you develop an interest in flight, and what inspired this switch?

At my previous university, I worked at a restaurant where one of my fellow servers was working toward his private pilot certificate. I also knew a retired Delta pilot who offered to take me on a flight in his Piper Cherokee and helped me have a fantastic discovery flight. That same day, I went home and began to further research the process of becoming a pilot.

Are there any unique benefits to coming in as a transfer student?

For me, it meant that I had already received credit for almost all my general education courses. This gave me extra time to really focus on my upper-level, major-specific courses. Embry-Riddle also offered me a full transfer scholarship and opportunities to apply for several others. Lastly, having already spent years working and attending classes, the transition to a new job and new classes was easy to manage.

Tell us a bit about what the transfer process looked like. What helped you navigate this?

The process was similar to initially applying to schools out of high school, except there were no more tests, I had previous experience and there was much less pressure. When there was a mix-up with my application and transcript, I was able to call the school and receive all the help I needed. As a transfer student, I was worried about flight waitlists and having years of flight training beyond my few semesters left in the classroom, but I was given the assurances and advice I needed to have a successful time here.

What advice do you have for students considering transferring to Embry-Riddle?

If you are considering transferring to Embry-Riddle, I would recommend visiting the town and nearby areas. When the semester starts, look into clubs that work with your major as well as those you find interesting – being social and making new friends makes the transition process more enjoyable! Finally, use all the resources available to you, including academic mentors to help you with your class schedules and free tutoring.

More About Skyler

Hailing from West Houston, Texas, Williams is an active member of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Aviation Collegiate Education (ACE) Club and was recently accepted to the United Aviate Program. When he’s not in the classroom – or the air – he enjoys exploring the outdoors, playing piano, exercising and spending time with friends and family.