Justin Martin (’14) knew he liked working with spacecraft, but he wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do after he graduated from Embry-Riddle.
Fortunately, a chance experience during his time as a Future Alumni Ambassador set him on the path to a dream career working toward the future of spaceflight, including a role as a safety inspector for Blue Origin’s New Shepherd flight NS-16 — the first human-rated space launch that sent Jeff Bezos, 82-year-old aerospace legend Wally Funk and two other passengers on an 11-minute suborbital spaceflight.
“The Future Alumni Network is a great program to help our students make connections with industry before they graduate,” says Edmund Odartey (’04, ’10), executive director of Alumni Engagement. “As official ambassadors for our office, they engage with Embry-Riddle alumni through events, services and mentorship programs, which can often lead to the discovery of career opportunities.”
Martin’s career discovery began during a tour of the FAA’s NextGen Florida Test Bed, which was arranged by the Future Alumni Network.
“They had set up a tour of the NextGen Test Bed for the ambassadors,” Martin says.
“That tour is what sparked my interest in NextGen.” After a stint as a volunteer at the Florida Test Bed, Martin moved into a paid position as a portfolio analyst for the NextGen program. He eventually transitioned to the Office of Commercial Space Transportation as a safety inspector.
“The doors kept opening,” Martin says. “And I kept walking through them.”