SCSU’s own Andrew Parzyck, adjunct professor of Intellectual and Creative Inquiry and Communication Courses, and Jossinet Ramos Vera, a senior journalism major, work as flight attendants while simultaneously working as a professor and a student, respectfully.
Parzyck’s curiosity for aviation and the magical mysterious lifestyle that came with flying drew him into becoming a flight attendant. Parzyck tells his students to take chances, to dream and to soar. He did that himself and took a chance to become a flight attendant. After applying three times with over 100 applicants, he was chosen out of eight.
Ramos Vera’s says her choice to become a flight attendant was out of boredom one night. She wanted to do something different and now, five years later, loves her career as a flight attendant while studying journalism.
“I’ve always known that something I wanted to do was traveling,” Ramos Vera says. “The first time I went to London, it was just the most amazing thing ever. I remember being awake all night because it is a red-eye flight going there and just being super excited to be there. It is just awesome being able to go around everywhere.”
Ramos Vera says the flexibility that she has with her flying schedule is why she can still go to school and pursue her degree.
Parzyck says training for him was two months with paid minimum wage. Flight attendants learn not just service, but everything from medical, CPR, medications, fires, evacuation and security.
January 2021 marked Parzyck’s sixth year of being a flight attendant.
“I really wanted to do this because it’s a passion of mine but also to show students that it’s okay to take a chance and to go explore something,” Parzyck says.
“We go to training for a couple months, it’s a little intense but it’s worth it, it’s a lot of testing and drills.” Ramos Vera says.
Ramos Vera speaks Spanish and had to go through a different type of interview because she applied as a language flight attendant.
Ramos Vera says being a flight attendant is rewarding. She can travel to all different places while having a wide range of flexibility.
Adjusting to being a flight attendant and a student was strange, she says. She brought her books along with her on flights and did homework on layovers. Now, with Ramos Vera’s seniority, she
is able to work throughout the weekends and has weekdays to be able to go to class.
“It was a little hard, but I knew it was going to be worth it because once I was done studying,” Ramos Vera says. “I kept telling myself once you are done you are going to be glad you sacrificed layovers to study.”
Parzyck teaches two days a week and then flies three days a week. He says that he always gives himself two days off and those days are usually during the week.
Schedule picking has a lot to do with seniority. Schedules happen a month ahead of time. There have been flight attendants who have been flying for almost 60 years.
Typically, there are one-day trips and two-day trips. Each trip has a certain number of hours associated with it.
Parzyck says that flight attendants play a lot of different roles while up in the air.
“We are medical, fire fighters, councilors, teachers. We are everything up there, we play a little role of everything,” he says.
Opportunity in the airline industry is big, there can be internal and external careers.
Some types are training and development, learning about different types of aircrafts, marketing, brand ambassadors, flight attendant managers and being a part of a team that provides a support system for flight attendants. The support system offered is comprised of other flight attendants who know what it is like to be a flight attendant and have all types of experiences flying.
Ramos Vera says that flight attendants can do up to four flights a day and safety is an important part of the job.
While attending to people on the plane, flight attendants are also paying attention to what is happening behind the scenes.
Ramos Vera says that flight attendants can sense when something feels different and one important job of a flight attendant is to be aware of surroundings.
She says that her first day was terrifying. She was based in Los Angeles. One memory she has of that day is not being able to find the cups and being flustered. Despite this, she had a great crew with her on her first flight and asked all the questions.
“It’s awesome to go somewhere different to see how those people live and to taste different food and interact with different cultures. You learn so much. It is important to go out there and interact with people that are different than you. You need to explore. There is a whole world out there,” Ramos Vera says.
She says her favorite place while being a flight attendant is London.
“I love it, I would live there if I could,” she says. “It is one of those places that, at least to me, feels homey just when you get there. The people are great, the places are great. It is the best place ever.”
Parzyck says his favorite international destination is Prague.
“It is such a beautiful city, quiet but filled with history; something about that place was really magical,” he says.
Also, when flying international flights, Parzyck says he likes to shop for food, picking up things like cheese and wine. One of Parzyck’s favorite domestic flights is to Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“It’s a beautiful mountain settled in the mountains, beautiful nature, great scenery.”
Parzyck has been to every state in the United States except Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota.
“I would tell people to travel, you don’t have to become a flight attendant, but if you have the opportunity to travel, you should go ahead and do it,” Ramos Vera says.