Creighton University School of Law third-year student Ryan McFall is looking forward to his semester in Washington, D.C., this fall.
Michaela Sims, JD ’96, coordinator of the D.C. portion of the Government Organization and Leadership (GOAL) program, learned early on that McFall comes from a family of pilots and is working on getting his own pilot’s license. After careful preparation and planning, and using various alumni and professional connections, Sims was able to secure McFall an internship with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Read more from McFall in the Q&A below.
How did you fall in love with aviation?
My grandfather and father were pilots and passed on their love to me. I grew up learning about the intricacies of flying an aircraft from their perspective. They taught me about various types of aircraft, and I learned as much as I could about air travel. When the opportunity to intern at the FAA came up, it was a perfect way to merge my love of flying with my desire to use the law to make a difference in the world.
What inspired you as a first-year law student to pursue the dual JD/MS in GOAL?
I’ve always been fascinated by the intricacies of government operation. I believe that government should be a tool that helps out as many people as possible and works for the people. I believe that once I have this joint degree, the fact that I can advocate for clients and also understand government intricacies will be a potent combination.
What are you hoping to learn at the FAA?
Legislation to potentially privatize the air traffic control system, which is governed by the FAA, is being reviewed by Congress this fall. I hope that during my internship I will have time to work with FAA employees reviewing this piece of legislation, as well as perhaps even members of Congress. I’m also looking forward to building relationships with colleagues at the FAA, as I may want to go back to work there after graduation.
GOAL has a new mentorship program this fall. What do you hope to gain from that?
I’m most looking forward to having a mentor who is “in my corner” and building a relationship with someone who is already established in their career. I know that it’s the relationships formed with the mentor and with co-workers in the internship that will ultimately help me advance my career.
If you are a School of Law alumni living in the Washington, D.C., area and interested in being a GOAL mentor, contact goal [at] creighton [dot] edu to learn more.