Manhasset Alumni Profiles No. 10: Tom Quaranta, Class of 2013


Ryan Chung, Editor-in-Chief

One of our most unique additions to the Alumni Profiles to date, Tom Quaranta is on his way to becoming a commercial pilot on account of his great dedication to his passion.

On his orientation day at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Tom was faced with a blank slate.  Armed only with his resolve and personality, his goal was to become a polished and professional pilot.  From his first day at the school, he worked to obtain pilot ratings in flight training, completed his many homework assignments, and even worked as a flight instructor on the weekends, all of which comprised his very rigorous workload for all four years of his education.  One of his greatest challenges was the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) fast track.  Despite the difficulty of the program and homesickness attributed to his nine months in the program, he was able to persevere and eventually wear his full uniform as flight instructor.  Although he had taken longer than most, Tom said that his flight instructor told him to stick with it because those who finished last but worked the hardest were the ones who succeeded in the long run.  Tom claims that this is the most important mentality; students must work hard but make sure not to be “overly focused” and burn themselves out too early.  During his time as a student at Embry-Riddle, he witnessed many of his peers failing out of classes because of this reason.

With his education and training, Tom was able to succeed in his interviews to be part of the JetBlue University Gateway Program and to achieve his first officer position at ExpressJet Airlines.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science in May 2017 and is now training to fly small regional jet called the Embraer 145.  While it is impossible to be completely prepared for the road ahead after college, Tom claims that he is most grateful for Embry-Riddle’s training which transformed him into a professional with a solid foundation to tackle any challenges as a pilot.  In addition, his college helped establish connections within the aerospace industry, something that was very important to him when looking into potential colleges.  What is most impressive is that he is the youngest in his class at ExpressJet, which he says allows him to learn from the life experiences of his seniors.  The influence of his grandmother when he was a child and that of Ms. Cosenza when he was applying to colleges allowed him to fulfill his dreams beyond Embry-Riddle.  And as he perfectly put, “The Community that we have in Manhasset is a community like no other.  I have been to many places and I will go to many more places as an airline pilot and no community will ever match up to what we have in Manhasset.  It’s home and it will always be home for me.”