What Can I Do On My Internship?

By Sally Richards

72962_10152434783425716_7754667_nWoo-hoo!  You’ve landed an internship where you know you will learn valuable skills to help make you more marketable to the corporate world or other organizations.  Now, what in the world will your daily routine actually look like?

Your daily routine will depend on whether the company you will be doing your internship with is in the aviation, aerospace, or another industry and whether their focus is service, manufacturing and technology, space exploration or product research and development.

Routine or no routine?  Depending on the nature of the business you will work in, your position may be anything but routine and may include responsibilities or activities outside the box.  The requirements of a department or company will determine how varied your work and workload are.  You may be working on single projects as assigned during the semester.  Some may be for a short duration, so you will be tasked with completing multiple projects.  Others will take much longer where you may be working on one major project throughout the semester.

Previous interns have had a myriad of amazing experiences. You could too.
Just imagine!  You could participate in Co-op or Internship where you….

  • On the cutting edge working alongside seasoned engineers for future Falcon 9 launches
  • Dance…on a video made with interns about the JSC Co-op Program…Gangnam style
  • Take-off on an airline charity flight as a mentor for an organization like, “Wish for Kids”
  • Stand on top of Mt. Washington at an altitude of 6,288 feet and run weather data measurements
  • Research and test biomedical exercise equipment for use by NASA astronauts
  • Solve engineering problems and apply appropriate solutions for a general aviation aircraft manufacturer
  • Support an up and coming car manufacturer in creating tests for a bench vehicle in hardware and software. Wire up data acquisition system to controllers on the vehicle for testing.
  • Play in a golf tournament with some executives from the Ivory Tower
  • Work with the powerplant team as well as technicians in the shop and work the entire project from initiation and development to actual prototype in a fuel manifold project
  • Lunch with the CEO of a major U.S. airline
  • Work with Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) agency and its investigations
  • Attend design reviews with other team members
  • Fly a major commercial airline simulator and potentially earn 14 hours of 777 sim time for your logbook
  • Serve as the flight test engineer for some of the development flights, as well as for the entirety of certification flight process as a new avionics system is being addressed on a Seneca V
  • Instrumental in data collection of all reported accidents and incidents reported by pilots
  • Assist with work on the replica of Curiosity Rover in the “Mars Yard”
  • Fly on an initial flight on the first of a new aircraft series across the pond
  • Assist in designing military tank simulators and weaponry simulators for the U.S. Military
  • Certified to fly right seat in a commuter airlines operation
  • Try on a prototype astronaut suit or ride the vomit comet
  • Help design, build, test, and work as dragster crew for a motorsports company while adhering to safety regulations
  • Work with the Chief of Flight Test for a major helicopter manufacturer
  • Work in wind tunnel testing with a major engine manufacturer
  • Make significant suggestions during the evaluation process of a contamination issue
  • Have a bio written on you for a newsletter published by a major commercial airline manufacturer
  • Travel with department team to other company sites
  • Improve procedures to increase productivity and work quality for Flight Data Analyses and for implementing AQP
  • Write company policies for safety and severe weather
  • Prepare analytical reports
  • Remake the store interfaces on android considering android guidelines
  • Observe and subsequently test your expertise at a firing range for law enforcement agency
  • Assist in setting up a manufacturing production line in China
  • Develop better communication skills with team members
  • Assist as a safety specialist in different workshops
  • Enhance your presentation skills and interaction with other professionals in the field during briefings
  • Research repairs, read manuals, and navigate information systems while understanding manufacturers’ aircraft drawings for a major airline

Previous interns have remarked that their co-ops/internships were the “best experiences ever!” Daytona Beach students, via Blackboard, can read the final co-op/intern papers that each intern writes at the end of a semester of practical work experience to learn their peers’ perception of a company culture and the responsibilities, duties, advantages and disadvantages.  This will give you some foresight about the culture, people and processes used by a company even before you start an internship.

Your initiative, motivation and good attitude can open up doors and windows for you.  With your internship, you’ve begun your journey towards a successful career.

Sally Richards has 30 years of experience in higher education with a proven track record in Career Services. Sally started her career with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Aeronautical Engineering Department.  Currently as the Career Services Cooperative Education/Internship Program Manager, she manages and facilitates operations of the Co-op/Intern Program for the team of Program Managers and ensures adherence of Co-op policies and procedures while overseeing conflict resolution for co-op situations. Her credentials include aviation/airline industry experience in flight recruiting, maintenance planning and passenger service with two major airlines and one regional carrier, as well as studies at Kent State University in Ohio.

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