Co-op/Intern Spotlight: Mark Payne

Mark PayneMark Payne is an Aerospace Engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach.  He transferred to Riddle in spring 2014 in order to study Aerospace Engineering.  Although he is fascinated by planes, the reality is that he grew up in a ship yard.  His father owns San Juan Towing & Marine Services, which specialized in commercial vessel repair and small scale towing.

How did you land the internship and how did you navigate the process?

Landing an internship for the summer was nearly impossible. The reality was that my GPA was just below the required GPA for most employers and I would usually be cut off because of that. After several months of constantly applying to most major companies, and calling many smaller companies, I had not heard any responses.

By late April, I was worried for obvious reasons. The idea of applying to as many as thirty internships and not even landing one interview was not very motivating. My father actually mentioned the fact that I should diversify. That is when I decided to look for a company which was not related to the aerospace industry. I found the International Ship Repair & Marine Services in Tampa. In order to “land the internship”, I scheduled a meeting with the company Vice President two days after finals had finished and was working the very next Monday.

What experience have you had and what did you do on your internship?

My experience was definitely unique. I had the opportunity to be rotated between three different departments. These were the machinist department, the quality assurance department, and the estimating department.

As a machinist, I was out in the field with the workers. I was able to obtain real exposure and got hands on shipyard experience. I was also able to learn how to use manufacturing equipment such as lathes and milling machines.

While working in the quality assurance department I was responsible for the visual inspection of drive shafts and propeller blades that were both coming in and out of the machine shop.

Working with the estimating department was my favorite. I was given the tasks of designing engine mounts for three ton diesel engines and a propeller stand which could hold a five ton propeller.

What advice would you give students who are contemplating doing an internship experience?

I would tell students to pursue any and every opportunity possible. Not only will they gain valuable experience which will make them better engineers and more hire able, but they will also, in most cases, be able to obtain engineering tech elective credit in an engineering student.

Talk about your learning experience both professionally and personally.

While interning, although my schedule varied, I was working 40 hours per week. While working with the machinist and job estimating departments, I had a 7:25AM to 3:55PM work schedule. While working for the quality assurance department, I was working by 6:00 and out by 2:30PM. I had a 1/2 lunch break.

Besides interning, I was also taking two of ERAU’s online classes. I was able to both work full time and take two classes. This was definitely a very big plus.

Would you do a second internship? Why? 

I have already begun applying for many internships. I believe that while one internship is definitely necessary, having two internships is even better.

What are the benefits you will take away from doing the internship when looking for a full-time career?

When looking for a full time career I will have the benefit of having prior work experience. This is extremely valuable in a very competitive job market. Having prior work experience is a very big plus.

Any other general advice to share?

As for advice, I have to emphasize that there is nothing more important than constantly applying to internships. If you’ve applied for twenty positions and think that you are done, think again and apply for twenty more. In my case, I was able to land an internship on my last attempt.

If you are unable to land an internship because of grades, take summer courses, either on campus or online. By doing so, you will improve your GPA and have a better chance of being hired when applying for future internships.

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Expo Success Story: Chao Zheng

Chao W. Zheng is an Aerospace Engineering major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach and just Chaofinished a summer internship with Rockwell Collins.

Below is his first-hand experience at the Industry/Career Expo 2013 held in Daytona Beach, FL.

My name is Chao Zheng and I am currently a junior majoring in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Business Administration at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Over the summer of 2014, I was hired by Rockwell Collins as a Systems Engineer intern working in the Coast Guard & VIP Rotary Platform team. During my time there, I worked on two programs: 1) VH-60N/3D Presidential Helicopter “Marine One” and 2) MH-65E Coast Guard Helicopter “Dolphin”.

During the Embry-Riddle industry career expo, I checked out numerous companies but didn’t have any luck with any of the companies despite going through interviews. During that semester, I was waiting for a Boeing internship offer so I didn’t apply to a lot of other companies. When the spring semester came by, I told myself that I shouldn’t limit my options. That’s when I saw an email about Rockwell Collins coming on campus and they are looking for summer interns and co-ops.

Getting Hired

I first heard about Rockwell Collins through my high school’s Airframe & Powerplant training with their radio systems. Immediately, I went online and did some research about the company and was really impressed by the ethical working environment. So, I brushed up my resume from my COM 219 Tech writing class, went to the Rockwell Collins meet & greet and immediately got another interview offer the next day. At that time, I didn’t keep my hopes high because a lot of the applicants were seniors or graduates so as a sophomore, I feel like I didn’t stand out. So about one month went by, and I got an email from the Rockwell recruiter saying that I am one of their top candidates and requested to have an online interview with a team manager. Little did I know, my manager Matt Mulnik was the head of the Coast Guard & Presidential Helicopter team and one week after my interview with him-I was officially hired.

What I did as an Intern

As an Intern with Rockwell Collins, I was working on two Government Systems program under the rotary wings department. Throughout my 11 weeks internship, I spend about 70% of my time with the Presidential helicopter program and about 30% with the Coast Guard program. As a Systems Engineer, I was working with a couple of test leads performing testing on the helicopter’s avionics systems. Some of the test include: Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS), Communication, GPS, Map updates, Radio frequencies, CSFIR (black box), engine simulations, overload systems test and quite a few classified tests. In addition to testing, I learned how to script programs using python that will automatically start the systems up and perform tests without an engineer physically starting the helicopter.

Memorable Events

The most memorable event on my summer internship actually took place in the longest meeting in my life. The meeting was a MH-65E Coast Guard Helicopter TRR (Test Readiness Review) and it is a three day meeting (8AM-4:30PM) where the team leads showed the Coast Guard customers what we will be testing for the next month. On the second day of the meeting, I was approached by one of the Coast Guard captain and I found out that around half of the Coast Guard serviceman and women were Embry-Riddle graduates. It was very surprising because it really showed me how big Riddle’s network really is. In addition to that, in the same meeting, I met another fine gentlemen who graduated from my high school back in the 70s with his Airframe & Powerplant licenses but he is a team lead for NavAir. During that simple exchange, I was really glad to be there because I feel like I belong there with all these alumni who really took their career into the next level.

Summaries and Lesson Learned

What I learned from this internship is the importance of team work and how learning in the real world differs from learning in a classroom. I was very eager to learn because everything was interesting to me and my colleagues have no trouble teaching me the many things that I don’t know. Some of my colleagues were part of the Black Hawk helicopter program back when it first came into production. I feel much reward to work with many engineers who had 20, 30 and even 40 years of experiences.

Due to the nature of my work and position, pictures and project samples were strictly classified and I am unable to share a lot of details due to confidentiality issues.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Derrek Ehrlich

DerrekErlichDerrek Ehrlich graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach in December 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics.  He is currently working as a Systems Integration Engineer at Rockwell Collins.

Discuss your current position with Rockwell Collins. 

Currently, I am working as a systems integration engineer at Rockwell Collins.  In short, I help integrate and test all of the sub-systems for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Bombardier C-Series commercial avionics systems.  Our engineering team is the last team to touch the avionics system before it is uploaded to the aircraft.

What are some of your top tips for successful networking for students? 

From a networking standpoint, there is a lot that I look back on my time at ERAU and wish I would have done.  This that I feel like I was not pushed hard enough to do.  For one, any internship/co-op that you receive can be infinitely helpful in landing your first job, whether that be through the company you actually interned for or the work experience you gained that makes you look far more attractive to another employer.  Networking strategies can also be used to accomplish this.  My biggest tip I can give you, that can be done right now and on campus is to BE ACTIVE.  Yes, doing homework and studying is important, but aside from helping make you a more well-rounded person, campus activities, whether that be SGA, Greek Life, academic clubs, social clubs, or athletic clubs, can all be beneficial to landing your first gig.  These activities can strengthen a resume, but they will also introduce you to more senior individuals at ERAU.  Once these individuals graduate, they will obtain a job, and you never know who it might be that helps you land your first one.  Knowing anyone in the industry can be infinitely helpful.

Another suggestion I have is to get out to any conferences or competitions where there will be individuals in your prospective industry present.  Yes, ERAU is a great school and has great teachers, but I have very much realized that, at the end of the day, it is about who you know and not what you know.  Fortunately, another great aspect about going to a well-known and respected school is that you have more opportunities to take advantage of better networking connections, so don’t let that go to waste!

Since you recently graduated in Dec. 2011, what timely advice do you have for current students who will be graduating in the next few years? 

Nowadays, internships and/or co-ops can be worth their weight in gold in obtaining your first job.  Don’t slack off on getting one of these!  Engineering jobs are plentiful, but you still need to look attractive to prospective employers, as not “just anyone” is hired.  Also, numbers can be key.  If there is a specific company you want to work for more than others, that is great!  Apply for lots of positions with them, learn about the company, and try to make any connections you can, but on a similar note, do not put all your eggs in one basket.  There are countless companies out there looking for young talent.  Never stop applying!

What are your future plans with Rockwell Collins? 

One of the things I love the most about Rockwell Collins is the flexibility they allow you in defining your career path.  I plan on eventually using their tuition reimbursement program to get my MBA from University of Iowa (a very good, nationally ranked MBA program) and work on moving up into engineering management.

Annual Industry/Career Expo Reminders

The annual Industry/Career Expo’s at both residential campuses are open to all ERAU students and alumni.  To learn more information about these events please visit our website: http://careers.erau.edu/events/

Prescott Expo - 2014

Thursday, Oct. 2 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in Prescott, AZ

Blog image for DB Expo

Wednesday, Oct. 8 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in Daytona Beach, FL

Ways to Get Experience and Break into Your Career Field

By Lauren Burmester

Experience picIt’s a well know paradox in the world of employment…. You need experience to get experience.

Most employers want you to have experience in the field, but you can’t get experience until you work in the field. Here are some ways to help you gain experience and break into your career while still in school.

 Internships and Cooperative Education

Internships are the most common way to gain experience while in college. Internships are usually one-term working experiences that can be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time. Internship eligibility varies by employer; typically companies are looking for above average students who show initiative and can contribute to the company positively.

Cooperative education or co-ops are typically full-time, multi-term work agreements with one organization. For example you might work for your employer the summer after your sophomore year, and the following spring and fall semesters. It is common in a co-op to rotate through different departments or projects within your organization. Internships and co-ops are a great way to learn the company culture and see if you the right fit for the working environment.

On Campus/Research Jobs

Working on campus as a student assistant or in a research position is another common way to gain experience in your field while in school. Almost all departments at a university utilize student workers. Find a student assistant position in an academic department that ties into your areas of interest to gain experience. Typically research positions are not highly advertised, so it is recommended to seek out a faculty member whose research topic is an interest to you. Additionally, organizations external to the university, such as research centers, offer undergraduate research opportunities.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door of an organization or career field. Volunteer work can be something you do as an individual, as part of club or organization involvement. You can develop skills and experience through volunteering that can be listed on your resume. Volunteering shows initiative which employers deem a highly desirable quality. Volunteer work not only helps you develop professionally, but can also be personally rewarding

 Student Associations or Clubs

Involvement in a student association or club is viewed very favorably by employers, and can be an essential qualification, such as leadership, for certain types of work and career paths. You don’t have to be president to gain leadership skills. You could be the recruiter, fundraising chair, an event planner, or secretary. The important things are what you accomplish and the skills you use and develop. Find a club or association that is relevant to your interests or career goals to further strengthen your experience in the field. Quite often members of student clubs and organization are invited to attend conferences, lectures, and industry events that can be a great opportunity to network with companies in your field.

Lauren Burmester is the Aviation Program Manager in Career Services.  She has been an employee with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2006 working in Advising and Admissions.  She completed both her Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Studies with concentrations in Aviation Safety, Space Studies, and Business Administration, as well as a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Safety Systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating with distinction.  Lauren’s passion for the Aviation and Aerospace industry is instrumental in assisting students achieve their personal and professional goals.

 

Intern Spotlight: Fabio An

FabioFabio An is a current Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering student and completed his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, FL campus.  He is an active student on campus where he works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and is a leader with the Brazilian Student Association.  Understanding the importance of experience, Fabio worked for a full year with US Airways as an Engineering Co-op.

How did you obtain your internships with US Airways?

I found this opportunity on the Embry-Riddle EagleHire Network website. I had applied for the position through the website and was contacted by US Airways within two weeks to schedule an interview.

What were some of your responsibilities?

Fabio and wheelsAt US Airways I worked directly with three engineers: avionics, propulsion, and structural engineer. I was very fortunate to have obtained this position as I was able to gather experience from almost every aspect of the airline maintenance engineering. Working with the structural engineer, my main responsibilities were to provide repair instructions to the mechanics and ensure, mathematically, that those repairs followed FAA regulations. While working with the propulsion engineer, my main duties involved investigating the root cause for engines components failures and premature engine removals. Lastly, with the avionics engineer, I worked on projects ranging from avionics software updates to assisting in the implementation of Service Bulletins fleet wide.

What advice do you have for students interested in obtaining an internship?

Fabio with planeExtensively use the help of Career Services to ensure your resume is properly formatted and with the correct information on it. Additionally, I recommend doing mock up interviews; never be afraid to say you don’t know the answer for a specific question. I also recommend sending a signed thank you letter after the interview is done.  After I was accepted at US Airways, I asked my supervisor if he had received the letter I sent and to my surprise, out of the 40 candidates, I was the only one to have sent a thank you letter, I was told the letter was not the main reason for hiring me, but he said he was pleased to have received it.

Internship Resources

By Sandi Ohman

thCA5BNMPOWhile it is extremely cold right now, even here in Florida, the summer is quickly approaching.  As students contemplate their summer plans, for some, an internship opportunity is high on the list. Many though don’t know how to start the search process for identifying internships.  Below is a list of resources to use to find internship opportunities:

  1. The Career Services Office (CSO) – The CSO at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) advertises internships through the career management system, EagleHire Network.  This is an excellent resource to consider for internship opportunities.  CSO partners with employers to advertise opportunities through EagleHire Network.  These companies are interested in ERAU students, so it is a good place to start the internship search.
  2. Company Websites –  Many large companies have well-established internship programs and choose to advertise internship opportunities on their company websites. Make sure to follow all application requirements and provide requested documents, since this shows the employer the applicant can follow directions.
  3. The Internet – Search engines such as Google, Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, Careerbuilder.com are good internet resources to search for internships.  Another resource is CareerShift.  This is an employment research tool for students and alumni to use when researching opportunities.  The Career Services Office has purchased the required membership needed to use CareerShift.  The log-in page can be found embedded in the home page of the student/alumni part of EagleHire Network.  Make sure to follow account creation/log-in instructions located in the CareerShift box.  There are also numerous internet resources listed on the Useful Links page of the Career Services website.
  4. Faculty – Faculty are excellent resources in the internship search.  Many have worked in industry, and they have contacts and companies contact them about open positions.
  5. Network(ing)Quintiessential Careers recently wrote in their blog that networking is one of the best ways to find out about opportunities.  So, let others know of your interest to find an internship in a specific field.  Also, LinkedIn is another networking source.  LinkedIn is a professional social networking internet resource.  Users can search for alumni that work at the company they are interested in, search for internships advertised through LinkedIn, or other contacts in the company.
  6. Career Fair/Recruiting Events – In 2014 the Daytona Beach Career Services Office will be hosting Career Week 360°.  This will be a week full of career-related topics and opportunities.  On Tuesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 5, there will be an Employer Recruiting Showcase.  This is a smaller event than the Industry/Career Expo, but it is an opportunity for companies to recruit for internships and full-time opportunities.   Another opportunity to meet recruiters is company visits.  There are numerous companies that will come to campus to recruit, interview and hold information sessions.  These are good opportunities to interact with employers and learn about internship opportunities.  Check the EagleHire Network calendar for dates.
  7. Letters of Interest – Letter of Interest/Inquiry can be used to reach out to companies to find out about internship opportunities or programs.
  8. Previous Student Internship Papers – When students participate in an internship for credit, writing a paper about the experience at the end of the term is part of the requirements. Those papers are posted in the Daytona Beach Career Services Blackboard organization.  This is a good way to read what other students experienced on their internship and also find out where other students from different degrees went on an internship.

Students should use the above resources to research and find internship opportunities.  When applying for internships, make sure to customize resumes (and cover letters if requested) to positions, follow application requirements and submit complete quality applications.  This will increase the chances of obtaining an internship and gaining the experience towards a future career.

Sandi Ohman is the Senior Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She has been with the university for over 9 years and has advised students in most all degree areas while in Career Services.  Sandi brings additional experience having worked in the finance industry for over 6 years in her previous career.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Industry/Career Expo Success Story: John Lobdell

By John Lobdell

John is a First Year student in the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus

DSC_2692The Industry/Career Expo is one of the most publicized events on campus. Starting from the time you arrive in early fall, you are constantly reminded of it through e-mail, posters, teachers, and even certain organizations. And for good reason–some of the top aerospace companies in the world attend, looking for students to hire as interns or full-time employees. It’s an amazing opportunity–but one that is highly competitive, as hundreds of students are contending for the same positions. It’s really quite frightening to think about the odds of actually obtaining one of these positions; because of this, many students–especially freshmen–feel as though it’s pointless to even try. I was one of those freshmen for a while.

It didn’t take long from the time I arrived on campus to realize how big of an event the Expo was going to be, from all the advertising. Fairly early on, I knew that I wanted to attend, but actually getting an interview–much less a position–with one of these companies was far from my mind. I was a freshman after all, and freshmen don’t get internships. The idea of getting an internship for the summer after my freshman year didn’t even cross my mind until I actually met an upperclassman who had gotten one his freshman year. At first it was just a small thought; I figured it would be a great experience to get an internship my freshman year, but I also thought it highly unfeasible. Then I met several more upperclassman who had gotten internships their freshmen years, and I started to think that maybe it was possible.

At that point, the idea really started to sink in. Rather than just a thought, it became a goal. I realized how unfeasible it was, but I was determined to at least try. That way, even if I failed, I would still have a much better idea of what I needed to do for next year. But I really didn’t know what to expect at the Expo, and had no idea how I should prepare. I decided that the best thing would be to go to one of the Expo preparation sessions, hoping that it would give me at least an idea of what to expect. Little did I realize just how helpful one of these sessions would be. They went over everything from what to expect from the recruiters, to how to format your resume, to what to wear, and everything in between. By the time the Expo came, I had gone to several of the different sessions and was feeling quite prepared. And then, after weeks of waiting and preparation, it was time for the Industry/Career Expo.

On the day of the Expo, I was feeling quite confident. My resume had been polished several times over, I had a nice suit that looked professional, I knew exactly who I wanted to talk to, and I had a general idea what to expect from them. I arrived at the ICI Center, walked in, and suddenly… lost all confidence. How could I honestly have thought that I could get an internship? I hadn’t built up my resume nearly enough to be competitive. I began walking around, eying out the different companies. Finally, I got up the courage to go up to one. Figuring that I was ready, I decided to go to one of the companies that I had researched before the Expo. I got in line and waited until it was finally my turn to talk to one of the recruiters. I walked up, shook his hand, handed him my resume, and got so nervous I couldn’t remember what I was going to say. I mumbled and stuttered every time he asked me a question and am fairly sure that my words were not completely coherent. It was a disaster.

I felt pretty unconfident after I finished talking to that first recruiter. I lost all hope of getting an internship. I was just too nervous to be able to accurately display myself to recruiters. So I decided to just go to various companies and practice talking with them. I went to several companies, but although I was slowly growing more used to talking to the recruiters, I was still nervous, and it was obvious. Soon it came time for me to leave for my first class, so I decided that I would visit one more booth before I left. I had noticed General Electric‘s booth earlier in the day and decided that I would talk to them. As I began walking to the booth, I started to think about some advice that a friend of mine had given me before the Expo. “Be yourself,” he said.  So I decided to go up and talk to the recruiter not as a recruiter, but as a friend…someone I knew. When I got to the booth, I walked up to the recruiter and just had a normal conversation with him. By treating him as a friend, I was able to dispel the nervousness. He asked me a few questions about my resume, and at the end, he pointed to the top of my resume where my phone number was, and asked, “Is this where we can reach you?”

Later that day, I got a phone call asking if I could come in for an interview the following afternoon. I, of course, accepted. That night, I did as much research on GE as I could in order to prepare for the interview. I wanted to know exactly what to expect. Going into the interview the next day, I was prepared with not only as much information as possible, but also the same mindset that I had when I had talked to the recruiter the previous day. Treating the interviewer as just another person that I can have a normal conversation with helped once again calm my nerves and allow me to accurately represent myself. The interview went well, and I left feeling quite confident. And about a week later, I got the e-mail offering me a summer internship with GE.

It is not impossible for a freshman to get an internship, as I can attest to. If you want one, you will be able to get one; you just need to put in the effort. Many freshmen feel that they don’t have enough experience to get an internship, but the truth of the matter is that companies that hire freshmen interns realize that they won’t have experience. What these companies are looking for is not a vast amount of experience, but passion…passion about what you do and about what they do. And they are also looking for people who can just be themselves. So when you talk to either a recruiter or interviewer, just be yourself, and show off all of your skills and talents. Find a way to weave in what you’re passionate about, in particular if it has to do with the job position. When all you have to go with is a resume, it’s a little more difficult, but the same concept applies. Get involved with clubs and activities that correspond to your major or your desired career. Not only will these things provide invaluable experience, if you are truly passionate about your major, they will also be enjoyable. And having them on your resume will show that passion.

Finally, one of the keys to getting an internship is being prepared. Do your research on whatever companies you may be interested in. And take advantage of Career Services and all that it offers. The sessions on what to expect at the Expo were invaluable to me; I doubt I would have gotten the internship had I not gone to them. They tell you exactly what to expect, and they give you many useful tips to help you get an interview. Make sure your resume has been polished several times over as well; a poorly formatted resume can give a bad impression to recruiters and may keep you from getting the opportunity to express yourself more fully through an interview. I encourage everyone, especially freshmen, to aim for an internship because as long as you are willing to put in the effort, there is nothing stopping you from obtaining one.

Co-op/Internship Spotlight: Nathalie Quintero

Participated in an amazing internship experience.NQ

Featured in Boeing’s Women in Leadership Association publication as the BWIL Member of the Month.

Successful on-campus leader. 

Nathalie Quintero should certainly be in the spotlight for her various accomplishments.  Nathalie is in the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach.  She is President of the Society of Women Engineers ERAU Chapter, and she is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  She participates on the  SAE Women’s BAJA team and is a Women’s Ambassador Program and O-Team member.  As an active student on campus, Nathalie has served as a mentor for various student groups.  Nathalie also spent the summer as an Interior Payloads Configuration 747/767/777 Intern at The Boeing Company in Everett, WA.

Here is what Nathalie had to say about her internship experience.

Having the opportunity to intern with a global corporation, such as The Boeing Company, was an extraordinary experience this summer. This internship not only allowed me to see other possible areas within engineering, but it also allowed me to explore options into engineering management. This internship allowed to create connections and network with different managers along my commodity and different groups across the company. It has been an experience that will definitely benefit my engineering education and my future in the aerospace industry.

As part of the Intern Experience and understanding the customer needs to elaborate new Interior Configuration for our airlines customer, I visited the “Customer Experience Center” (CEC). This center showcases mock-ups of the interior configuration for the 787, 747-8i, 737, 777-300ER. They also have flight deck configuration, where the customer can experience and use a high tech aircraft simulator for the new 747-8i. The photo depicts me flying the new Qantas 747 and understanding flight controls for the new aircraft that is sky rocketing the market of long distance airlines.

CEC Tour 005

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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