Leaving Boeing was a mix of feelings both happy and sad. It was sad leaving my team, an amazing group of people who welcomed me like a full-time engineer, but happy for the incredible opportunity I had and for the valuable skills I acquired. The friends I made while in this internship will last for a very long time thanks to all the social and community service activities we did throughout the summer.
I am happy to say that Boeing’s intern program far exceeded my expectations. As I mentioned in my previous blogs, I had always dreamed of working for this company, but the way I imagined it is not as great as it actually is. It still amazes me that I got to work next to the final assembly of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and see the production of parts of the fuselage of Boeing’s latest wide-body airplane, the 787-10.
I am very thankful that I got to learn so many new things about the 787 production because a big part of what I learned has come in very helpful in the Composites and Design classes I am currently taking. Thanks to this internship, I developed a passion for aircraft composite structures, hence, making it an area that I want to focus in once I embark in a graduate school program.
When I had the final evaluation with my manager, he told me I had exceeded the expectations he had for me and offered me to come back for another internship with the same team. I felt really happy to know that all the hard work I put in the job had paid off.
I am not yet looking for a full-time job since I want to complete graduate school before I start working. Nevertheless, I am in the search for a summer internship for 2018, I will evaluate my options down the road whether I want to come back to the same team or explore a different area.
Having experienced Boeing Research & Technology and NASA’s JPL, I can say that both are very similar Research and Development entities with a few small differences. For instance, at Boeing you need to have a basic understanding of businesses and budgets, and how they are carried out in the industry. Even if you strictly want to follow the technical lead track and not the managerial track, you will still need to have a basic understanding of business in the aerospace industry. My mentor even recommended that I attend seminars, or take special courses to teach me the basics of finance, economics, management, etc.
Lastly, I just wanted to emphasize how important it is to be grateful to the team and people you worked with. Before I left my internship, I brought pastries for the entire team as a gratitude sign. They seemed to have liked that gesture a lot because it showed them that I left satisfied for all the things they taught me. Sometimes, the biggest remuneration for mentors is gratitude and satisfaction coming from their mentee’s part. So, I am glad I did that because I was able to leave with a good image of myself, imagine it as if it was like the cherry on top!
Chase your dreams,
Below are Andrea’s other posts about her summer internship at Boeing: