Discuss how you obtained your internship at Pratt & Whitney.
As a student assistant in the Career Services office, my duties were to prepare for the Spring Industry/Career Expo. On a unexpected work day, I was approached by a gentlemen that was in one of the interview rooms. He asked me if he could have one of the lanyards that say “Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University” and I proceeded to tell him that I would be glad to give him one. Being unaware who this gentlemen was I introduced myself and asked him what company he is representing today. He replied with “Pratt & Whitney,” and I immediately knew that I had an opportunity to grab. And the conversation continues I ask the one million dollar question, “Are there any internship positions for business students at Pratt & Whitney that I could apply for?.” The representative advanced with doing a “on the spot interview.” This caught me completely off guard but with confidence I accepted. I made sure I responded politely and spoke in a calm confident manner. With my resume and business card in hand I moved forward with providing it to him. He gave me his business card and a firm handshake and told me to email him about the interview. I immediately sent him an e-mail thanking him for his time and consideration. After e-mailing a couple of times, the representative got me in contact with someone in Connecticut. He had gotten me a internship position in the Headquarters of United Technologies Corporation and Pratt & Whitney. I was actually their first business intern in the Military Engines department. This shows that you do not need a planned interview to get a position. It can be at an unexpected moment like me that you have to get out of your comfort zone and take on the obstacle head on.
What were your responsibilities and accomplishments in your position?
As an intern at Pratt & Whitney, I was exposed to several multi-disciplinary groups from different departments in the Military Engines sector. I was able to work with a great team that works with the executives in Military Engines. Some of my responsibilities included working with Photoshop and several deliverables for the executives. I was able to walk the shop floor and be able to speak to actual employees about there experience at Pratt & Whitney. A recognizable accomplishment, was putting together a 2,000 page book for the companies Detail-Design Review (DDR). I developed Structural Summary Analysis Sheets (SASS) which is currently in development with the military as a customer. Overall, for my first internship with Pratt & Whitney I wanted to absorb as much information as possible and it has served me well in my professional development. There were many networking events that were very helpful when making long lasting connections for my future career.
Have your career aspirations changed at all since completing your internship?
Working at Pratt & Whitney I was able to use my leadership skills that I learned at a young age. As an intern, it fueled the fire inside me to pursue a passion for aviation in the Defense sector. I was able to use what I learned in classes and apply it to my internship. As a Junior at ERAU, I came back from my internship with the intentions of applying what I learned to my studies. I enhanced my leadership skills and I learned new skill set that not only can I apply it in classes but in my everyday professional life. Working at Pratt & Whitney has opened my eyes as to what type of culture I want to work in. The environment is so supportive to expressing yourself and your ideas and no one will question.
What advice do you have for other students who want to complete an internship?
“Act confident, and no one will question you” and always be ready not matter what because you never know when an employer might be on campus and you happen to run into one. Its better to be prepared than be unprepared.