Gaining Real World Experience as an Intern
Vol.8 Issue 5
AMP Interns, William "Gus" Smith (L) and Connor Corwin (R)

Just recently, the Office of Facility Management had an opportunity to offer two paid internships along with the ability to receive college credit in their organization. Enter prospective candidates, Connor Corwin, a Senior at the University of Oklahoma working toward a degree in Mechanical Engineering and William "Gus" Smith, a Sophomore at Oklahoma State University majoring in Electrical Engineering. Both students quickly put in the necessary paperwork in hopes of gaining an internship at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.

Shortly thereafter, both men were contacted by Human Resources and confirmed to begin their eight-week, paid internship. Connor explains, "I was hoping to gain some real-world experience as an engineer, and it is important to me to find a place where I would enjoy coming to work." Both students agreed that while this opportunity is still relatively new to them, they are enjoying what they are getting to do, and are learning more and more about how the industry works. "So far, I’ve been able to build a spreadsheet about power supply units, participate in field inspections, and draw in AutoCad (computer-aided drafting software). I really like that I get to be out in the field every day," says Gus. The students are gaining practical experience by attending staff meetings, shadowing architects, and reviewing plans.

Jon Berkman, Supervisory Architect (AMP-400) reviews technical information with interns William "Gus" Smith and Connor Corwin

While both students are trying to find their niche in the professional engineering world, they are now realizing the feasibility of federal employment. Neither student knew that the Aeronautical Center even existed prior to their internships. Their eyes have been opened to new possibilities, as the Office of Facility Management has exposed them to facility operations, maintenance, regulations and workplace safety. While office space is at a premium, the students share a small conference room as their office space, again gaining insight into real-world business issues. Both students share excitement about this opportunity for professional growth. "I’m excited about the job, as I don’t know what’s going to happen next," says Connor, "and I really like working around other engineers who have so much diverse experience," reveals Gus.

Internships are a great way of connecting classroom knowledge to real-world experience. Gus completed his first internship when he was a senior in high school and recommends, "you should apply for as many internships as possible. The more experience you get, the better." One thing’s for certain, these interns are gaining the added benefit of professional recommendations, resume-worthy experience and networking opportunities.

To learn more about the availability of FAA sponsored internships visit

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