I have been emboldened by my experience to dig deeper into the academic side toward my future profession.
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Co-op Employer: Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company
Location: Stratford, CT
What have been the most exciting aspects of your internship? Getting to see the product I helped make a reality hover right next to me, and knowing it will simply be the best in class doing it's job for countries around the world
What are the most valuable lessons you have learned at your internship? Learning just what a giant undertaking aerospace projects are, and what it takes resource-wise to get the aircraft off the drawing board and into the sky. Another lesson was don't ever think you're unimportant, your input will most likely be a crucial factor towards that transition "into the sky."
How has this experience enhanced your engineering education at Maryland? This experience exposed me to the reality of aerospace engineering in the real world and not just in the classroom. Getting to see live data coming from hundreds of strain gauges, accelerometers, and temperature probes on our aircraft while doing a test flight really showed me how we engineers make our money off the science we mastered on campus. I definitely have an enhanced knowledge of the how and why structures behave under stress because of my experiences.
How have your career or academic goals changed as a result of this experience? I would say I have been emboldened by my experience to dig deeper into the academic side toward my future profession. It has shown me all the possible paths and disciplines that encompass aerospace engineering and how to capitalize on those opportunities for a very bright career.
Why would you recommend this experience to other students? You get to be a part of a team that is creating the world's greatest helicopters while learning the crucial aspects of your future profession. Don't be afraid to do a long co-op if offered, you have a lot of time ahead of you. Taking two semesters doing real work with a company can set you two years ahead of your peers.