Aug. 12, 2019
Internships are valuable opportunities for students to learn about business aviation from the inside and establish a pathway toward potential careers in the industry. That said, the prospect of applying for an internship can also be a daunting experience.
NBAA hosted three interns this summer – recent graduate Destry Jacobs, marketing intern, and college students Erin Taylor, NBAA Air Traffic Services intern, and Noah Yarborough, operations intern – who shared some tips for students on how to pursue these important and valuable opportunities, as well as what they took away from their own experiences as NBAA interns.
Seek Out New Opportunities
Sometimes it takes a positive introduction or experience to put career opportunities in view, and making an effort to seek out new opportunities is what makes those moments possible. Students must be willing to take that first step to network and educate themselves about the aviation industry.
Jacobs, a recent graduate of the Arizona State University, where she earned her Master’s in aviation management and human factors, noted how engaging in the aviation community, such as by attending a women in transportation seminar or professional conferences, helped her learn more about career options and alerted her to new opportunities such as internships.
In explaining how she learned about NBAA’s internship program, Jacobs said, “I chatted with NBAA Vice President, Educational Strategy and Workforce Jo Damato at the Women in Aviation International conference earlier this year. She asked if I knew that NBAA offered internships and recommended that I apply.”
Taylor learned about NBAA’s internship program simply by subscribing to the career updates offered through her school, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Prescott, AZ, where she is working to become certified via the CTI (Collegiate Training Initiative) Air Traffic Management program.
“I’ve learned to go after what you want and make it happen,” said Taylor. “Moving to the DC area this summer to work with NBAA at the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center was kind of out of my comfort zone, but I knew it was a great opportunity and that I had to act quickly.”
Fine Tune Your Resume
It’s never too early for students to put their first resume together, so that it’s ready for sharing at school career days and job fairs, as well as for internship applications.
Yarborough, a student at Louisiana Tech University studying aviation management, recommends that students “be ready to put the effort into making your resume accurate and engaging. Make it clear you enjoy learning new skills.”
Taylor said she leaned heavily on the career services offered through ERAU, including resume preparation and suggested interview questions, when putting her resume together.
Jacobs agreed: “Take advantage of your university’s career center to explore opportunities and learn how to construct your cover letter and resume. Finding the right way to frame your experiences can make your application stand out!
“Don’t forget to list classes, clubs, volunteer organizations and other previous job experiences highlighting skills you’ll bring to your internship,” added Jacobs. “As I tell my friends, ‘you have more experience than you think.’”
Don’t Give Up!
Even when students are proactive about researching the aviation industry and applying for internships, they might not always succeed in being offering an internship right away. It’s important to stay positive and keep trying, because the effort you put into finding an internship will pay off.
“Don’t be discouraged, even if you get 40 rejections,” said Yarborough. “If you put in the effort and are willing to learn, there is something out there for you. Make the best of whatever you’re doing, and you will take something valuable away from the experience.
“You apply for an internship so you can work hard for that company or organization, but I really feel I’ve gotten so much more from this internship in return,” he added. “I’ve learned more in the past three weeks than I ever knew I could learn.”
“Business aviation is a driving force in the world. Being able to help NBAA members working in this industry has been an awesome experience, and I know that people I’ve met here on the staff will be part of my career later,” said Jacobs.