Surfing the Intern Net

By Caleb Handolescu

August 2016

I was in the 10th grade when I first heard about Boeing coming to Charleston, S.C., and thought, "Man, it would be the coolest thing to be able to design and build planes for a living."

I lived in the Charlotte, N.C., area for almost 19 years. In high school I always thought I was going to become a vehicle mechanic, but, as I grew older, I decided that maybe I should choose mechanical engineering as a profession after realizing that I didn't want to be a mechanic. In the 12th grade I took my first engineering course, drafting. During the class I realized how much I enjoyed designing and learning about CAD software. Throughout the experience, I always imagined how great it would be to be doing this on a large scale for a great company, like Boeing in Charleston. Never did I think it was possible.

Now I sit here in one of four Dreamlifters alongside three of my friends whom I've come to know well, all because of Boeing. I came to Boeing as an intern, but, having never worked for a large company away from home, I didn't know what to expect. I was intimidated, but I looked forward to the challenge.

I started the summer by moving in with two roommates whom I had never met prior to the internship, Clay and Brendan. A few days later we met Tyler, a fellow intern in our apartment complex. We started our first week head-on with myself in Quality Engineering, Brendan in Shared Services Group, Clay in Supplier Management and Tyler in IT.

As the weeks went by, we were able to learn more about each other's roles at Boeing and created a close friendship. Outside of work, we explored Charleston's beautiful city and beaches, played paintball and ultimate Frisbee and ate lots of Southern-style foods. At Boeing, we had the opportunity -- thanks to the Intern Program team -- to be a part of many intern events, like video teleconferences with executives, the Dreamlearners activity, College Gameday and intern classes to learn more about Boeing and the benefits of working here.

Tell 12th-grade Caleb that I'd be doing all of this, and I wouldn't have believed you. But here I am, and I am so thankful for the opportunities I've had and all the great friends I have made.

Lifting Dreams, Boeing South Carolina. From left: Clay Daniel, Tyler Wahl, Caleb Handolescu and Brendan O’Leary.

Courtesy of Caleb Handolescu