Boeing connects interns to company's purpose and mission

August 28, 2019 in Community

With the start school on the horizon, it will soon be time to say goodbye to the majority of Boeing’s 2,635 college and high school interns – the company’s largest intern population ever. Boeing’s goal is for these students to not only gain valuable, hands-on business experience but also make meaningful contributions across the enterprise.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security interns Brandon Nava, Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Ground Systems, and Zion Hadley, Systems Engineering & Integration Analysis, made the most of their internships by rolling up their sleeves to get as much experience as possible.

Nava, a senior at Florida Atlantic University, is applying his mechanical engineering studies to upgrade the missile launch support systems for the GMD, an anti-ballistic missile system used for intercepting and destroying missile threats in space. His work is helping the team prepare for the next major milestone of the project, a hardware critical design review with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

Hadley, who is pursuing a degree in computational mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is applying this background by using statistical analysis to connect data from different sources.

Hadley noted that there are many types of radars used to track objects in the skies, but it can be difficult to get a complete picture from one radar because of limitations and noise of the sensors.

“Essentially, we are using statistical analysis to fuse the data from the different sources and optimize our threat detections with the most accurate readings possible,” he said.

Sarah Russ, Commercial Airplanes intern, is also gaining valuable hands-on experience with her time at Boeing while supporting the Supply Chain Fulfillment Financial Operations team. Russ, who is double majoring in finance and international studies from the University of Missouri, said her major project was focused on helping analyze allocations and drive down supply chain costs of the 777 and 777X programs.

“My mentor gives me work that is really meaningful, and she actually uses the results in her presentations,” Russ said. “It makes me feel important and like the work I do here is valued.”

In July, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg sat down with all interns to detail his journey from intern to CEO and connect the projects they were working on with Boeing’s enterprise purpose and mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire the world through aerospace innovation.

“We have a mission as a company that does inspire others: it raises the bar in terms of innovation,” he said. “And a big part of our investment is in that future talent pipeline.”

As this year’s interns wrap up their assignments, Nava and Russ reflected on how valuable their internships have been with Boeing.

“It was fun to be part of a company that takes making the world a better place seriously and makes it a reality,” Nava said.

“I walk onto the shop floor every day, and the planes make me feel small,” Russ said. “But it’s a little reminder that what we do goes into something so much bigger that help connects the world.”

Are you or somebody you know interested in becoming a Boeing Intern? Summer 2020 internship opportunities will be posted soon. Check out the Boeing Career page at