ProTrack Co-op at Florida Tech


Anika AhmedAnika Ahmed

Co-Op: Aether Vision LLC

Major: Aerospace Engineering, Sophomore


Vice President, Residence Hall Association for Quad

Treasure, Aerospace & Electronic System Society (AESS)

Conference Chair, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics

Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

As an international student, it is time-consuming securing an internship as an aspiring aerospace engineer. Through semesters of no, cant, and sorry, I had my breakthrough with Aether Vision, a company in its nascent stage specializing in commercial/civilian drones. Once I realized that some practical experience in the aerospace industry will boost my education by miles, I left no leaf un-turned to make myself present out there to acquire some hands on experience. Career Management Services gave me a solid starting point towards this journey. From job searching techniques, to resume building to hand-shaking, they prepared me in inexplicable ways for the world out there. And yes, it ended rather well.

As a propulsion analyst in Aether Vision, I get to work on commercial waterproof quadcopters and flying squirrel suits. To finally see all those classroom theories take real world form is nothing less than sheer excitement. There never is a dull moment at work there; we work on 3D printers, CAD designs, motors, and all sorts of R/C stuff. Plus, there's so much I've imbibed from my mentors and fellow interns- all those nifty engineering tricks, wind tunnel operations, business policies, etc. It's truly an enriching experience. And especially as someone who's still trying to figure out her niche in the industry, I find my internship opening me to the commercial side of the aerospace industry which has always been my goal to begin with.

I truly believe that if you try hard enough, you can't fail. I'm glad I sought out Aether Vision which is playing a pivotal role in shaping me as an engineer.

Aral TasherAral Tasher

Aral Tasher ‘15

Studied: Software Engineering with a minor in Computational

Mathematics -- Cum Laude


Worked at:

Philips Healthcare Summer 2012, Fall 2013

CareerFair Plus Fall 2014, Spring 2015



President of Computer Science Honor Society - 2014

Outstanding Student Award - 2014, 2015

President's Philanthropy & Campus Service Award - 2014 Greek Life

Marketing & Branding Award - 2014, 2015


“I really enjoyed studying at Florida Tech; mostly because of its small class sizes. All of my professors knew me personally, and that helped me a lot throughout my academics. But academics all by itself is not enough for the real world, and that's when the ProTrack Program kicked in. ProTrack allowed me to work with companies related to my major, and get hands on experience in different fields of Software Engineering. These experiences were crutial when I decided what kind of a path I wanted to follow in my professional career. ”

Benoy ShahBenoy Shah

"Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand." With the Co-op program at Florida Tech you get the opportunity to explore different industries and work with experienced people in your field. Having worked in several multinational and startup companies made me realize my dream job and industry after graduation.


Benoy Shah ‘15

Studied: Chemical engineering

Worked at: PPG Industries & Asian Paints, 3M, Organic Coatings, South Central Waste Water treatment plant

Also: Secured job in a 3D Printing company before graduation - iBox Printers.


Briana CantosBriana Cantos

Working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) this summer was a dream come true. I first learned about JPL, the spring semester of my freshman year when the Electrical Flight Systems group supervisor Alejandro Jimenez was looking for students to interview. I had the amazing opportunity to have my first interview with JPL. Even though I didn’t get selected that year I was determined to get better and maintained my connection with Mr. Jimenez by inviting him as guest speaker for the Florida Tech IEEE student branch that I was the president for this last year. One year later from my first interview I was extended an offer to join the Electrical Flight Systems group to work on the Europa Clipper project.


As an electrical engineering student, I had never been exposed to a world of space exploration. The Europa Clipper spacecraft project is traveling to Jupiter’s moon Europa to study for signs of water and potential life. It was overwhelming, but exciting in the first few weeks to understand all the work it takes to bring together a spacecraft like the Europa Clipper. Being an electrical flight system engineering intern, I gained an appreciation for the immense amount of communication it takes to get people from different subsystem groups like Power and Telecommunications and also all the science instrument groups to work together.


At the beginning of my internship my supervisor Alejandro Jimenez told our group of interns to work hard at our individual project tasks, but go out and network as much as we could. I really took this as a personal challenge to learn more about how JPL functions as organizations and hear why people loved to come to work every day. Before my internship, I thought most of the people that worked at JPL had went to elite schools like MIT and Caltech. Throughout my interactions with the employees at JPL I learned about their journeys and was surprised to learn that they’re were not too different from my own story. JPL’s internship program offered many technical presentations, facility tours, and networking opportunities. I gained an amazing networking mentor Eddie Gonzales who inspired me to believe in myself and to acknowledge that my passion for my work is powerful. Overall, it was fun getting to learn how so many specialized groups come together to design and build a flight project that is making history.



Manuela CortesManuela Cortes

Co-Op: American Airlines

Major: Aviation Management with Flight

FastTrack Master's in Aviation Human Factors


Honors & Awards:

Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society

F.I.T. College of Aeronautics Outstanding Junior Award

F.I.T. Distinguished Student Scholar -2015, 2016

Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society


"Fresh out of high school I arrived to Florida Tech in fall 2013. I decided to pursue an Aviation Management with Flight degree, marking the start of my journey to becoming an airline pilot. Like many other freshman students, I came in blindly without knowing what to expect for the next four years of my college career. However, with the opportunity to work my first semester at the Career Management Services office as a work study student, my eyes opened to the endless possibilities I could have in the near future. Working along with the Pro-Track coordinator at the time, really helped me grasp a clear understanding of what I needed to accomplish the next two years if I wanted to have a chance at getting a co-op (pretty much an extended internship opportunity during fall/spring semester). Although I was unable to join the Pro-Track program, since I was a flight student and its curriculum was designed primarily for engineering students, I still decided to take the Pro-Track Co-op EPE 1000 course my sophomore year. This course really helped me in establishing the fundamentals for my career as a professional. It taught me the key components needed in a resume, important pre-interview preparation, the most common types of questions to expect during an interview, and the importance of post interview follow ups. In addition to this, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and do my first ever mock interview! Also, throughout my sophomore year, fall semester of my junior year, and two summer terms, I decided to take on the challenge and I took the maximum number of courses I was allowed to take. I must admit it was not easy but with determination anything is possible!


As the summer leading up to my junior year came closer, I knew that I wanted to get an internship for the spring of my junior year. I fully prepared to tackle down our Fall Career Expo. I prepared ahead of time by taking my resume to be perfected at the Career Management Services office, creating business cards, studying a little bit about each aviation related company I was interested in speaking to, and just honestly going for it. Although I didn’t see as many aviation companies as I had hoped for at the Florida Tech Fall Career Expo, I was encouraged by the Career Management Services personnel to attend Embry Riddle’s Career Fair which was being held later that week. So yet again, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and make the early morning drive to Daytona Beach. There is where I found what I was looking for. American, Delta, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, United, and all of the largest aviation companies dominating the aviation industry were there. That day I handed out at least 30 resumes and spoke to a wide variety of recruiters about my interest in becoming a part of their team. Although all the internship positions weren’t ideally what I wanted, I decided to go for it regardless. I had nothing to lose so why not. Following that day, I received over 8 interviews with some of the best companies I had only dreamed of ever getting an interview with. The interview process varied from company to company, some consisted of phone calls, Skype video calls, face to face interviews at Embry Riddle, and I was even flown out of the state for an interview. By the end of it all, I had 5 great internship offers from some of the best companies I never thought I would have the opportunity of working for.


Fast forward three months and here I am interning at American Airlines headquarters in Dallas. I have had the opportunity to work under the Maintenance and Engineering Department within the Quality Assurance team. This internship has not only given me experience in working within an airline, but it has also opened endless network opportunities and new doors as to where I might want to take my career in the near future. Just as my freshman year where I had no idea what to expect, that’s how I came into this internship, with an open mind and drive to learn. I know this internship was one of the best decisions I ever made, not only has it been an opportunity for me to grow professionally but also for me to grow overall as an individual. There is also never a dull moment, especially with the opportunity to use my travel benefits to travel the world every weekend! My plan is to continue my Co-Op until August and then return back to campus to start my senior year. As of now the future remains unclear, but I know that with determination and hard work anything is possible. As cheesy as it sounds, from my experiences I would like to encourage every student to take a leap of faith and go out of their way to seek opportunities because in the end they may miss out on a lifetime opportunity if they don’t."


Sydney SmeadSydney Smead

Chemical Engineering Intern


I applied for a bunch of internships and Co-op positions on Panther Career Link and Career Shift originally trying to find a summer position. Appleton called me after a little while and I signed on to participate in a Co-op program through the spring semester.

Appleton creates special papers. When I first got this position I didn’t understand how big an industry paper science was! Thankfully my advisors and coworkers helped me understand and learn what I needed to know. I had a lot of on the job training but my materials science and transport processes classes helped me out as well. There was a lot of transport involved with my co-op. I was in a giant production facility with pipes running everywhere and tanks of all kinds of materials. I lot of what I worked on was short term projects; I feel that those helped me learn my position faster.

The highlight of this co-op was all the wonderful people that I was around! They really made this experience fun and unforgettable. The Co-op program was well developed and I had really nice people around me. I can’t wait to see them again when I return next summer!

Technical Challenges:

• Statistical Analysis

• Mini-tab Software

• PowerPoint and Prezi presentations