This area highlights students who have completed a successful co-op, internship, externship, or found a great job opportunity after graduation. Select a profile below to view.
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Co-Op: Aether Vision, LLC
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, can't, 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 résumé 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.
Studied: Software Engineering with a minor in Computational Mathematics -- Cum Laude
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.”
Level 2 Manufacturing Engineer, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
Finding a first job after college is a daunting task for any new graduate. At your commencement, you proudly shake Dr. Catanese’s hand and accept a hard-earned and glorious piece of paper. Your parents are proud; your professors applaud; and you are convinced, just for a moment, that the world has recognized your greatest accomplishment and you are now on the road to the career you daydreamed of for four years. Then you try to apply for a job, and the celebration comes to a crashing halt. None of your dream employers will even acknowledge your existence without experience – experience you can’t gain if employers won’t consider you. It feels like an endless catch-22, a never-ending cycle of application, denial, and frustration. At any given time you have dozens of applications under review, but begin to lose faith you’ll find anything in your field, and begin to question the value of the blood, sweat and tears that comprise your degree.
I went down this road, as no doubt the vast majority of graduates will. It doesn’t have to be this way. On the advice of a friend, I contacted FIT’s Career Services office and explained my predicament. I had applied to every major company in my field, and my application wasn’t event getting past the corporate recruiters. I felt my résumé looked great, documenting my academics, extensive design and research experience, multiple internships; I felt that any hiring manager considering new graduates would jump to interview me if I could just get through the recruiting layer. Career Services promptly reviewed my résumé and made numerous, albeit small, suggestions for changes. “Consolidate these sections, there’s no need to differentiate them. If you’re going to include this information in this section, explain how it relates to this section.” This was not a substantial re-write, but suggestions to help recruiters draw connections on my résumé that would help build me as a candidate. I was somewhat skeptical such seemingly minor changes could make an impact on what I was already convinced was a hopeless endeavor, but I complied on the correct belief that they knew what they were talking about.
The difference was night and day. Immediately, my applications were routinely being passed to hiring managers. I was one crucial step closer to achieving that dream. But, I was also entering a world with far more unknowns that I predicted. I had held numerous jobs, including internships and temporary positions, but they had done little to prepare me for the process that lay ahead: multiple interview levels and phone screenings, salary negotiations, benefit discussions, work relocation – there was a lot to learn and no time in which to do so. Thankfully I could turn to Career Services at any time, who were able to offer their advice for each new situation that arose, guiding me through the process and checking in with me routinely to make sure everything was still going smoothly with my applications. It was like having a phone-a-friend option for all of my job hunting etiquette questions.
Then came the last major hurdle. I discovered that almost every position with a major company is not filled by applicants from the general candidate pool that have applied online. Jobs are, with only rare exception, awarded by word of mouth and personal reference. Again I found this to be a catch-22: how could I have professional references if I had no professional experience with these companies? All of my advisers and principal investigators were in academia, so how could I make contacts in the industry? This was the last piece of my application puzzle that Career Services helped arrange for me. Once they had interviewed me and could assess my candidacy for certain positions, they could utilize their own professional acquaintances to recommend me, to have my applications passed along and tracked through the corporate hiring system. Career Services and these “inside contacts” stayed in touch and continued to track my applications and keep me informed. They continued to help and support me through the offer and pre-employment discussions. For the first time since graduation, I felt like I was on my way to a career. Indeed, I was.
My name is Cody Harris. I am now a Level 2 Manufacturing Engineer working for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in the Global Manufacturing Special Projects department, and I owe that success in no small part to the diligence and skill of the Florida Tech Career Services office.
Major: Aviation Management with Flight
FastTrack Master's in Aviation Human Factors
Co-Op: American Airlines
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 résumé, 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 résumé 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 CareerExpo, 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 résumés 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."
Host a Panther Extern, Lockheed Martin, December 2015
This winter break, December 2015, I had the honor in having a one day externship in one of the well-known engineering companies in the US, Lockheed Martin. That tour opened my eyes into a lots of new things, such as how big the company is in addition to the number of projects and customers they deal with every day. On that day, we took a tour around one of their facilities that was located in Cape Canaveral, Florida. We witnessed one of the projects they were working on, which was refurbishing a rocket for the US Navy. On our tour, we met different engineers who worked in different areas working on a variety of tasks. They were able to show us around the rocket and explain to us what it did, how it worked, and what each and every part was. They also gave us a look on how the computer system inside the rocket worked. At the end, we had a quick tour around the facilities and around Kennedy Space Center, where we saw some of launch bays. If the opportunity let me do the externship again, I will definitely do it.