April 25, 2014

With summer approaching, NBAA is preparing for another round of interns and encouraging Members to consider setting up their own internship programs.

Internships help prepare students for business aviation careers by exposing them to the inner workings of the industry, burnishing their customer service skills and providing unparalleled networking opportunities. NBAA hosts interns throughout the year.

“Summer internships are an effective way to foster future aviation professionals, and they benefit prospective employers, as well as students,” said Sarah Wolf, NBAA senior manager for security and facilitation. “They provide extra manpower, and the intern’s enthusiasm for the work has a positive effect on the entire flight department.”

Jeremy Leonard, who interned at NBAA offices in Washington, DC last year, said the program helped prepare him for his current career co-piloting Learjets for ATI Jet of El Paso, TX. At NBAA, he did “a little bit of everything,” from observing FAA meetings, to helping answer Member questions about tax rules, to working on professional development projects.

“It was a great experience,” Leonard said. “And it’s a great resume builder because everyone in the industry recognizes it.”

Alexandra Guras, an operations specialist at Phillips 66 in Houston, said she handled a wide range of assignments during her 2011 NBAA internship, from helping the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) program apply for accreditation, to supporting major events, including NBAA’s 2011 Convention in Las Vegas. The internship also introduced her to mentors with whom she remains in contact today.

“A lot of schools are focused on commercial and military aviation,” said Guras, a graduate of Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. “The internship really opened my eyes to the business aviation industry.”

Review NBAA’s internship programs web page for more on how to operate an internship program.