AET student gains “firsthand field experience” in Textron Aviation internship

Curtis Bouchie, a junior in aeronautical engineering technology (Photo courtesy Mark Weaver Photography)

My name is Curtis Bouchie, a junior in aeronautical engineering technology. Last summer, I received the opportunity to intern with Textron Aviation in Wichita, Kan., as an aircraft support engineer. In my role, I helped complete maintenance tasks that technicians were having difficulty solving. This role required working hands-on with other engineers, going through engineering drawings to give technicians instructions on how to fix a system, re-wire entire circuits, or any other tasks on the aircraft. The role was really satisfying because I got the opportunity to fix problems every day, which is one of the main reasons I chose aeronautical engineering technology as my major. The role also allowed me to interact with people from all over the world, including locations such as Indonesia, Dubai and Russia.

I received a lot of benefits outside of my position as well. The company allows interns to explore positions and sectors of the company that we wouldn’t usually see in our assigned positions. I had a tour of a facility almost every week. This was one of my favorite parts of the summer because it allowed me to get firsthand field experience with processes we learned in class.

Textron Aviation had mentor lunches that allowed us to sit down with managers in departments such as customer service or product development who gave us time to ask questions about their careers. They wanted us to learn our positions, but they also encouraged us to shadow people in other roles if we were interested in different departments. I was incredibly thankful for this because it allowed me to know the “day in and day out” roles and responsibilities of many positions.

One of the best parts of my summer was the opportunity to shadow a field service representative in Vail, Colo., for four days. Textron Aviation flew me to a part of the country I’ve never been before, giving me the opportunity to meet other industry professionals. I was amazed that the company devoted so much money and time on an intern.

Bell Helicopter, TRU Simulation, Textron Systems and others are sister companies to Textron Aviation. This allowed me to receive an internship in quality engineering with Bell Helicopter next summer.

Textron Aviation is a great company for an internship, providing a lot of opportunities for students in aeronautical engineering technology to learn and succeed. They also have a flying club which interns could join to fly brand-new Cessna Skyhawks for only $60 an hour, which is an incredible deal.

Overall, I had an excellent experience at Textron Aviation. The internship allowed me to learn more about what I want to do in the aviation industry. I am thankful for the connections I made with people in the company and with other interns, and I would recommend Textron Aviation to anyone.

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