Nineteen local students started their school year this fall with a new-found appreciation of the opportunities that lie ahead thanks to six eye-opening weeks they spent participating in Boeing Fabrication’s 2017 summer internship program.
Eliud Kariuki, a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma, explained, “This internship has been a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Not a lot of people get to do something like this while still in high school.”
Kariuki and his fellow interns were able to learn and practice a variety of manufacturing and engineering techniques like drilling, sealing and using computers to design and modify parts. The Fabrication internship is one of many similar programs across Boeing involving both high school and college-aged interns.
Snohomish High School student Natalie Ream spent her internship at Boeing’s Electrical Systems Responsibility Center in Everett, Wash., and says the experience helped her envision new career possibilities she hadn’t considered before. “This internship opened a world of opportunities,” said Ream. “I got hands-on experience in production and special projects along with seeing how engineering works in the real world.”
Gabriel Mendoza, who just entered the University of Washington after graduating from Auburn High School agreed. “I gained more confidence in my career direction and a greater sense of professionalism,” he said. “Boeing was a perfect place to start to hone my skills and learn about different engineering fields. It allowed me to make connections, perfect my time management skills and learn more about my future career goals.”
Fabrication alone has hosted approximately 120 interns over the last five years, from multiple Washington high schools – 15 high schools this year alone. The program is designed to reinforce the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in public high schools.
There is high demand and fierce competition for Boeing’s internship positions. Excellent attendance, a 3.0 grade point average, strong communication skills, personal discipline, teamwork and productivity are among the requirements for students who apply.
By Tim Healy