University Interns Gain Industry Knowledge from Aireon Leaders
This summer, Aireon helped pave the way for future aviation professionals, by supporting four college students in an immersive internship experience at its McLean, Va., headquarters.
The Aireon internship, which operated in conjunction with Iridium’s internship program, provided an opportunity for students to support vital department projects, learn from subject-matter experts, gain insight into best practices within their fields, and receive one-on-one mentorship from company leadership.
The interns this summer include two undergraduates and two graduate students; collectively they supported the Engineering, Operations, IT, and Business Systems departments within Aireon.
University of Maryland Graduate Student Shubham Prakash found the accessibility to senior leadership to be a valuable part of the internship program. Prakash, who is studying information systems in school, spent some time this summer working with the Business Systems, IT and Engineering departments at Aireon.
“It felt like the people at the top really wanted to listen to your ideas. It was a great learning experience,” Prakash said.
Jenna Kheder, a junior studying astrophysics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, echoed that sentiment.
“I was surprised that I was given a voice that was heard, as a college student among successful and well-established individuals who know so much. They listened and responded to suggestions I made without the title of ‘intern’ taking away from the contributions I was making,” she said. “Every interaction in the office was so valuable.”
Interns at Aireon were encouraged to take advantage of the experience and knowledge of its employees through mentorship and networking. “My mentors made sure that I learned something new every day, not only in the technical aspects of the job, but also the professional aspects like how to present myself, business ethics, and presentation skills,” Prakash said.
And those mentorships also yielded invaluable advice and lessons that will carry over into their lives post-university, the interns said.
Shweta Dudhal, a first-year graduate student at the University of Maryland in information systems and an AIreon IT Department intern, said asking questions to colleagues and managers and soliciting their feedback are helpful in honing skills in the workplace.
“I learned that I am a work in progress and so is everyone around me, so I don’t need to be so hard on myself. I just need to have a positive attitude and be confident,” she said.
The interns said they are pleased with the experience they had at Aireon and hope to leverage that experience into full-time jobs upon graduation.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the great work environment,” said Nicholas King, a computer science senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Aireon is a great company, both in terms of what they are doing and as a place to work.”
From Left to Right: Nicholas King, Jenna Kheder, Shweta Dudhal, and Shubham Prakash