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AAR Internships - Taking Flight Program

Internships help college graduates land their first job; and, help younger students decide on a career path.
AAR Internships - Taking Flight Program

Inside of an airplane

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Show Dates

Show 1203: AAR Internships - Taking Flight Program

Air date: January 15, 2012

 

Transcript

ROB MCCLENDON:  WELL INTERNSHIPS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN LANDING THAT FIRST JOB FOR MANY RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES.  BUT INTERNSIPS CAN ALSO HELP THOSE YOUNGER STUDENTS WHO ARE TRYING TO IDENTIFY WHAT PROFESSIONAL PATH THEY WANT TO TAKE.  HERE’S OUR ALISA HINES.

ALISA HINES:  MOM ALWAYS SAID, TRY BEFORE YOU BUY; BUT, DOES THAT INCLUDE EDUCATION?  IT CERTAINLY DOES FOR A COUPLE OF WESTERN HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO ARE LEARNING ABOUT THE WORLD OF AVIATION THANKS TO AN INTERNSHIP WITH AAR CORPORATION.

FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT SEAN WAHL, LEARNING THE INS AND OUTS OF AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OVERHAUL IS TIME WELL SPENT.

SEAN WAHL:  IF I LIKE IT, THEN I DO; IF I DON’T LIKE IT, IT WILL SAVE ME FOUR OR FIVE YEARS AND A BUNCH OF MONEY.

ALISA:  SEAN IS ONE OF TWO STUDENTS LEARNING ABOUT THE AVIATION INDUSTRY THROUGH THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM CALLED TAKING FLIGHT.  ACCORDING TO GREG DELLINGER OF AAR, IT’S DESIGNED TO GET STUDENTS INTERESTED IN AVIATION IN THE HOPES OF CREATING A YOUNGER WORKFORCE.

GREG DELLINGER:  IT IS VITAL.  RIGHT NOW THE STATISTICS ARE ALARMING IN THE SENSE THAT THE TALENT POOL IS NOT VERY DEEP.  AND SO, IN ORDER TO KEEP OKLAHOMA CITY AND THE GREAT STATE OF OKLAHOMA AND THE ENTIRE REGION ALIGNED WITH AEROSPACE AND THE DEFENSE BUSINESS, IT’S SO IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE THE PIPELINE OF WORKERS TO THE FUTURE; INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS, AND THEN THAT STRONG DESIRE TO WORK WITH TOOLS.  BECAUSE IF THIS GENERATION DOES NOT GET SWITCHED ON TO THE EXCITEMENT OF THOSE JOBS, THE JOBS WILL GO ELSEWHERE OUTSIDE OF OKLAHOMA, POTENTIALLY OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

ALISA:  SO FOR SIX WEEKS, SEAN AND FELLOW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, FRANCISCO RODRIQUEZ LEARN EVERYTHING FROM WORKING WITH A MECHANIC, TO PAYROLL AND INVENTORY.  THEY ALSO LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF DOING THINGS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME BECAUSE LIVES ARE AT STAKE EVERYTIME A PLANE TAKES OFF.

SEAN:  IT’S LIKE RIGHT NOW, I’M PUTTING DATES, DO NOT USE AFTER DATES, ON O-RINGS BECAUSE IF YOU USE THEM AFTER THAT DATE, THE AIRCRAFT, THE PARTS YOU PUT ON THE AIRCRAFT COULD BE NOT VERY GOOD, WOULD NOT WORK VERY WELL.

GREG:  THIS IS A SAFETY CRITICAL ENVIRONMENT; IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT.  AND THAT’S SOMETHING THAT IS VERY FOREIGN TO YOUNG AMERICA WHERE THERE ARE SECOND CHANCES AND THIRD CHANCES AND FORTH CHANCES.  WE GET ONE SHOT AT MAKING THIS WORK.  THERE ARE NO PARKING SPACES IN THE SKY, IT MUST BE DONE RIGHT.

MALE VOICE:  THESE COME BACK APART.

FRANCISCO RODRIQUEZ:  OH YEAH!  THIS OPPORTUNITY, ONCE IN A LIFETIME I’LL TELL YOU THAT.  NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE WILL PROBABLY BE ABLE TO GET TO DO WHAT ME AND SEAN ARE ACTUALLY DOING HERE; YOU KNOW, WE’RE FINDING OUT EVERYTHING.  I MEAN, HONESTLY, I WORKED MY HANDS TO THE BONE JUST TO TRY TO GET HERE; SO, I’M TAKING EVERY BIT OF ADVANTAGE THAT I CAN, TRY TO FIND OUT AS MUCH AS I CAN.

ALISA:  AND GREG SAYS THAT’S WHAT THE INTERNSHIP IS ALL ABOUT.

GREG:  THERE ARE MANY, MANY OPPORTUNITIES; IT’S NOT JUST WHAT THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SEEING HERE, IT’S OPEN TO THEM.  BUT I REALLY WANT TO MAKE THAT STRONG CONNECTION TO EDUCATION, THE THRILL OF DISCOVERY, AND OPPORTUNITY, A JOB THAT YOU’LL BE ABLE TO PROUD, SO THAT YOU CAN SAY, I WORK WITH JET ENGINES!  AND AS THE PLANE TAKES OFF, YOU CAN SAY, I HAD A HAND IN THAT, AND THAT’S COOL!

ALISA:  NOT A BAD JOB FOR SOMEONE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL.

FRANCISCO:  SOME PEOPLE WORK AT MCDONALD’S, I WORK ON AIRPLANES.  WHO HAS MORE BRAGGING RIGHTS?  I THINK I DO. [LAUGH]

ALISA:  NOW GREG TELLS ME HE’D LIKE TO SEE THIS INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY EXTENDED TO OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE LABOR, IS LOCAL.  HE SAYS THAT ONE OF THE BIGGEST IMPEDIMENTS TO THE GROWTH OF THEIR COMPANY IS THAT HE CAN’T GET ENOUGH WORKERS AND THAT’S WHERE HE HOPES THE TAKING FLIGHT PROGRAM WILL HELP.  SO FAR, IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING.  SEAN IS ENROLLED IN AN AIRFRAME MECHANICS PROGRAM AT METRO TECH AVIATION CAREER CENTER AND FRANCISCO TOLD ME THAT HE MAY CHANGE FROM HIS AUTO TECHNOLOGY CLASS AT FRANCIS TUTTLE TECHNOLOGY CENTER TO ONE OF THEIR AVIATION PROGRAMS.  SO I THINK THEIR INTEREST IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRY HAS DEFINITELY BEEN PEAKED.