12 Things I Learned in 12 Weeks of Interning at Aerospace

Long story short: You can learn a lot in 12 weeks.

The Aerospace Corporation
7 min readAug 10, 2023

There has been one collective response almost all Aerospace interns have had in reaction to the end of their summer internships: “That was fast.”

Although summer internships have flown by, most of the interns have experienced some personal and professional growth this summer. We were able to chat with twelve Aerospace interns to find out the biggest thing they learned professionally this summer.

Caelia, Graduate Intern

Electronics & Power Systems / Energy Technology
Ithaca, NY
School: Stanford University

“The biggest thing (career-wise) I’ve learned this summer is that everything and anything can be a learning experience. If I’m struggling with a piece of equipment and more parts are needed, I’ve now learned what is required to operate similar equipment in the future. If there is a technical concept that I don’t understand, I can always learn it properly and do better calculations in the future. This also extends to non-STEM situations such as interpersonal relationships! Approaching everything with a learning mindset helps me do exactly that, and I’m excited to apply it to the rest of my schooling and my future career.”

Aaron, Graduate Intern

Control Analysis
Philadelphia, PA
School: Purdue University

“I’ve learned a lot of great things this summer. I’ve learned some new advanced filtering and estimation techniques that I got to implement which was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to taking that knowledge back to school and implementing them in my research. In non-technical areas, I’ve enjoyed just being able to talk to and network with the large amount of technically knowledgeable people at Aerospace. I’ve gotten a lot of great advice about graduate school, PhD, and my career from many of the people I’ve worked with.”

Aaron, left, and Nikita, right.

Nikita, Technical Intern

Software Tools and Assurance
Morgan Hill, CA
School: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

“The biggest thing that I learned career-wise this summer is how to ask questions and learn from the people around me. I learned that the best way to complete a task within a team is to be communicative and open at all times. Asking the right questions has brought me the most help and success this summer and I will continue to do this for the rest of my career so that I can gain valuable knowledge from the people around me.”

Matthew, Technical Intern

Communication Architectures
Mahtomedi, MN
School: St. Louis University

“This summer I have gained exposure to many of the countless challenges facing the space industry. This experience has not only allowed me to apply my theoretical knowledge from the classroom to real engineering work, but also allowed me to learn how all the disciplines at Aerospace are connected and work together. It is such a privilege to be surrounded by experts who are passionate and excited about teaching future generations of engineers. Aerospace has provided me countless areas to ask questions and learn from the best to prepare for my future career.”

Matthew, left, and Grace, right.

Grace, Small Satellite Mechanical Design Intern

Potomac, MD
School: Dartmouth College

“There are so many things I learned this summer, some of which include becoming more adept with using SolidWorks, GD&T, or how we can possibly build a satellite in space. Although I was absorbing so much information on the technical side of things, the biggest thing that I learned this summer career-wise would probably be how important it is to make connections and not being afraid to ask questions. I have met and worked with so many amazing people during my 10 weeks at Aerospace, whether that is in the office, through intern events, Space Workforce 2030, or the Aerospace Summer Games. These people were supportive, great mentors, and overall left such a positive impact on my internship. Thank you, Aerospace, for an unforgettable summer!”

Tebebu, Technical Intern

Electronics and Power Systems
Atlanta, GA
School: Tufts University

“Aerospace has taught me many lessons during the time here. One of the most important being that the fundamentals in Electrical Engineering are critical. You need to know them like the back of your hand. Once you do, you can use these fundamentals as building blocks to jump into increasingly complex concepts and projects with much more ease.”

Tebebu, left, and Sophia, right.

Sophia, Technical Intern

Network Systems
Port Chester, NY
School: UCLA

“My time at Aerospace this summer has taught me the importance of clear and concise communication. I’ve worked with collaborators of diverse technical backgrounds, and I quickly realized that tailoring my questions and ideas to different audiences would be instrumental to my success as an intern. Collaboration goes both ways, and understanding others’ communication styles will continue to be an important facet of my professional development.”

Vincent, Graduate Intern

Space Sciences Applications Laboratory
Maplewood, MN
School: University of Alaska, Fairbanks

“This summer at Aerospace I gained valuable perspectives into the cross-sections between fundamental and applied space physics research. After I receive my Ph.D. in Space Physics, I hope to work somewhere that not only supports my fundamental research but the application of those findings to real-world problems. My internship with Aerospace supported the beginnings of my thesis research into auroral beads, but I learned that aurora may also be used as a diagnostic for the space radiation environment which affects satellite performance! This was an exciting and surprising revelation — skills I learned this summer relating to how the aurora works could be used to help understand space weather and how it affects assets in space.”

Isabella, Media Relations Intern

Corporate Communications
Arcadia, CA
School: UC Berkeley

“This past summer, I’ve been able to learn so much about Corporate Communications at Aerospace. I’ve discovered that communications is highly collaborative — I’ve connected with many people to complete a task while others have reached out to me. Additionally, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be curious. Everyone has been so receptive to questions I have; they understand that interns are early on in their careers and asking questions is the best way to learn!”

Bavley, Technical Intern

Electronic Power Systems
Los Angeles, CA
School: California State University Long Beach

“Being an intern for The Aerospace Corporation this summer has taught me the importance and benefits of always asking questions. When working with technical experts in many different fields it is important to overcome the fear of asking questions, especially when the person you are asking could teach you in a few minutes what could take hours of self-study. Asking what the material is and why it is important has become the biggest jump starter to my understanding and success on the work I have done this summer and has become the most valuable tool that I will be leaving with professionally.”

Evelyn, Technical Intern

Communication Software Implementation
Hawthorne, CA
School: Cal Poly Pomona

“One of the biggest lessons that I have seen at The Aerospace Corporation is to never be afraid of expanding, whether that be in knowledge, and/or technical ability. The culture here at Aerospace has proved time and time again that there are many places to cultivate your knowledge and apply it. As I’ve learned this past summer, this lesson can appear in many ways, such as mentoring, projects, and even moving freely throughout the company. Career-wise, it has reiterated the idea that there will always be room to grow, and Aerospace is one of the places that helps you do it.”

Evelyn, left, and Daniel, right.

Daniel, Graduate Intern

Photonics and Technology
Covina, CA
School: California State University, Fullerton

“I think the biggest career concept that I learned from this summer is that there is no set path for anything, you can accomplish your goals in any way you would like and be successful no matter what. My internship here showed me how capable I am and really encouraged me to start looking at alternative paths to build the career I would like to have. Seeing so many different stories and work ethics showed me how you can be great at anything if you step out of your comfort zone from time to time.”

About the Intern

Hi, I’m Brooke Bell! I’m the strategic communications intern at The Aerospace Corporation for Summer 2023. Outside of being an #aerointern, I’m also a senior mass communications major at Louisiana State University. Joining Aerospace has been a wild, exciting, and rewarding experience. I’m sharing all the details about applications and the internship experience this summer on Medium!

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