David E. Vargas | Spacecraft Systems Engineer Intern
Business Unit: Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Location: El Segundo, California
University: University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez
Degree Program: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
What program and team are you a part of, and what kind of work are you doing?
I’m working on the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) and Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) programs as part of the Systems Engineering, Integration & Test (SEIT) team. As a Spacecraft Systems Engineer, I’ve been able to work on a variety of assignments such as spacecraft design/trade studies, system lifecycle management, test readiness reviews and requirements verification and validation.
How did you hear about our internships and why did you decide to apply?
Boeing has a strong relationship with the university I attend back in Puerto Rico, so I have been exposed to information about Boeing’s superb internship programs. As someone whose life goal is to work on spacecraft for a living, Boeing was #1 on my radar.
What excites you the most about Boeing’s mission and in what ways is your team making a real-world impact?
Calling back on Boeing’s mission statement, I resonate heavily with this: “… inspire the world through aerospace innovation.” Every Boeing team, including my own, is working diligently to preserve and feed the flames of human progress through the management and development of complex aerospace systems that we design, develop and produce every day.
What has been your favorite experience at your internship so far?
My favorite experience thus far has been the warm welcome and treatment I’ve received from my fellow colleagues and manager. I consider myself very lucky to have people in the workplace that want to help me learn and grow. At Boeing, I’ve got that support!
In what ways do you feel support from your team?
My team has done everything from one-on-one meetings for explaining certain tasks to written step-by-step guides to execute assignments and so much more. This team, from managers to the person next to me, has made sure I have the tools and knowledge to not just stay afloat, but excel at what I have been tasked to do.
How has your internship shaped your educational and career goals?
My internship experiences have introduced me to a discipline of engineering I’ve been wanting to dive into for a while (systems engineering). Being able to apply and experience systems engineering for space systems has been a defining factor in how I’ve now planned my next steps with educational and career development. I plan to pursue a master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering and am even considering a PhD in Systems Engineering all thanks to Boeing’s educational support and development incentives.
What are your tips for accomplishing your best work?
Perseverance and discipline are the key to success and perfection. Your best work and best self cannot be achieved without perseverance and discipline.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in interning with us?
Seek out those extracurricular activities/projects in college: join that airplane group, help in that honor society, ask that professor to join his investigation. Do all these things that will differentiate yourself from everyone else who’s also pursuing your exact same degree. Make yourself unique and valuable, stand out from the crowd, and you will without a doubt attract the attention of this great company. Also make sure to network, network, network: have your LinkedIn up to date and that resume sharp, and don’t be afraid to connect with people from Boeing whether it be on campus or elsewhere. The key is to make yourself worth remembering.
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