Alexandra Lu | Flight Controls Intern
Business Unit: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Location: Everett, Wash.
University: Stony Brook University
Degree Program: M.S. Mechanical Engineering
What are you looking forward to during your virtual internship this summer?
I’m looking forward to connecting with engineers and leaders from different parts of Boeing and learning about their career paths. I’m also looking forward to being able to contribute work to the development of the leading edge slats on the 787 Dreamliner!
How is your internship experience different to your school online learning?
Unlike my school online learning, through this internship I’ve been able to work very closely with Boeing employees and apply the knowledge I’ve learned in school to the work that’s done by the engineers on my team. I’ve also found that it’s been a lot easier to get ahold of Boeing employees in the virtual space as opposed to getting in touch with professors during online school.
In five years, when you look back at this experience, what do you think will be your greatest learning as a Boeing intern?
I think my greatest learning as a Boeing intern will be getting a closer look as to how airplanes are designed, tested, constructed and continuously improved on. Prior to this internship, I didn’t know that much about the airplane industry or what it takes to create one. But with all the knowledge I’ve gained this summer, I can see myself taking flights in the future and having a much greater appreciation for air travel!
How is the internship incorporating ‘fun’ into the experience with your team or other interns?
One way the internship is incorporating fun into my experience with other interns is hosting virtual events after work where we can play games, watch shows together, or simply chat and network in a more casual space.
What about Boeing's mission and the work we do inspires you?
I’m inspired by how Boeing is constantly re-innovating and improving on not only new projects, but also existing products. Through my work, I’ve come to learn that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” airplane, as we’re constantly working on projects to improve different parts of the airplane. Boeing is always striving for excellence in engineering, safety and reliability, and I really admire that.
What Boeing product/s or service/s do you work on?
I work on the various mechanical sensors that are used for the leading edge slats on the 7-series airplanes.
Describe one or two things you’ve learned as an intern, that you wouldn’t learn from your coursework.
One thing I’ve learned as an intern that I wouldn’t have learned from my coursework is how we as engineers must interface with groups from different parts of the company during the design process. Learning how to communicate with people with different technical specialties as well as incorporating their suggestions into the design is imperative. Interdisciplinary work has been much more pronounced during my time as an intern than when I was a student.
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