Students Gain Real-World Experiences

Thanks to multiple industry partnerships, Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus connects companies and students through internships to provide students with real-world career experiences and present companies with new perspectives and future employee options.

K-State Salina and California-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems have worked together for several years. Both institutions have a passion for preparing future generations with the right skills to be ready to impact the aerospace industry, and this relationship has allowed K-State Salina students to intern with the defense and diversified technologies company.

“Our intern colleague, Ryan ‘High Speed’ Haner, was a key partner who applied new information and new skills to practical use daily. His involvement and insight provided efficiency and effectivity to our operations,” said Pete Cordera, supervising airport operations manager for GA-Aeornautical Systems, 99CL El Mirage Field, Hangar 80, Desert Horizon. “We are pleased that Ryan chose GA-ASI, and we hope that he learned from us as much as we learned from him.”

K-State Salina’s industry partnerships run deep with other world-renowned companies as well. One meaningful partnership is between the campus and Textron Aviation, the Kansas-based company that specializes in manufacturing aircraft. Textron consistently offers internship and job opportunities to K-State Salina students.

“It is incredibly important to continue to build upon our relationships with industries that help prepare our students to become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Alysia Starkey, K-State Salina CEO and dean. “Seeing students gain real-world experiences, embark on career exploration and learn intangible skills really solidifies why we focus and embed hands-on learning into our education.”

Thanks to undergraduate internships, many students are returning to campus for the fall 2023 semester with firsthand knowledge of their chosen industries and a better appreciation for the skills they have already developed. The following are a few of the professional experiences that K-State Salina students had this past summer:

Seth Bauerle, senior in aviation management, Hiawatha, spent his summer at Textron Aviation Defense as a defense aftermarket logistics analyst. In his nearly three months with the company, Bauerle’s responsibilities included creating a change in the aftermarket rework process and presenting his findings to Textron employees in senior leadership. He also helped individuals with projects in the data systems the company utilizes.

Ryan Haner, junior in aviation maintenance management, Pomona, recently completed a summer internship with General Atomics. Haner received supervised practical training to help him pursue a career as an aircraft mechanic, technician or maintenance manager. His duties also included assisting in completing routine and non-routine tasks, analysis, investigation and solving problems in the maintenance, servicing, repairing and overhauling of aircraft.

Joya Shelton, junior in web development technology and digital media technology, Kansas City, Missouri, interned as a marketing communications and analytics intern for PBI-Gordon. Shelton did social media management and website research to help the company build on its social media and online presence. Her internship concluded with a presentation to management on how they could utilize TikTok to build their brand and sell more products.

It is K-State Salina’s mission to ensure all students are career ready and prepared to successfully navigate their professional lives. The campus does this by integrating career development into the academic curriculum and by providing a wide range of quality and inclusive career services that promote growth and professional development.