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Department of Engineering

Internships: understanding more about aviation

Internships: understanding more about aviation

From left, Cambridge undergraduates Yana Lishkova, Chris Barrott and Alexander Johnson.

Three engineering undergraduates have completed a summer internship at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group in Cambridge. 

The most beneficial part has been gaining real work experience at a highly respected and well-known aerospace engineering company, and seeing how we can apply what we have learned at university to real projects.

Undergraduate Chris Barrott

For 10 weeks, Alex Johnson, Chris Barrott and Yana Lishkova experienced different areas of the aerospace business, working alongside highly skilled engineers and mentors, while also gaining hands-on experience of engineering in the real world. 

Here’s what they had to say about their internship.

What’s been your best experience during your internship?

Alex: Having the opportunity to walk around the Marshall aircraft hangars and to see the work going on with the C-130’s, as well as other aircraft, is not something you get to do every day! I have particularly enjoyed seeing the work that is being done inside and outside the aircraft, as it has inspired me to be part of this engineering set up.

Chris: As part of my rotation in the Hercules Technical Support Group, I assisted with surveys of the aircraft and gained invaluable knowledge. It was great fun being on the flight deck during an engine test, which was both fascinating and unlike anything I’ve ever done before.

What part of the experience has been most beneficial?

Chris: The most beneficial part has been gaining real work experience at a highly respected and well-known aerospace engineering company, and seeing how we can apply what we have learned at university to real projects. I feel that I can return to university now with a much clearer idea of what I want to specialise in.

Yana: I’ve observed how a project is started, carried out, tested and certified in the aeronautical industry, which is subject to different military standards and procedures. I’ve also obtained invaluable CAD training which was not something I’d expected to get prior to starting.  

How did this internship help with your university course?

Alex: At university, my course usually focuses on the theoretical side of engineering, and the internship has allowed me to use that knowledge in the context of an industrial setting and to gain some practical understanding of my course.

Yana: This internship has enabled me to make a more educated decision for my master’s course at university, as well as for my future career path. My mentor has not only provided guidance within the company, but has also taken time to discuss with me the future academic and career options.

Credit: Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group

Would you consider a career in the aerospace industry?

Alex: I’ve been interested in engineering and more specifically aerospace since a young age. But as a result of working at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, I have experienced aerospace engineering applied in an industrial setting, and I understand more clearly how the industry works and what sort of skills I would need to succeed. I will definitely be working towards a career in aerospace in the future.

Chris: Now that I have worked in different departments, I can see which area best suits me. I feel much more confident in making a future career decision and aerospace is exactly where I want to be.

Would you recommend the Marshall internship to others?

Chris: If anyone wants to get a variety of experience in different engineering disciplines, and also get up close with some of the aircraft here, this internship is perfectly suited.

Yana: Getting work experience at Marshall before completing your degree is incredibly valuable, and I would strongly recommend getting this experience in order to have a better chance of securing a job post-graduation. The internship role is a paid position too which is ideal.

For more information on 2019 internship opportunities at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, click here.

The Department of Engineering runs an Industrial Placements scheme and supports current undergraduate students as they search and apply for summer internships. The Department also works closely with employers to promote vacancies and encourage applications for their internship opportunities. To find out more, email Vicky Houghton, Industrial Placements Co-ordinator, at placements-coordinator@eng.cam.ac.uk

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