Name: David Vallejo
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Where you interned: Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona
How did you get your internship? I received my internship by attending career conferences such as HENAAC GMiS, SHPE National, and BEYA. More specifically, I received my internship offer at the 2015 BEYA Conference in Philadelphia.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? Get as much face time with recruiters as possible. The more you speak to recruiters and individuals working in the field, and the more you are willing to listen and learn from their experiences, the more likely you are to make a connection at a company that you may want to work at.
What projects did you work on? Due to the classified nature of the work, I cannot go into very much detail. What I can say is that I worked on components of the radar systems.
How did your internship connect back to your coursework? A lot of the tools I used while working I had gained prior experience with in my coursework here at FIU. I used simulation, troubleshooting and testing techniques that I had developed over my entire academic career.
What was the coolest thing about your internship, or that happened during your internship? I was given the opportunity to visit facilities ranging from full production and manufacturing facilities, to clean rooms and state-of-the-art labs used for development. Beyond that, I was able to network with other interns and full-time employees from Raytheon and other aerospace companies at the 2016 Summer Aerospace Games in Los Angeles.
What did you like most about your experience? Working at Raytheon, I was given projects and assignments that would actually have an impact on the final product being produced, and I was afforded the opportunity to see all states of the designs from original concepts to final product.
What did you learn about yourself? While at Raytheon, I learned it isn’t just about the job, it is about the people you meet and the experience you gain while you are there.
How did the position increase your professional confidence? My internship afforded me the autonomy to complete projects at my own pace within the constraints of the project. This autonomy allowed me to grow my confidence by allowing me to explore deeper into the technical side of each project and increase my own knowledge.
How did you expand your professional network? While working at Raytheon, there were a number of social events that were open to everyone, including interns. I was able to cross paths with factory workers, engineers, program managers and even executives. This internship ultimately turned into a full-time offer to work at Raytheon.
How did it help you prove yourself in the real world? The experience I gained at Raytheon gave me the opportunity to prove myself professionally, both socially and technically. I have brought that experience back to my own real-world working environment.