Every year, the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is excited to host college interns/co-ops and provide exposure to work experiences in the aviation industry. This year, seven students joined the Capital Development Group, contributing to an array of development projects across the airport. Here are some of their stories:
A civil engineering student at Drexel University, Dai is working with the Ramp Lighting Team. Dai shares that he is excited to gain more project experience. This is Dai’s second co-op experience at PHL and this exposure to the Capital Development Group and the co-op program helps him to move closer to achieving his ultimate goal of working in airport construction.
A mechanical engineering student at Drexel University, Collin is working with the closed-circuit television (CCTV) team. He shares, “My career goal is to work for a Formula One racing team. This co-op experience has helped me achieve that goal by showing me how to inspect a project and follow drawings.”
A mechanical engineering student at Drexel University, Tamika is working with several project teams during her time here at PHL. Reflecting on what she’s learned thus far, she shares that, “projects are a group effort where things change frequently, so it’s important that even though I don’t know all the answers, I ask questions to confirm details so as not to provide misinformation.” Tamika gets the chance to gain hands-on experience with projects such as the A/B ramp tower replacement, the modified egress in CBP, and the ramp lighting installments all over the airport. As a co-op, she can learn by asking questions, growing her communication skills, and adapting quickly to project demands in real-time. Even though some co-ops may not know where they want to land for their first job upon graduation, at Capital Development, they can develop skills applicable to any job.
A mechanical engineering student at Drexel University, Louella is working with the Restroom Renovation team and applying what she has learned in a collaborative effort. One thing is for certain—there is never a dull moment working at the airport as co-ops learn how to problem-solve and support Department of Aviation staff as they move towards project completion, having the true expression of what it means to be part of a team.
A business and engineering student at Drexel University, Kankoue is working on the Sustainability team. He shares how he always loved airplanes as a kid, so his childhood dream came to life when he was accepted into the co-op position at the Airport. Kankoue stated, “One thing that stood out to me while working here is that the people working do value and have a passion for their job. Typically, when I think of careers in STEM, most people see it as a cash grab --- but when walking around the office, you can tell that people care about what they are doing.”
The Capital Development co-ops get to walk away with work experiences that provide insights into construction, aviation, project management, and engineering, all while working as an integrated member of the PHL team. The co-op program is mutually beneficial, both for Capital Development staff and the co-ops who work with them. Staff can see their work with new eyes and co-ops get to learn by applying the skills they learn in school to real projects.
If you want to read more about the Capital Development Co-Op program with Drexel University, click here.