Aerospace Engineering Internship Story: Bell

 group of people in front of a helicopter

Chloe Cochran
Aerospace Engineering

Where did you intern?
This past summer I interned with Bell (formerly Bell Helicopter) as an assembly integration and design intern for the V-280 program. 

How did you find and apply for your internship?
I used Handshake to find the internship opportunity since Bell typically only attends career fairs at universities located in Texas

What was the application process like?
The application process was relatively simple. After submitting my application, I was emailed back to schedule a zoom interview a few weeks later. The TCL I interviewed with was extremely charismatic and made the interview seem more of getting to know more about me rather than a formal interview. Three weeks after the interview, I received a phone call that I got the internship.

Tell us about your internship experience. What types of tasks and projects did you engage in? Was there a particular project or part of the experience you learned the most from?

The internship itself was better than I could’ve imagined. I worked with a great group of people in the AIT team who were extremely patient while I navigated my first time using Catia 3DX (a slightly similar program to AutoCAD). I was given tangible tasks throughout the summer that focused on the righthand nacelle and fuselage of the V-280. I used clean sheet design, turned 2d schematics into 3d models, and attended briefings each day. During my time at Bell, my supervisor also helped me network with different teams and hiring managers which definitely grew my knowledge of aerospace engineering as a whole and helped me with the hiring process. At the end of the summer, each engineering intern presented a slideshow on what we did and what our future professional endeavors might hold. After presenting, we were notified whether or not we were recommended to be re-hired for next summer’s internship and fortunately, I received my 2023 internship offer last week. 

In what ways did this internship help you prepare for your next destination after Auburn?
This internship prepared me for my next destination by allowing me to learn more about all of the different routes you can go in your career with an aerospace engineering degree. I was able to meet with different teams and shadow them in different meetings and tasks separate from my original internship task which allowed me to realize my passion for the analytical side of engineering rather than the design side.

In what ways did your coursework or other experiences at Auburn prepare you for your internships? Are there specific topics or skills you learned from classes that you put into practice on the job
Although the coursework is definitely what got me to have the aerospace knowledge behind the internship itself, I would say organizations such as SGA and the Auburn rocketry association prepared me the most. I am currently serving my third term in SGA as an engineering senator which has allowed me to tremendously grow my professionalism and also my leadership skills. AURA has also prepared me by allowing me to apply the concepts I have learned in the classroom to a real-life situation. As a member of the vehicle structures team, I was able to apply these concepts hands-on. As a member of AURA’s community outreach team, I am able to go to local schools around auburn and teach the younger generations about what aerospace engineering is and hopefully inspire them to career a degree in engineering in the future.  

Do you have any advice for other students looking for internships like yours?
My advice for other students looking for internships would be to network as much as possible. I had always heard how important it is to network, however, this summer was a great example of it in action. Each year so many aerospace students apply to internships in the “major” aerospace corporations (Boeing, Lockheed, Bell, etc.), which makes it extremely hard to stand out in the applicant pool. Whether it’s directly through an email or a message through LinkedIn, most of the hiring managers at Bell recommended reaching out because you never know who can help you in the long run with an internship or full-time position. Although I didn’t network when I first applied to Bell, I believe networking with many teams and TCL’s is what helped me get re-hired for my internship offer for next summer.