Chemical Engineering Internship Story: GE Aviation


Abbie Griffin

Chemical Engineering

What company did you intern with and where are they located?

This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at GE Aviation right here in Auburn, AL as a manufacturing engineering intern for their turbine blade manufacturing plant.

How did you identify and apply for your internship? Are there any specific resources you used to find the opportunity (i.e., Handshake, career fairs, other recruitment events)?  

I found this internship through Handshake and applied online through the GE website that I was directed to through the Handshake platform.

What was the application process like?

The GE application process consisted of an online application, where I uploaded my resume and filled out preliminary questions. The next round of the selection process was an on-site interview at the plant here in Auburn. Due to scheduling conflicts, I was unavailable for the on-site interview days, but the plant manager was very willing to work with me and offered a Microsoft Teams interview option, which is what I ended up doing for my specific interview round. I was very appreciative of the GE team working with me and my schedule to find a time to meet with them. The interview itself was a behavioral style interview with no technical questions and more of a “get-to-know you” type meeting. After 2-3 weeks, I was emailed with an offer letter extending an internship for the upcoming summer.

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?

My overall internship experience was incredible! My team was always willing to show me the processes within the plant and answer any questions that I had. During my time at GE, I was tasked with developing extensive training materials for incoming Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Digital X-ray associates, to learn the background and operation of an x-ray machine and how to identify non-conforming turbine blades. I was also challenged to design two new tools to ensure a correct loading process for one of the manufacturing lines within the plant process. This project was very fun for me as I got to sit down with the 3D printing/additive manufacturing team to design these tools that our operators needed, and I was able to learn so much about designing and modeling in 3D software which I do not get to see often in my major classes.  

In what ways did this internship help you prepare for your next destination after Auburn?

My internship provided me the basic tools on how to work with a team to get a project completed and meet your goals. Although the technical information and role do not directly align with my post-graduation plans, I was able to see a manufacturing plant and the processes throughout it that I will eventually work to keep it safely operating and insured as a consultant engineer at FM Global Industrial Insurance company.

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?

As a chemical engineering major, my course work involving basic chemistry did play a huge role in the materials that I developed involving digital x-ray operation and understanding the process of radiation use in the manufacturing world. Although this internship was heavy on mechanical and aerospace operations, I was able to bring in some of my previous knowledge that I learned from my classes to apply to day-to-day problems that I would face as an intern. Additionally, the chemical engineering department here at Auburn really pushes team projects and working in groups from our first ever freshman class to our very last senior design course, so I was able to use the skills I had learned from working with my peers to aid me in working as a team with my fellow interns on our group project. Overall, the problem-solving skills and the group-oriented mindset we are taught throughout all of our classes here at Auburn is what truly sets Auburn engineering students apart. No matter what job or internship you go into next, we can all rest assured that Auburn Engineering has equipped us with the necessary tools and skills to succeed in any role or position that we find ourselves in.

Do you have any advice for other students looking for internships like yours?

When going through any application or interview process, my advice would be to be confident in who you are as a student and future engineer, and to go into any interview with confidence that you have all the skills for this position. It is so easy to fall victim to having imposter syndrome and think that you are not going to succeed in a certain role because you think you don’t have the right skillset, but you do and the progress you have made so far shows it! Also, find internships that you find interesting and don’t be afraid to apply to as many as you can. Any interview process is only going to make you a stronger applicant for future positions and give you even more confidence for the next application process.