Intern Finds Success through Local Internship and Route2BA
The route to professional success can be a bit tricky, yet Broken Arrow is providing a road map to fill a few potholes along the way, with the creation of an internship program and collaboration efforts with local companies and partners for talent development.
University of Tulsa Senior, Taylor Kinnard, completed an internship for CSI Aerospace in Broken Arrow and participated in BAEDC’s Route2BA program. Taylor was excited to share her takeaways from her time spent this summer in Broken Arrow furthering her engineering education.
Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation (BAEDC) launched Route2BA this summer, with eighteen interns participating from local Broken Arrow companies. The program allows college interns to experience all things Broken Arrow. Darla Heller with BAEDC explained, “the interactive events give young professionals a connection with their peers, access to local leaders, professional development opportunities, and a chance to learn why all routes lead to Broken Arrow.”
CSI Aerospace, where Taylor interned, is a maintenance and overhaul facility for air data that supports the aviation marketplace in commercial, regional, and military aircrafts through innovative solutions. Taylor has worked on several projects thus far, such as redoing the programming software for the wind tunnel system and problem solving with her team of engineers. Taylor’s time at CSI Aerospace was dedicated to continuing her knowledge of Aerospace Engineering and having the tools to either rebuild an aircraft product, rewire software, or initiate new tactics for aircraft parts such as aero probes, total air temperature sensors, programming systems, and engine inlet temperature sensors. “My internship at CSI helped me to find my independence, connect with coworkers and small business owners, and learn to rely on my community when I needed it,” Taylor remarked.
An accomplishment she holds close to her is the independence and confidence she gained from being the only female in the company, as well as the capability to rely on those around her as a guide. Taylor has acquired several new skills during her time at CSI Aerospace, and greatly appreciates the connections she has made with small business owners along the way. One new skill Taylor plans to carry with her throughout her career and education is the importance of asking questions to her colleagues to pursue and grow in her career in Aerospace Engineering. Taylor Kinnard has had the privilege to work closely with her team of fellow engineers at CSI Aerospace. One role model of hers is Bob Koch, the Director of Engineering, and the head of the internship program. Bob Koch helps interns, like Taylor, strengthen skill sets in hopes they pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering. Bob believes in the importance of seeking out internships and relates this to the “Route2BA program that brings interns and surrounding communities together- a real plus that Broken Arrow offers this for students, like Taylor.”
The funding of Taylor’s internship was provided by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST for short). OCAST supports internships between local industries (like CSI Aerospace) and two-to-four-year colleges and universities. The focus of OCAST is innovation, collaboration, and job creation. Heather McDowell, associate director of programs, relays the importance of the OCAST grant and how this grant creates an engaging environment for those entering a competitive career path that is embedded in science and technology. Heather conveys the “intern program, created in 2002, was designed to connect industry to academia,” which OCAST continues to fulfill and pursue this goal.
Broken Arrow, CSI Aerospace, and OCAST all provided important stops along Taylor’s educational route, and we hope her professional journey leads her back to BA soon.
If you are interested in funding for internships through OCAST, or having your summer interns participate in Route2BA, contact Workforce Development Manager, Amber Miller, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This piece was written by BAEDC summer intern and OU Sophomore, Caroline Graham. “We know big things are coming Caroline’s way and we surely hope that her professional journey has many more BA stops along the way,” said Heller.
About the Broken Arrow EDC: The Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation (BAEDC) connects businesses and organizations with guides and resources for success. Partnerships with local organizations and businesses have resulted in thousands of new jobs, capital investments that have expanded and improved the City of Broken Arrow.