Alok Dand, a Wichita State industrial systems and manufacturing engineering doctoral student, and Airbus systems and data analyst intern, has complete confidence in his five months of work at the on-campus office.
“We have responsibilities, we solve problems, and we deliver,” Alok said.
Pardhiv Marella, a computer science master’s student, has been an Airbus financial systems and data analyst intern for a year. Pardhiv can finish Alok’s sentences.
“Which transcends what a normal internship would look like,” Pardhiv said.
The business interns at Airbus’ Innovation Campus office feel right at home in their work and understand the importance Airbus places on everything they do. They hail from diverse backgrounds and depend on each other to develop and sustain Airbus’ work.
Angelique Banh, marketing senior and business operations intern, can vouch for the skill each intern brings to the table.
“Alok and I are on the same business operations team, and in our team meetings, our colleagues look to Alok for direction and troubleshooting. They really see him as an integral part of the team, which is really cool – they don’t just treat him as an intern. They really do respect him,” Angelique said.
They’re not just interns. They’re valued team members.
“I’ve never felt like an intern here,” Pardhiv said. “There are real problems and real responsibilities we have to solve all the time.”
Pardhiv and Alok both look at data sources across Airbus Wichita’s finance and operations, connect the sources, analyze them and report their findings directly to managers. They have a direct connection to Airbus senior management.
“It’s a fun job for both of us because I think both of us look at this particular area for our futures as well, and it’s very good exposure we are getting in this place and in experience as well,” Alok said.
For Pardhiv and Alok, it’s a dream job. As engineering students, they have dreamed of being a part of one of the big aircraft manufacturing firms for a long time.
Still, Airbus frequently hires people with skillsets beyond engineering and aviation. Pardhiv recognizes the value of the team’s diversity of backgrounds.
“Alok, Angelique… they each have their own definition,” Pardhiv said. “They all have their own ‘secret sauce,’ as I say, which makes us learn and grow from each other every day.”
Angelique is an organizer and facilitator. She communicates among internal, on-campus and community partners to organize media, outreach and sponsorship opportunities.
She cares a lot about Airbus’ presence in the community.
“I feel like Airbus is really trying to have more presence on campus. It’s participating in events – right now it’s mostly engineering and business-related, but Airbus is branching out to other areas,” Angelique said.
Angelique has represented Airbus at events such as the United Way of the Plains campaign kickoff at the Century II Performing Arts Center.
Airbus also sponsored the t-shirts for Wu’s Big Event, a massive WSU volunteer effort that took place on Oct. 5.
These projects and others have helped Angelique expand her range of skills and problem-solving capacity.
“I definitely have grown. Sometimes I run into issues, and I must find a way to resolve them and still make things happen for both parties,” Angelique said.
The business interns’ ability to tackle complex problems from multiple perspectives makes them a cohesive team.
“We always appreciate each other,” Pardhiv said. “When we see problems, sometimes we call on each other to get it done.”
Although they may not be directly working with each other every day, they make a point of developing their network among fellow interns and staff.
Pardhiv has initiated an informal “intern lunch” on Fridays. Interns across business and engineering are welcome to attend. Some of the people who show up for lunch aren’t even interns – they’re just younger full-time employees.
“We are happy, which makes our day happy,” Pardhiv said.
All three interns take time out of work to go to class. Airbus’ place on campus makes going to class and being a part of the WSU community easy.
“I like how it’s really accessible – it’s a 10-minute walk to the RSC. That’s super awesome. I’m able to go back and forth from here to class without having to drive and find parking,” Angelique said.
Angelique manages the “Airbus + Wichita State” social media account. It’s not just Airbus for a reason.
“We are proud to be Shockers,” Pardhiv said.
The Airbus Engineering Center in Wichita is engaged in aerostructures design and analysis of aircraft primary structure such as wings and fuselages for all major Airbus commercial products.
Their In-Service Repair and Customer Service teams are also engaged in Airbus’ “follow the sun” strategy, in which they work with similar Airbus facilities across the globe to provide customers with 24/7 support.