Boeing internship 'dream come true'

  Monday, July 6, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Boeing internship 'dream come true'

Ryan Lechien is no stranger to the aircraft industry.

His father is a pilot. His uncle is a pilot. His grandfathers flew planes during World War II.

“I grew up within the world of aeronautics,” said the Pitt State junior majoring in Environmental and Safety Management.

So when it came time to choose between the three summer internship offers he received, one company stood out above the rest.

“The opportunity to work with Boeing this summer has been a dream come true,” said Lechien, who is interning on the enterprise risk analysis team at Boeing’s Seattle campus. “The campus here is like its own city filled with 747s. It’s just incredible how massive this place is.”

Lechien’s role at Boeing involves working with safety analysis teams on inspections of aircraft and other products the company produces. He said he is unable to discuss many details due to the classified nature of Boeing’s products.

“We’re dealing with a lot of military-grade equipment here, so much of what I see and work on is to be kept under wraps,” he said. “It’s weird sometimes because my mom will call and ask what I did at work, and I have to tell her that it’s a secret. It’s fascinating stuff.”

He said he’s been most impressed by the sheer size of Boeing’s operation.

“We can spend entire days walking around the facility, and we probably didn’t even see 10 percent of it,” he said. “You see large aircraft everywhere, just sitting there like cars in a parking garage. I’ve joked that it kind of reminds me of the city of Zion in ‘The Matrix.’”

Lechien has also been impressed with the amount of knowledge he has gained through the internship experience.

“One of the things you have to be ready for when you take on an internship or when you get that first job is to learn all over again,” he said. “We learn so much in school, and Pitt does a great job of preparing us, but I’m not sure anything can really prepare you to work at a place like this. That’s why internships are so important. They give you that educational component that you simply cannot get at school. It enhances what you learn in college in invaluable ways.”

When he’s not working, the Pittsburg native said he’s enjoyed getting into the outdoors.

“I’ve done a lot of hiking, which is fun in an area this beautiful,” he said. “I’ve also got into playing soccer with friends here. I’m having a great time.”



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