ISU aerospace students land 3 of 5 national slots at UPS

February 7 2007

Three Indiana State University aerospace students were selected for United Parcel Service’s competitive Flight Operations internship/co-op at its Flight Training Center in Louisville, Ky., and will be paid $35,000 each for their one-year assignment.

The students were selected for three of the five national slots from hundreds of applicants from throughout the country. This is the third year in a row that ISU students have been selected for the prestigious internship.

“It really came down to selecting the best candidates for the job,” said Karen Ball, UPS air region co-op coordinator. “The students who were selected demonstrated the ability to master all of the tasks that would be required of them, as well as the leadership qualities that we look for in all of our potential employees.”

Ross Bristow, a professional aviation flight technology and aerospace administration major from Muncie, began the internship in December and is working in the DC-8 fleet training department, updating flight manuals and Jepp charts, coordinating a Captain’s Leadership Workshop, and programming the flight simulator for UPS’ high-dollar clients.

“I am responsible for demonstrating the DC-8 flight simulator when company representatives from UPS’ existing and potential customers are on-site,” Bristow said. “I also prep the simulator for new and upgrading pilots, setting up the computer to create different situations for them to address, which will help prepare them for their checkride.”

Harry Minniear, assistant professor of aerospace technology and ISU simulator program manager, says landing the internship slots makes a statement not only about the three students, but also the ISU aerospace technology program.

“Our students will be working with state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar aircraft simulators,” Minniear said. “UPS is a Fortune 500 company, and they want the best. This says something about the quality of our students and our aviation program in general.”

Professional aviation flight technology is the largest undergraduate program in the university’s College of Technology, with an enrollment of more than 200 students.

Although the internship with UPS will postpone Bristow’s graduation date by a full year, he says the experience is worth it.

“I’m looking long term. I can sacrifice a year to get my foot in the door with a company like UPS,” Bristow said.

Bristow, whose father flies for United Airlines, said he has seen the hit that pilots have taken since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with jobs, wages and retirement benefits slashed.

“Boxes will never stop flying,” he said. “I want to fly for a stable company. If I do a really good job with them, then after I graduate and build up my flight time with a smaller company, I will be able to get an interview with them or any of the major airlines.”

UPS provides these well-paid internships because it is a win-win for both UPS and the students, Ball said.

“UPS benefits from the students’ knowledge of current technology and fresh ideas, while the students get an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience,” she said. “We are not only gaining assistance with our own training systems, we are working within the community to train future aviators.”

The other ISU students selected for the 2007 internship are Danielle O’Donnell, a junior professional aviation flight technology major from Pittsboro who is working in the 757 fleet training department, and Nicholas Mires, a senior professional aviation flight technology major from Georgetown who is working in the MD-11 fleet training department.

“The students at ISU, as well as all of the other universities that our co-ops represent here in Louisville, have proven to be an excellent choice,” Ball said.

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PHOTO: ISU flight students at UPS

Professional aviation flight technology students Nick Mires (MD-11), Danielle O’Donnell (757) and Ross Bristow (DC-8) operate the flight simulators for their respective fleets as part of their internship with UPS. The students demonstrate the level-D, full-motion simulators to UPS’s multi-million dollar clients. They also revise manuals and Jepp charts, and process the paperwork of the newly hired UPS pilots. (John Ralston/UPS)

CONTACT: Harry Minniear, assistant professor of aerospace technology, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2647 or hminniear@isugw.indstate.edu

WRITER: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Three aerospace students were selected for United Parcel Service’s competitive Flight Operations internship/co-op at the UPS Flight Training Center in Louisville, Ky., and will be paid $35,000 each for their one-year assignment. The students were selected from hundreds of applicants from throughout the country. This is the third year in a row that ISU students have been selected for the prestigious internship.

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