Johnathan Neptune is a senior in Mechanical Engineering and an ME Student Apprentice. He interned with L3Harris during summer 2020 and 2021.
Where are you working this summer and what made them stand out in your internship search?
I have been working for L3Harris at one of their Colorado Springs locations this summer. This is actually the second summer I have worked for this program, and I found out about the opportunity at the Fall Career Fair during my Sophomore year. Going into school, I knew that I wanted to work in the Aerospace and Defense Industry and L3Harris does quite a bit of interesting work in this area. I enjoyed my virtual experience during 2020 and was very excited to come back this year!
What kinds of projects have you had a chance to work on over the summer?
I have been able to contribute to several areas on the project, and though I work primarily as a mechanical engineer, I also assist the Integration and Testing (I&T) Team. I regularly add to the program’s CAD models and technical drawings for both hardware and interconnects. I also assist with redlines and engineering change orders that document required changes and steps needed to alter the project.
How did what you've learned through classes show up in your work? Did you have any "aha!" moments when you realized that you could use an equation or skill that you'd learned in class?
Computer Aided Design and Component Design have both been the most influential college classes I have used during my internship. These basic principles of designing parts and assemblies, and then creating well-documented drawings, has been absolutely crucial to my internship this summer. Many of the same processes and documentation that I learned at CU Boulder have either directly or indirectly given me a leg up on processes unique to L3Harris. Additionally, both of these classes emphasized fasteners, which have been common throughout my internship.
What advice do you have for other students interested in working or interning in a related field?
Take all opportunities to apply for positions at the company/companies you are interested in working at. If you are having trouble finding a position in a specific role, expand your search to include different roles at the same locations and programs. I have come to realize lateral movement at companies is commonplace if you prove you are a hard worker and willing to learn. Simply getting a foot in the door with a company or industry is the most difficult part. Once you get a position with a company, make sure to ask lots of questions! Your coworkers will be more than happy to give you advice and information about opportunities, so that you can succeed and be satisfied with your career rather than simply fill a specific position.