The Intern – Part 1

If you’re hoping to get a review of the movie, you’ve come to the wrong place.  I’m not exactly a Robert De Niro, nor do I work in the online fashion store business.  However, I do take notes from De Niro’s character in the movie and how he really embraces the opportunity to work for the online company and learn – no matter how old or how young.

How does this relate to aviation?  Well, I recently started an internship for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) – a corporation created by the Minnesota law in 1943 to manage Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (KMSP) and the six other General Aviation reliever airports in the Twin Cities area.  I currently work in Airside Operations at Terminal 1 at KMSP and have the privilege of getting to see pretty much the entire airport.

The People

I don’t remember much of my initial interview, but I do remember one of the staff commenting on my statement about being a hard worker.  He said something like “we only hire slackers here” and I knew that I would enjoy working in Airside Operations.  Like anything in life, jobs often require hard work, but I value the ability to have fun.  If you really enjoy your field, you’re most likely to have fun in your job and it doesn’t always feel like work.

The folks at the MAC and in Airside Operations have proved to be just that and whether we’re sitting in meetings, out on the airfield, or in the office, we’re guaranteed to have a laugh at some point.  My fellow interns, Whitney and Kristina, are proving to be good friends and colleagues already in the just these last two weeks.  It’s awesome to see them passionate about their careers along with those at the MAC and I know this summer is going to be an awesome one.

The Place

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize that I really am working at my favorite airport in the country.  KMSP has been the jumping off point for so many adventures all over the country and the world and being able to see the inner workings over the last few weeks has been amazing.

I’ve gotten to see some amazing aircraft such as a C-17 from the Royal Air Force, a brand-new Airbus 330-300 for Delta, and many more.  I’ve also got to participate in airfield inspections, educational courses, and testing the friction value on runways.  Additionally, I’ve gotten “lost” in the terminals, taken the Light Rail, and “nerded” out over the whole airport in general.  The best part is that I can see myself working here sometime in the future and that is my next goal.  Anyways, there are three University of North Dakota graduates working in Airside Operations, so maybe I picked the right school after all (haha).

The Passion

Quite possibly the best part about being with the MAC this summer is the opportunity to pursue my passion for aviation and airports specifically.  After only two weeks here, I realize just how much I love airports and working at them.  The hustle and bustle, the aircraft, the people and seeing all the learning I’ve done translate into my job has been amazing.

One last thing I remember from my interview with MAC was the answer to my question of what they hoped interns would take away at the end of the summer.  They want students to have their career choice confirmed through their experiences with the MAC – to know that airport management, operations, etc., is indeed what they want to pursue.

Until Next Time…

While I’m just two weeks into my internship, I’ve already learned a lot.  It’s been amazing to see KMSP from all sides, meet the people that work there, and experience the passion they have for their jobs.  It’s also been great to see how much I’ve learned in the classroom translate into everyday tasks.

Stay tuned over the summer and I’ll be back with more updates about my adventures with the MAC at KMSP!

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