California Teen Chooses Wichita, Cites Array of Aerospace Internships
Written by Emily Younger
A California teenager and aviation enthusiast is preparing to embark on a summer adventure in the Air Capital of the World, a place he only recently visited after learning about the aerospace internship opportunities available to high school students.
“I did a couple of quick online searches. Of course, California is known for its research opportunities. There are a bunch of them here, a lot of startups. We have Apple,” explained Adi Jain. “But the thing is these internships were only open to undergrad or graduate students and obviously I haven’t even graduated high school yet, so how am I supposed to apply to these?”
That’s when Adi, a 16-year-old from Cupertino, California, a suburb of San Jose, expanded his internship search.
“I found companies I knew, for example, Cessna, Spirit AeroSystems,” he said. “I saw that they were all out of state, all out of California.”
Never having visited Kansas or spent an extended amount of time away from his parents, Adi applied for a high school engineering internship at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita. Before he knew it, he was flying to the Sunflower State in April to interview with the company.
“I was like ‘This is a much different environment than California.’ I talked to locals, and they say there is a lot of traffic, but when you are coming from California it feels like nothing!” he laughed.
Traffic was not the only surprise – Adi and his father, who traveled to Wichita with him, commented on the foodie scene and the Midwestern culture, specifically the kindness of others.
“The city is clean and beautiful. The WaterWalk downtown is breathtaking. Restaurants served especially tasty and authentic food. People we interacted with at airports, hotels, and restaurants, along with the event coordinators, were extremely friendly and helpful,” said Adi’s dad Arpit Jain.
“Definitely a great experience. Anywhere from the hotel managers, hotel workers to the workers at the job fair. Even in my interviews, they went beyond just answering the questions,” he said.