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Corleto, Shattuck gain corporate experience outside classroom

Luke Shattuck, at left, and Joe Corleto are interning with System Dynamics International this semester. They are students in the Engineering for Tomorrow Academy at Bob Jones. (CONTRIBUTED)
Luke Shattuck, at left, and Joe Corleto are interning with System Dynamics International this semester. They are students in the Engineering for Tomorrow Academy at Bob Jones. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Joseph Corleto and Luke Shattuck are applying classroom study on their path to the corporate boardroom.

These seniors at Bob Jones High School are interning with System Dynamics International (SDI) on Redstone Arsenal for a career path in aerospace engineering.

“SDI has supported the Engineering for Tomorrow (E4T) Academy at Bob Jones since 2011,” engineering teacher Jessye Gaines said. Two years ago, Gaines contacted SDI to gage their interest in collaborating with Bob Jones “and hosting interns. We have been very grateful for their ‘giving back’ to our young people.”

Interning students can build a resume with “work experience most college seniors would kill for,” Gaines said. “We’re sending them to college with a larger understanding of what engineering is.”

Corelto and Shattuck are assisting engineers in developing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) software.

Corleto has worked on test and analysis in helping the SDI engineers. “Any task the engineers give me, I complete in a timely manner,” Corleto said. “Benefits of this internship are immeasurable to me. It has given me real-world experience that many engineering students don’t get until college.”

Shattuck considers himself lucky to intern at a company doing “the same work I would like to do after I graduate.” After issuing daily assignments, a mentor “makes sure everything is working well.”

Occasionally, interns research details for projects. “Some work is more of a duty than a enjoyable experience, but I’m learning useful information that I’ll need once I join the business world. It has been an enjoyable experience,” Shattuck said. “I look forward to the opportunities it opens up in the future.”

After a semester in a particular field, students may “discover it’s not a great fit, before wasting years of their life and thousands of dollars on a degree they aren’t happy with in the end,” Gaines said.

Internships lead to enthusiasm for technical fields and motivate students “to push through difficult college engineering courses,” Gaines said. Without this foresight, some students may drop out of the major.

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