Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Student Perspectives: Textron Aviation Summer Internship, Part I

April Paul is an engineering student at LETU. Here, she shares her experiences as an intern with Textron Aviation.

April Paul
Another brisk Kansas morning, another day at Cessna.

This is my second summer to intern at my favorite company. Cessna, now known as Textron Aviation, has been my dream since my first week of interning, back in 2013. Throughout my time here, I’ve had the honor of working alongside a rather unique group of engineers. Oh yes, we are a wacky bunch, but my colleagues are some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. Last year they helped me design and build an ion gun and compose and conduct aircraft tests. This year I get to work with Lightning Generators and Radiation Chambers. I feel incredibly blessed to have this cool of a summer job.  Getting to put into practice the engineering knowledge and skills I’ve been developing at LeTourneau is such a gratifying and exciting adventure!

Wichita's botanical gardens
In addition, there is definitely good news for LeTourneau students at Textron Aviation! Over three times more LeTourneau students are being hired for full-time and intern positions than last year. Textron Aviation must like what they see! Moreover, I can speak as a LeTourneau student and say I like what I see, too! I’m so impressed by my company and the experiences Textron Aviation has given me!

After work, there are great things to do in Wichita. My favorite pastime is strolling through the gorgeous Botanica! Wichita’s botanical gardens are my paradise. Besides the invigorating beauty of nature, you never know what you’ll find as you wander through. Yesterday, when I was walking through the gardens, I spotted a small troupe of ballerinas in full costume dancing on the grand fountain! Yes, the Botanica is truly a whimsical place. 

My summer is shaping up to be an unforgettable one, so I’ll open up my doors and let life keep pourin’ in! 

For more information on how you can pursue a career like April's, visit our School of Engineering and Engineering Technology page. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Incredible Occupations: Health Care Administration

From his first exposure to the health care industry with the U.S. Navy as a Naval Hospital Corpsman, Robert Armstrong knew a health care profession was for him.

“I gained an appreciation for the medical field and began to direct my thoughts toward preparing for a career that would make a difference in the lives of people and organizations,” he said.

Today, he’s taken his skills to a world-renowned cancer center as accountant III, but hasn’t stopped pursuing further excellence in health care. He’ll soon be taking on a role as a health care administrator.

MHA student Robert Armstrong
“The health care field touches every segment of society. For leadership roles, I believe that a solid education would open doors to utilize my talents and desire to lead departments or health organizations.”

For that education, Armstrong chose LeTourneau’s Master of Science in Health Care Administration program.

It’s a wise move for health care professionals who want to advance their careers. The country’s baby boom population is approaching its senior years; increased regulatory requirements are expected, along with a significantly greater population to care for. Demand for highly qualified health care administrators is on the rise.

After considering 10 different schools with similar degrees, Armstrong is currently completing his M.S. in Health Care Administration through LETU’s online program.

“I chose LETU’s MHA program for a couple of reasons. First, because of work and family schedules, I felt that an online course of study would be most beneficial.

“I was looking at what courses were being taught and whether I would obtain a quality and balanced education that I could use in the work force. In today’s changing health landscape, the key is to take courses that are relevant and practical. LETU has this format,” Armstrong said.

In a profession where the rules can change rapidly, it’s important to remain up-to-date. Armstrong affirms this is the case with LETU’s MHA courses.

“In my place of employment, a senior executive recently gave a presentation, and I had already learned or was currently learning everything he was talking about.”

As far as the course being online, there was no less communication with professors even with the lack of face time.

“Their dedication to students, noted in their interactions and timeliness in answering questions, has made my online experience worth the effort. To my amazement, they are willing to go out of their way to provide their personal number in case of emergency or that last minute question before a project is due.”

Between the growing demand, quality academics, flexible online schedule and dedicated instructors, the M.S. in Health Care Administration is progressing rapidly. The bottom line in Armstrong’s words: “LETU will prepare you for success.”

Friday, June 6, 2014

Incredible Opportunities: Mercedes-Benz Co-ops

The idea of college usually includes imagery of summers spent at internships, unpaid and fetching coffee. Materials joining engineering majors Jordan Boston and Zach Danko, on the other hand, are taking their careers into their own hands and making the investment of participating in a co-op with Mercedes-Benz.

A co-op differs from a traditional internship in that the student works at the company for three alternating semesters as a regular employee, totaling approximately a year’s worth of paid work while still being enrolled as a full-time student. Scholarships and loans stay intact.

Jordan Boston
Boston, a sophomore from Boise, Idaho, started his first semester at the beginning of the summer, and Danko, a senior from Santa Barbara California, will go for his first semester in the fall. They’ll be working in body shops, joining Mercedes parts. Their time there will also include researching on joining aluminum, which gives vehicles better gas mileage. In fact, they were both chosen for Mercedes’ labs for their specialty in materials joining, as LETU’s program is one of the few of its kind in the world.

Some students may be hesitant to pursue a co-op as it interrupts the traditional four-year education, but that wasn’t a problem for either Boston or Danko.

“It’s about the job opportunities. I’m thinking forward and investing in my career,” Boston said. “I’ll still be able to finish in five years of school.”

A co-op puts a student one year behind in graduating, but it’s a small sacrifice for the investment it puts into one’s lifelong career.

“Co-ops present an incredible opportunity for our students. They provide hands-on experience that is valuable both as a trial run of a potential career field and as an opportunity to put classroom learning into practice in the workplace,” Kristy Morgan, senior director of Career Services, said.

LeTourneau’s Career Services department presented the co-op opportunity to both students and progressed quickly from there.

Zach Danko
“Career Services made it easy. I got my interview about a week after I talked to them about it and had the job two weeks later,” Danko said.

Danko said he’s not worried about getting a job once he graduates.

“A co-op gives a lot better chance of job security. They’re investing more in you. You’re going to be there longer and they want to grow you more into their company than at an internship,” he said.

Most co-op students get offered jobs upon graduation. “Students who complete co-ops often leave with a full-time job offer and are highly marketable to other employers as well,” Morgan said.

The only problem? According to Danko: “People keep asking me if I can get them a discount on a Mercedes.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Student Perspectives: Love in Action

Sarah Snyder just completed her freshman year at LETU and kicked off her summer by going on a mission trip to Japan with several other students. Here's her take on the experience. 

Meeting Sakiko

It’s hard to believe that it’s over. That I, a girl from Texas, went to Japan to spread the gospel is crazy. I went with six of the craziest, most radical Christians I’ve ever met and together we loved on the Japanese people like never before. From singing in trains to praying for people on the street to helping Pearl Vineyard Church, our entire trip was about loving people in a way they’ve never seen before. One of my favorite moments during the trip was the day we met Sakiko. She was older woman who worked as a florist. She stood five foot nothing, if that. Her face was worn and her hands dirty from the flowers. A lot of people might’ve just passed her by; people like her family did. She craved love like we all do. I had the chance to pray for her. I prayed down the Father’s love on her, that he would restore her family and bless her. She wept and I know it’s because she experienced that love, maybe for the first time. The awesome thing is that I prayed for her in English, without a translator, and she understood. Her heart knew because the Holy Spirit speaks in a language all understand. It’s called love.

I mentioned that we sang on trains, actually we sang everywhere we went. Singing opened up doors to conversations and praying for people. A song that kept popping up was “I’ve got a river of life” and on this trip we wrote several new verses including one about love. It goes, “I've got a river of love flowing out of me. Heals the broken heart, sets the oppressed free. Makes the darkness run, and fear to flee. Cause, I've got a river of love flowing out of me.” These lyrics couldn’t be any more true. God poured his love out on our team. He healed our hurts and freed us. We aren’t perfect people. God did a lot of work in us and out of the overflow of his love, in us, we loved on the Japanese people. They were so ready, so ready, to receive. Luke 10:2 says “He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  We saw it. We experienced the bountiful harvest that is ready to be gathered in to the Father. I ,personally, cannot wait to go back to Japan. For now, though, I am ready to turn the love of the Father on Longview and see what he does here.