Where learning meets experience

Andrea Wolfe is putting her education to work this summer as part of Boeing’s Test & Evaluation Team. Photo courtesy of The Boeing Co.

Andrea Wolfe, a senior from Waterloo, Illinois, is spending the summer at Boeing. Photo courtesy of The Boeing Co.

Andrea Wolfe from Waterloo, Illinois, is putting her education to work this summer as part of Boeing’s Test & Evaluation Team. It’s the third opportunity she’s had to gain real-world work experience while she’s still a Missouri S&T student.

Wolfe, a senior pursuing degrees in both engineering management and mechanical engineering, had her first internship experience last summer at The Boeing Co., where she primarily focused on engineering management and flight manual management.

“This past spring, I had my first co-op experience with Anheuser-Busch,” she says. “It was a cross between engineering management and mechanical engineering. This summer at Boeing is my first fully mechanical experience.”

For proprietary reasons, Wolfe’s actual workplace cannot be shown in pictures, but she is pictured here in a public Boeing facility in Seattle. Photo submitted.

For proprietary reasons, Wolfe’s actual workplace cannot be shown in pictures, but she is pictured here in a public Boeing facility in Seattle. Photo submitted.

Wolfe recently returned from a company trip to Seattle where she got to see and work on many of the larger-scale fatigue tests for commercial planes, even testing some equipment to be released later on the fleet.

“My favorite part of the trip was sitting in the pilot’s seat of a brand new 787,” she says. “It is something I will truly never forget.”

Wolfe’s internship at Boeing this summer will also include more hands-on engineering work as she assists with fatigue testing for military and commercial plane components as well as weapons components. She credits this opportunity with exposing her to many different labs and testing within The Boeing Co., including the “most used” wind tunnel in the country. In addition to these experiences, she will spend some of her time at Boeing on the flight ramp, assisting with flight test and quality assurance of the aircraft.

“Seeing labs and testing in real life make it easier and more exciting to learn about things such as statics and dynamics,” Wolfe says. “When you can picture what the course will actually be used for after college, it makes spending nearly an hour on one problem a little less daunting. Although taking co-ops and internships can defer graduation and sometimes make a student incredibly busy, the knowledge gained through these opportunities are priceless.”

When Wolfe was deciding where to pursue her undergraduate degree, the high school valedictorian chose Missouri S&T for the strength of its engineering programs and its many opportunities for real-world engineering experience.

“After attending the Jackling engineering camp here the summer before my senior year in high school, I was very sure this was the place for me,” she says. “I knew it was small enough I could get very involved, but big enough to still have the college feel. I visited here three times my senior year, and each time I was more and more sure it was the right school for me.”

Wolfe says she has met so many supportive alumni while at Boeing.

“Anyone is pleased to hear a young person say they attend Missouri S&T — the university has that good of a reputation,” she says.

Outside of classes and working as a student ambassador, Wolfe finds many ways to stay busy at S&T, including being involved in her sorority, honor societies and intramurals.

“Every day I know I made the right decision by coming to Missouri S&T, whether it be for the many career opportunities I have been given or the lifelong friends I have made,” she says. “I never thought I would be able to say I work for my dream company as a senior in college, but S&T has helped me make that possible and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.”

by Mindy Limback

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