If you ever wondered about the benefits of a college internship, talk with Emily Coleman ’18.

As a sophomore majoring in computer science, she was looking for a summer internship that would not only be exciting and challenging, but something that would give her valuable professional experience. After some research, she noticed that The Boeing Company was looking for interns and decided to apply.

Newly minted software engineer at Boeing, Emily Coleman ’18 (Photo courtesy of Boeing)

She got the internship not once, but twice.

During her sophomore and junior years at the College, Coleman, who was an Honors College student, worked summer internships at the Boeing plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. Both years she worked with the same team in Enterprise Architecture, but managed to make connections across the company. Although the internships ended her junior year, her communication with her former colleagues at Boeing did not. As graduation approached last spring, she contacted her former manager and the two of them talked about a new group of workers called the Digital Transformation Environment (DTE) team.

Soon after that meeting, Coleman was hired as the software developer for the DTE team.

“Our goal is to transform Boeing’s IT culture into a place that has all the best qualities of a startup: lean, agile and human-centered,” she says. “My job is to pair up with software developers on other teams and work directly with them on their products. As we work together, I can teach through example both DTE’s principles and the industry best practices that might help them bring those principles from theory into action.”

Coleman says the best part of her job is the collaboration between team members.

“The first day at my job, I was able to sit down with a more experienced developer and work on real code in our software application,” she says. “In a similar vein, always working with another developer means that I’m constantly learning either new facts about programming, or I’m learning better ways to perform old tasks. Pairing also means that my team is tight-knit: We’re all friends with each other, and we’re also not afraid to ask each other for help.”