EAA/Socata Intern Scholarship Winners Named
Students Thrilled at Chance to Work Overseas
April 30, 2009 — Karl Parsons, 19, of Prescott, Arizona, and Irene Trujillo, 19, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, were selected as recipients of this year’s EAA/Socata International Scholarship. The announcement took place last week at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Florida.
Each will receive a 5-week internship at Socata’s Tarbes facility, located in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains, followed by a week at the EAA Air Academy in Oshkosh where they’ll help Socata during EAA AirVenture 2009. All travel, lodging, and work experience is included, as well as side trips to the Paris Air Show (June 15-21) and the Airbus facility at Toulouse. For an aspiring student working toward a career in the aviation industry, it’s a dream situation.
“We are very excited about our relationship with EAA and the lifetime experience awaiting the internship recipients, “ said Nicolas Chabbert, President of Socata North America. “Our hope is to make a difference in the future careers of the interns.
“They will spend some time with us, in their field of choice, such as marketing, production, organization, design, support or service,” he said. The two will also have the opportunity to interact with Socata employees for a unique cultural exchange, he said.
“Socata’s commitment to this scholarship program is exemplary,” said Elissa Lines, EAA vice president of development. “It provides an incentive, a challenge to EAA Young Eagles, an opportunity for them to explore a variety of career directions within the aviation field first hand, to see what the future holds. For a student, nothing is more important.”
While Socata is currently providing American students a chance to study abroad, the company has encouraged EAA to find companies in the US willing to share such an experience with young people from other parts of the world.
“The cultural exchange, the educational opportunities, and the impact on their lives is tremendous,” Lines added. “We applaud Socata for their commitment.”
Karl Parsons is a junior at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus.
“I’m really excited to get a job for the summer, and it’s in France!” he said. “I grew up around GA (general aviation) and hope to focus on that.”
His father provided the first flight in a Cessna 205. “When I was 15 I decided that someday I was going to get my pilot’s license,” Parson recalled. A year later, his dad gave him an introductory glider lesson package at a local gliderport. Parsons has his glider certificate.
As much as he loved soaring, Parsons discovered that he liked to design model airplanes and rockets. He hopes to work in the engineering department during the internship at Socata. “It’s been a dream of mine to attend Oshkosh,” he said. Now he gets to go to both the AirVenture and Paris air shows in consecutive months.
Irene Trujillo is also a junior, attending the University of New Mexico, and she couldn’t believe it when the call came through telling her she had won the internship.
“I was in disbelief,” she said. “Just very excited—and a little nervous - to hear the great news!”
Trujillo was at EAA Air Academy last year through a “Jim Thompson Internship” and she is also executive officer in her Civil Air Patrol squadron. Trujillo is pursuing a bachelor of arts in technical and professional writing and expects to graduate in December 2010.
She is a student pilot with about 14 instructional hours logged, and aims to get her private pilot certificate. But she does not see herself as flying professionally.
“Aviation is my passion, but I enjoy and appreciate the behind-the-scenes work that goes into designing aircraft safely, and getting it sold up in the air,” she said. For that reason she has requested an internship in the sales/marketing or communications area of Socata, or the industrial assembly.