Christian Hughes, a rising senior electrical engineering and technology major at Grambling State University, has returned as an intern this summer with The Aerospace Corporation.
Hughes also interned with the corporation in 2019 and 2020.
Based in El Segundo, California, The Aerospace Corporation operates the only federally-funded research and development center committed exclusively to the space enterprise.
“Throughout my college experience, I have found that internships are great opportunities to learn more about your personal career goals and interests, while also developing the knowledge and skills you will need to be successful”, Hughes said.
Through the internship with the Aerospace Corporation, he has been introduced to different areas of specialization including test-equipment software, microwave circuits, phased-array antennas, and computer networking.
The Los Angeles, California, native said electrical engineering is a career path that will permit him to tinker with electronics, which he enjoys, and will allow him to enter a field that’s cutting-edge.
“As an electrical engineer, I would be part of a community that constantly changes the world with inventions and solutions that affect everyone’s lives,” he said, adding, “more importantly, the engineering and technology field would undoubtedly provide me with the most meaningful, challenging and cutting-edge future.”
Hughes is among a small percentage of minorities earning a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree. Black students earned 7% percent of STEM bachelor’s degrees as of 2018 (the most recent year available) which is below their share of all bachelor’s degrees (10%), according to the Pew Research Center. However, the growth of STEM jobs is expected to outpace that of non-STEM jobs in coming years and continue to rank higher in pay. Hughes said his internship experiences will add a competitive edge to his resume.
“I had the opportunity to apply the knowledge I learned in the classroom to real-life business situations as well as develop new skills that will allow me to be successful in my career,” he said.
Overall, he said his experiences at The Aerospace Corporation has been eye-opening and educational.
“I learned to be curious and to not hesitate to ask questions. The experiences taught me to be more of a leader and to be more confident in my work,” Hughes said. “More importantly, my intern experiences set a direction; a route which helped me set my career goals and objectives.”
Larry W. Green Jr., who serves as director of University College GSU, said Hughes is one of the most impressive students that he has encountered. He describes him as a selfless person who has a genuine heart to serve.
“Christian demonstrated the focus, acumen, and discipline necessary for sustained success,” he said. “Christian is very committed to his work and always looks to be highly effective and bring the best out of other members.”