2019 ESCC Interns Conclude 12 Week Program at MARS


The 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) internships for Eastern Shore Community College students concluded August 8 at the Space Flight Facility with capstone presentations from Tanner Doughty, Electronics; Hunter Annese, Electronics; Trevor Hill, Electronics; and Shannon Seward, Welding.

The MARS internships are offered to college students from around the country starting their senior year in a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree program (e.g., aerospace, mechanical, civil, electrical), as well as ESCC students enrolled in a technical study program (e.g., electrical, electronics, industry tech, HVAC).  Students selected for the paid internships are matched with duties that are applicable to their degree and career goals, and they are given a project at the beginning of the internship that culminates with a capstone presentation at the end of the 12 weeks.

An excerpt from Shannon Seward’s presentation provides some insight into the impact the program can have on students and their careers.  “My experience at MARS will have a big impact on my future in several ways. I learned to get over my anxieties by doing the things that give me anxiety. When I finish school, I plan to start a career as a welder. Being a female working in a predominantly male field will have its challenges but I know I’ll be able to handle it. I learned a lot from the guys I worked with and they all treated me with respect.  I went in feeling nervous, intimidated, and inadequate, and I’m leaving feeling confident, capable, strong and more prepared for a career as a welder.”

Seward entered ESCC at 30 as a single mom with two young sons.  With the help of financial aid and the guidance of ESCC Career Coach Debbie Daniels, Shannon joins current and previous MARS interns as shining examples of what can be accomplished.

The partnership between Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCFSA)/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and ESCC, grew out of the College’s National Science Foundation ATE LEAN Internship Project that was implemented with NASA Wallops Flight Facility in 2013.  The MARS project places students in a 40-hour, real-world, work-based learning experience over a 12-week paid internship during the summer. To-date MARS has hired 56% of the ESCC interns (10 out of 18) that have participated in the program as technicians, inspectors, and support specialists.

In partnership with MARS, ESCC handles the recruitment, interviewing, evaluating, and recommending of individual students. This includes a mock interview with a panel of interviewers to create a real-world experience and help students refine their communication and work readiness skills. Students are selected to serve as mechanical, electrical, electronics, and HVAC interns in a technician capacity and are provided with both a site mentor and ESCC  Internship/Job Placement Coordinator who tracks their progress. ESCC congratulates our interns and looks forward to future students sharing in this fantastic opportunity through this great partnership.

Photo includes: (L to R) Tanner Doughty, Electronics; Hunter Annese, Electronics; John Floyd, Professor Electronics; Sheilla Taylor, MARS Senior Project Manager; Debbie Daniels, Internship Coord; Trevor Hill, Electronics; and Shannon Seward, Welding.

   For more details on the Intern Program, contact Debbie Daniels at ESCC, at 757-789-1792.