Northern Michigan University senior Molly Brunner's summer internship with Utility Aviation has resulted in a part-time position while she completes her NMU studies. The Ann Arbor native received hands-on corporate experience in both business administration and her academic major of graphic design.
Utility Aviation is a subsidiary of Brunner Aerospace LLC, which is owned by her father.
“During the internship, I spent my time making advertisements for new prospects regarding the company,” said Brunner. “In particular, I created a promotional piece to send to photographers, as the company is wanting to expand to helicopter elopements. During the times we live in now where large gatherings are not allowed, a small elopement only involving select people is a wonderful option. I also spent time working on the website, and we discussed a rebrand for the portion of the company that I work for.”
Brunner said that during the internship she met daily with her supervisor to discuss short-term and long-term tasks and goals, and she engaged in company meetings, where she discussed billboard options for the company. Brunner also organized travel and COVID-19 testing arrangements for students who were coming to the United States for their flight training.
“My overall internship experience was very eye-opening. I was a part of the business and wasn't a worker who sat back and just took notes. I was given many opportunities to head projects and to be a full member of the team while working towards everyday goals.”
Brunner said that her current position with the company is a lighter-scale extension of the work she did as an intern. Her current scope of work largely involves accounting-related tasks and website upkeep.
“I now have a solid understanding of a large business that has many working parts. I also have a good understanding of tactics for prioritizing projects and daily work so as to have everything keep moving forward. This experience is giving me an upper hand with my goals of where I want to end up after my higher education.
“With the current world events, it has been proven many times that it is difficult to find jobs or to be able to get an internship. I will stay with the company and take on more advanced tasks possibly during my graduate program. By more advanced tasks I mean helping in a more hands-on way with writing proposals and seeking more opportunities for the company.”
Brunner Aerospace LLC is run by aviation professionals who drive to keep standards high and to grow as a company, according to Brunner. During her internship, the parent company was awarded a large contract from the United States Air Force for an experimental training course for new pilots.
“This contract is driving the growth of the company exponentially. It's a natural thing, really, that when things get bigger there is more work to do. It has been extremely exciting to be a part of such a monumental step for the company. With the large contract, I played a role mainly in preparation. I was in charge of COVID-19-related procedures, the welcome packet and travel preparations. It was exciting to see the increase in work and the excitement from everyone in the company.”
Brunner plans to pursue a master of business administration (MBA) after her bachelor's degree.