by Colleen Redmond, Eagle Flight Center, Published May 15, 2012
YPSILANTI - Ryan Todd, a student at the Eagle Flight Center in Eastern Michigan University's Aviation Program, will spend this summer in New York City working as a paid intern at JetBlue Airlines' new world headquarters.
Todd, who is a private pilot and instrument rated, started at Eastern Michigan University's Aviation program in the fall of 2011.
Ever since he was a child, Todd aspired to become a pilot. He grew up next to Van Wert County Airport, in Van Wert, Ohio, a town of about 11,000 residents in the northwest section of the state. He had his first flight lesson at the age of 16.
Once he finishes his various ratings, Todd plans to be a flight instructor at the Eagle center, located at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, and then either fly for a regional airline or go into the Coast Guard's Officer Candidate School and fly helicopters.
"One day I'll be flying for a large airline," Todd says.
The JetBlue College Crew Summer Internship is a 10-week program designed to develop a pipeline of well-rounded future crew members for roles within the company.
Todd will work on an emergency response and care team. The group will focus on effective communication between pilots and staff, preparing all involved in responding to an emergency. Other areas of study will include skills such as project management, process improvement, innovation and creative thinking or internal customer service.
To obtain the internship, Todd went through two sets of interviews, the second of which occurred in New York. He received a letter on his birthday, May 3, informing him he'd won an internship.
Todd will spend two days in Orlando for training and then head to New York City for the summer. His internship begins June 12.
Among the activities Todd looks forward to is experiencing an A320 Airbus simulator, which replicates flying the actual commercial plane in real-life scenarios. He also will fly in the airbus.
"I'm really excited about living in New York for the summer and working at the new headquarters," Todd says. "I'm from a small town, so this is going to be quite an experience."
JetBlue, which emphasizes its customer service, has been consistently ranked by Conde Nast Traveler among America's best domestic airlines.