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Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Senior intern flies high

Paduani lands rare internship at Boeing
Scarlett Lewis

The aviation industry is skyrocketing into the future. With technology advancing, commercial aircrafts are now traveling at over 575 miles per hour. Wanting to be a part of this advancement, senior Declan Paduani awaited his acceptance into Boeing’s summer internship program. With endless technological opportunities appearing in the modern world, there is not a better time for the younger generation of the world to apply themselves into these positions.

“When I found out I [got the internship], I was super happy because I knew this would be a major milestone in retaining my goal of being an aerospace engineer, and [I knew] it would really help me in life,” Paduani said.

At just 17 years old, Paduani has just wrapped up his summer internship with Boeing North Charleston. From a very young age, Declan has been exposed to the field of engineering and design.

“I’ve always liked space, but I also liked engineering, so I think once I got into high school especially my freshman year I really started to get into aerospace engineering and rocketry,” Paduani said.

Paduani’s interest in aerospace engineering has influenced his class choices here at Wando. Paduani was in his junior year when he found this internship by word of mouth.

“I’ve been taking engineering classes at the CAS…like POE, IAD, and I also took aero- space [engineering]. And then I was contacted by, I believe, my aerospace engineering teacher…and it was on an internship opportunity. So I of course accepted, and I got ready for it. I went to an interview with Boeing…and a few weeks later, I found out I made it–made the internship,” Paduani said.

Since starting this internship, Paduani has gained experience in the workforce, learning skills such as time management and professionalism, as well as skills specific to the aerospace industry.

Chris Sjolander, Paduani’s Aerospace Engineering teacher, encourages students to take these opportunities and expand their experience in real world fields.

“Getting exposure in a career field definitely translates very well into our classrooms because our classrooms are very project-oriented, project-based, and relevant…what we work on in [the classroom] can be directly translated to things in the aerospace industry,” Sjolander said.

Boeing North Charleston is continuing to roll out new models of its 787 Dreamliner. After hitting a production snag back in 2021, Boeing is back to delivering these jets at a consistent rate. Reaching the demand of the airline world takes an entire workforce of dedicated employees.

“In the building I work in, there’s almost two worlds. We have the factory where they actually have airplanes in rows, and we have offices on the sides of the buildings. I worked in the offices [with] engineering stuff…We would solve problems…try to streamline the production stuff…just smoothing things out and making everything work more efficiently,” Padauni said.

Working in a large company such as Boeing can be very intimidating. On the 265-acre property, the workforce consists of over 6,500 Boeing employees. Of these, their roles consist of engineers, mechanics, test pilots, data analyzers, and communication specialists.

“It’s a huge building [however] really quickly I kind of got used to it,” Padauni said. “Everyone around me was really nice. They helped me out when I needed help [and] they wanted to take me along and just teach me about their jobs and what they did.”

In addition to the support of his teachers, Paduani has gained support from his peers. Senior Ethan Arthur, a friend of Paduani, has noticed how this internship has helped him grow.

“He’s always loved aerospace and since [the internship], his love for the craft has really grown…Declan is a really really good student. I’m in a few classes with him and I think he really sees things differently from a lot of other people,” Arthur said.

In addition to Paduani assisting Boeing, the internship has had an impact on him. Working with Boeing has allowed him to be- come a more experienced person in the world of engineering.

“If you’re really dedicated, you should definitely go for it. It looks really good, it’s going to help you a lot and you’re going to learn a lot because getting real world experience is huge,” Paduani said.

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