Intern's guide sought by airports across state



HUNTINGBURG — A recent Huntingburg Airport intern created a guidebook for interns and students interested in aviation and now other airports are using the guide.

“It’s really designed for anyone who wants to go into aviation, to get their feet wet with it, so that they can try it out and see if it’s really something they want to pursue as a career,” said Will Sternberg, a Purdue University freshman.

Sternberg, 18, was an intern at the Huntingburg Airport this past school year, which was his senior year at Jasper High School. Airport Manager Travis McQueen assigned him the task of developing a guide for interns.

“Travis asked me to develop something so that we would have a clear curriculum for interns to go through, and [interns] would have a set list of goals for what we want to achieve,” Sternberg said. “So they get the chance to try the different aspects of what it takes to run an airport.”

The guidebook includes information about aviation and airport activities and duties.

“For example, we’ve got refueling aircrafts with all the different fuel trucks, moving them with the tugs,” Sternberg said. “[It is] all the different aspects of what it takes to run an airport. And we have some general aviation knowledge so that interns will know what’s being talked about whenever aircrafts radio in, as well as some safety procedures.”

It also includes an airport inspection checklist to teach interns what to look for to help keep aircraft, personnel and the airport area overall safe. And since the guidebook is for students, there is a section that lists links to aviation resources, like universities and scholarships, and links for sites students can use to help them pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s written examination.

It took Sternberg a couple of months to create the guidebook. Then it took a few more months for him to go through the guidebook with McQueen and representatives on the Dubois County Airport Authority. The group reviewed, checked and revised the different sections several times before the guidebook was completed and finalized in May.

McQueen is very happy with the document. “Will did a fine job,” he said.

He told other airport managers about the guidebook, and they wanted a copy as well. So McQueen suggested that Sternberg give a presentation on the intern guidebook at the Aviation Indiana quarterly meeting, which was held in July in Crawford County.

“I was really nervous going into it. I’d never given a presentation in front of a big crowd of people before,” Sternberg said. “It went a lot better than I thought it would.”

It went so well, that the five copies of the intern guidebook Sternberg brought with him were taken by other managers. “A couple a people approached me afterward to talk to me further,” he said. “And the days after, I got emails asking me for a digital copy.” People also requested that the guidebook be uploaded to the organization’s website.

McQueen said Sternberg did well at the presentation.

“That was a good experience for Will,” he said, “to get that kind of exposure and to have that experience with the airport directors and managers across the state.”

Sternberg also appreciated the experience, from creating the guidebook to giving the presentation.

“I liked taking control of the project and really developing it, and getting it to where I wanted it to be in coordination with Travis’ expectations and requirements,” he said. “I enjoyed getting up there and presenting it, as I thought it would be a good way to help me transition into college.”

More on