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Program provides on base career opportunities for college students

Premier College intern Matthew Robinson, a mechanical engineering student at Cedarville University, learns how to create a 3D model of an airplane part using scanning software at the University of Dayton Research Institute. He is interning with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (Contributed U.S. Air Force photo)

Premier College intern Matthew Robinson, a mechanical engineering student at Cedarville University, learns how to create a 3D model of an airplane part using scanning software at the University of Dayton Research Institute. He is interning with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (Contributed photo)

Hayley Sledge, a student at Asbury University who is double majoring in computational mathematics and Spanish, is working in the 711th Human Performance Wing on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, this summer as a part of the Air Force Premier College Internship Program. (Contributed photo)

Hayley Sledge, a student at Asbury University who is double majoring in computational mathematics and Spanish, is working in the 711th Human Performance Wing on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, this summer as a part of the Air Force Premier College Internship Program. (Contributed photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - For students interested in Air Force careers across multiple organizations, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is full of opportunities.

This summer, 83 students were hired to work on base as part of the Premier College Intern Program (PCIP) – an Air Force-wide initiative now in its second year.

The program recruits high-caliber college students from across the nation – who are on track to graduate – to experience Air Force culture as civilian employees for 12 weeks during the summer. Ultimately the program’s goal is for the students to consider working for the Air Force full-time after graduation.

“The future of our country and Air Force depends on attracting high-caliber talent, which is why it’s important that we have programs like PCIP,” said Kathy Watern, executive director of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

More than half of the Wright-Patterson PCIP interns are attending local universities, including Central State University, Wright State University and the University of Dayton. Others have come to Wright-Patt from various in-state and out-of-state schools. All of the interns are eager to contribute to the Air Force mission.

“This is really a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Wright-Patterson and civilian work in general,” said Matthew Robinson, Cedarville University mechanical engineering student. “I am excited to serve my country in this way!”

Robinson is working at AFLCMC this summer. He is looking forward to building on his knowledge of project management, applied engineering and team coordination.

Most of the interns will be working in engineering, logistics, financial management, computer science, human resources and contracting.

Asbury University student Hayley Sledge, double majoring in computational mathematics and Spanish, is working in the 711th Human Performance Wing.

“I am looking forward to not only learning more about what a specific career as an operations research analyst might entail, but also learning about the many areas of research that exist within the Air Force,” said Sledge. “So far, I’ve been able to see that just within the 711th Human Performance Wing. They have so many ongoing projects related to mental health and musculoskeletal topics, and that’s really exciting!”

Watern, who administered the oath of office to a group of PCIPs on May 13, said, “We are excited to see bright, new talent interested in Air Force Civilian Service. The PCIP program is a fantastic opportunity for students enrolled in critical occupations to gain an inside, hands-on look at key programs within the Center. We hope to use this dynamic program to provide an enriching and engaging experience for these students.”

The interns have finished in-processing and will attend 3-day symposium before they begin working in their respective organizations.