Intern Spotlight: Avish Patel – Avia-Tek

Avish Patel

Majors: BHP, Finance, Pre-Med

Company: Avia-Tek, Shanghai, China

Topics: Aerospace, Airlines, Finance, Emerging Markets, China

What were you doing in your role?

I got to put on a lot of different hats throughout my time at Avia-Tek. Initially, I was doing market research on the Chinese aerospace industry, and aircraft leasing and financial structures. After that I did sourcing work to find aircraft parts for trading and maintenance. Towards the middle of the internship I did finance-related work in the form of financial modeling and planning. For the last few weeks I learned how to code a bit in Python (I’m a Finance/Pre-Med major), and then wrote a program that streamlined supply chain processes within the company and for clients.

Biggest lesson you learned or ways you grew from this internship:

Becoming a quick-learner was by far the biggest lesson learned from this internship. I came in to the internship expecting to do work related only to Finance, but I was given a variety of projects that often I knew nothing about. In addition, being that I’m going into my sophomore year I haven’t had any major specific courses making the learning curve even larger. For every project I took on while at Avia-Tek I had to find time to teach myself what I didn’t know often times meaning that I was taking my work home or working later. Especially for my last project which included coding, I had no coding background whatsoever, but I had to learn quickly, and eventually came out with a successful deliverable.

What did you like most about the internship?

Although the free lunches were amazing, the best part of the internship was definitely the variety of projects I got put on. Even though I was a rising sophomore with limited experience my boss constantly tried to test me with new projects or things completely out of the scope of my major through things like coding and even working at photoshoots. This left me with a much wider scope of knowledge and experience, in addition to a great internship.

Did you get to experience living in a new city? If so, what was that like for you?

Living in Shanghai was amazing and lots of fun. Shanghai is like living in New York or LA minus all the English requiring me to learn a considerable amount of Chinese. It is very fast-paced, and always alive. Bargaining is an actual thing in China making shopping much more fun. The nightlife there is endless very diverse. The food was great! I got to try lots of foods I definitely wouldn’t have tried in America. Being that Shanghai was very central I got to travel around China to places like the Great Wall and Huangshan Mountain (the mountain that Avatar was based on). Overall, Shanghai was an amazing place to spend 3 months interning!

Anything else you want to point out to other students about your internship experience:

Although interning abroad is somewhat intimidating it is something that I feel like it is an experience more people should try. Although everything from workplace culture to language is completely different it makes every single moment a learning experience.

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