(l-r) Robert Clark, J. Miguel Santos, Boeing Managing Director - Sub-Sahara Africa and Director of Commercial Airplane Sales for Africa and Makhosazana Ncube. Photo: File

DURBAN – Robert Clark and Makhosazana Ncube, who are in their 20s, have already managed to oversee a project to improve nature conservation using quadcopter drones, co-direct the conversion of an aircraft to paratrooper transport, and redesign factory layouts to improve production. 

So it’s no wonder the two South African students caught the attention of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and were selected for its six month International Business Internship Program (IBIP) in Seattle, USA.

IBIP gives students valuable exposure to the latest technological and business advances and thinking in a variety of disciplines relating to business operations, finance, marketing, strategy and the aviation industry.

J. Miguel Santos, Boeing Managing Director - Sub-Sahara Africa and Director of Commercial Airplane Sales for Africa said, "We’re very impressed with the calibre of students that applied. I am excited for them to start in January, it’s a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience, not only in a new country but also at the world’s largest aerospace company". 

The students will be exposed to a range of business activities and work alongside Boeing employees in various fields. They will also have an opportunity to spend time with Boeing leaders, visit several Boeing factories and share their experience with other IBIP interns from around the world. They will be provided mentors and the support they need to succeed.

According to Ncube, she is eager to start the internship. She said, "I am eager to learn, patient and hard-working and have developed critical thinking skills and team working abilities which will be of huge benefit to me during the internship". 

On the opportunity to intern with Boeing, Clark recounted an experience of logging in two hours on the Boeing 737-700 BBJ simulator. Plus his dad is also pilot.

"It is not difficult to see, why Boeing would be the dream aircraft manufacturer for me to work within the future," said Clark. 

He added that he believes that he has the academic ability to cope with the steep learning curve that will almost certainly be presented to me by Boeing.

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