The following blog entry comes from our 2018 Summer Intern Michael Paul who was instrumental in helping NATA with several major projects, including the preparation and execution of our successful Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference. NATA appreciates Michael’s hard work and dedication. We encourage other students or young professionals starting out in the workforce to consider an internship with NATA, one of our member companies or other general aviation partner to gain perspective on an exciting and highly rewarding industry.
By Michael Paul, NATA 2018 Summer Intern
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) held its Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference (ABC) from June 12th to June 14th in Washington, DC. With the highest turnout for the ABC recorded this year, naturally, there was a lot of work involved. As a new intern with NATA, having started just two weeks before the ABC, I was thrown right into the thick of things to help make sure the conference ran smoothly and exceeded expectations.
Prior to the conference, the NATA office was busy, to say the least. As an intern, I was in the middle of it all, creating presentations, writing scripts, contacting attendees and assisting with other administrative duties in preparation. It seemed like the week never stopped, and when the ABC finally came, it was truly rewarding to see all of the hard work play out. There is nothing more satisfying than to know that your own efforts have not been wasted, and I know that all of my work so far with NATA has been important and crucial to its accomplishments.
During the ABC, I had some time to experience the conference when I was not working, allowing me to sit in on panels and hear from speakers who are widely influential in the aviation business industry. Listening to Ali Bahrami, the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety for the Federal Aviation Administration speak about safety triumphs and goals for aviation, amongst many other speakers, proved to be a great opportunity to enhance my knowledge about the industry. I was able to hear from and interact with individuals from a variety of different businesses and organizations, engaging in dialogue and learning much more than I ever could in a classroom.
My experience did not stop there, however. Through the conference, I was able to have a voice on Capitol Hill, meeting with the offices for both Virginia senators (Tim Kaine and Mark Warner) to discuss issues impacting aviation. With matters covering FAA reauthorization and the aviation workforce shortage, amongst others, I am confident that my interaction assisted in bringing these issues to light and made a difference in the industry.
There was truly was no better time to begin an internship with NATA. Being so involved with the ABC was a fantastic opportunity to enhance my knowledge and network with aviation professionals. I can confidently say that my work has made an impact and it has been a very rewarding few weeks as I witnessed the value of my work unfold. With such a successful conference this year, I can only imagine what will be accomplished next year and years to come.
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