San Rafael Airport

By Nick Slanec (Class of 2017)

Hi, I’m Nick Slanec and I’m doing my internship at the San Rafael Airport. The very first challenge I was faced with when starting this internship was finding out how to get there. The bridge that normally was the route to the airport was closed off for maintenance, so I had to find another way around. After about 20 minutes of skulking around the perimeter of the property, I found my entrance.

The San Rafael Airport is a small airport, with only a handful of employees on site. It’s a very professional environment, and the offices are very well kept. I was given a desk in Bob’s office, along with a monitor and ethernet cable. Bob is my internship mentor and basically runs the airport. My current task is populating a large spreadsheet with data from the site’s electric bills since 2015. This is a fairly large challenge, and I have had to find creative ways to lessen the load. In order to do this, I needed to learn how to efficiently work in Google Spreadsheets. I have learned how to use functions in the spreadsheets, so some cells will be populated using the information from other cells. I actually used this knowledge in my econ class recently, it saved me hours of work. After I finish the spreadsheets for the airport, I will start working on remaking their website.

When I started this internship, I didn't have any specific things I wanted to learn. I just wanted to soak up the experience of being in a professional environment. This mindset still holds true, and I have learned a lot in the two months I’ve been here. Remember that bridge that was closed off for maintenance? It’s owned by the airport, and it is actually being rebuilt. The entire bridge is being taken down and a new one is being put up in its place. Bob is managing the construction of this bridge, coordinating all of the contractors, cranes, trucks, etc. Learning how this management works is exactly the kind of experience I’m looking for. The great part about it is: I don't need to be specifically taught about how to do these things, I can just observe what everyone else is doing. Familiarizing myself with professional environments gives me a leg up when I get a job after college, and that is a very valuable experience.

I have been having a lot of fun at the San Rafael Airport, and I can't wait to see what the next few months have in store. Getting an experience like this at my age is rare, and I plan to take full advantage of it.