Michael Wynn | Social Community Manager
Senior Business Administration major Emily Tarko has dreamed of working at Collins Aerospace since she was in high school. Growing up near the company’s Windsor Locks location and inspired by her father and uncle, both of whom have a background in engineering, Tarko developed an interest for the work they do in leading technological advancements for the global aerospace and defense industries.
“I have always been really interested in international business and the aerospace industry,” she said. “As I explored opportunities at Collins Aerospace, I found the Global Trade internship which would allow me to experience the business-side of the company.”
Last summer, her dream came true. She applied for the Global Trade internship at Collins Aerospace and was hired to work on a number of business-focused projects.
“I have worked on a variety of things including program management and digital technology,” Tarko said. “I have helped write instruction manuals, develop the training curriculum for global trade, and create presentations that I got to help deliver. It is not an internship where you are just going to grab coffee for managers, you are doing meaningful work.”
The work she was doing became even more meaningful when she got the chance to work in sanctions, an assignment that helped Tarko to see the global impact the work being done at Collins Aerospace has.
“Working in sanctions, I have experienced the whole screening process we go through to determine whether we can do business with certain companies in other countries,” she said.
Tarko, who is a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige Scholarship, the University’s four-year full-tuition scholarship for Main Campus resident students studying business, credits what she has learned in her classes as integral to her success during her internship.
While skills like critical thinking and effective communication were important, she also found the concepts she learned in her core business classes helped to set her apart. Studying performance excellence and quality principles, which were hallmarks of Malcolm Baldrige’s approach to business, Tarko discovered how one’s passion impacts both the products a business makes and the people they do business with.
“Quality is important because it shows who a company is,” she said. “If a company is not focused on quality, it can make or break their reputation, whether it is a product they are producing or a service they are providing. I have witnessed how important quality is to Collins Aerospace and how everyone is passionate about the quality of work that is done there.”
She also recognized that diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important part of the workplace. Many of her classes have focused on inclusivity and equity, and she was excited to see that in action.
“Collins [Aerospace] has so many employee resource groups and activities, events, and initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion, it has been great to see that actually in play and the company dedicating so much time to that,” Tarko said.
As she prepares to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in May 2023, Tarko is thankful for all that she has learned during her internship. She not only understands the value of the connections she made, but how critical this internship was in preparing her to be workforce-ready.
Calling this her first ‘big girl’ job, she is excited to see what the future holds when it comes to her career.
“This internship has been so important because it is my first job related to my future career goals,” Tarko said. “It has helped me get real-world experience in my field and given me a good idea of what to expect when I start my first job after I graduate.”