From working parents to military veterans, GE would not be the company it is today without its employees. We created “Quick Six” to celebrate our diverse talent by asking employees six questions that uncover the unique ways that they contribute to GE and the world.

In our next installment of Quick Six, we spoke with Kusha Ansari, a Technology/Engineering intern in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kusha’s work this summer has been focused on the world’s most powerful commercial jet engine, the GE9X. Ansari is one of thousands of interns working at GE Aviation as we celebrate National Intern Day.

 What university are you currently studying at, and can you tell us why you wanted to pursue an internship with GE Aviation?

Ansari is a mechanical engineering student at The Ohio State University.

I’m currently attending The Ohio State University. I’m in my fifth year and last semester. I have always been a huge flight fanatic. As a kid, I used to travel a lot on airplanes and I always demanded the window seat. I really wanted to watch the engine and plane flaps move with takeoffs and landings. Once I got to college, I learned more about GE and the flight design career path, so during my freshman year I went to a career fair and spoke to recruiters with GE Aviation. I lucked out because they were looking for freshman mechanical engineers who were willing to do an internship in the fall. I’m so thankful for the opportunities at GE, and I’m currently on my third rotation as an intern.

What are some of the best tasks or projects you have worked on as an intern?

There’s always been at least one project that stands out for each rotation. My first one was at the ACSC (Aircraft Component Service Center), just outside Cincinnati. Usually during your first internship rotation you aren’t expected to have that much technical knowledge, but I was still able to find ways to meaningfully contribute to the team. I looked at how to make services more efficient with the repair cycle, identified a stage of the process that was taking a lot of time, then put a plan in place to reduce the amount of time for that stage. It might seem like a small thing, but small efficiency improvements like that can make a big difference in the end.

My second rotation I was at GE Aviation’s headquarters in Evendale, Ohio, with the marine and industrial engine assembly operations. I looked at one stage of the assembly process in which operators were having trouble with their tools damaging mid-shafts. It was a really rewarding process to help out and improve operations to save mid-shafts and ultimately save time and money for the business.

My current rotation is more focused on design than the past two. I’m involved in designing and solving problems with the GE9X, which is really awesome because it’s an all-new engine with cutting-edge technology. All my rotations have been very different but so fascinating.

Ansari (fifth from right) stands in front of the GE9X with other GE Aviation summer interns following its recognition as the world’s highest-thrust commercial jet engine.

How has your third rotation as an intern compared to your first and second rotations?

I feel a lot more comfortable now that I’m on my third rotation. GE Aviation is a complex, expansive, international company, and my first time interning here, I didn’t have many engineering classes under my belt, so I felt a little lost. Luckily, people were understanding of that and went out of their way to include me in meetings and projects. I’m now able to help with things that I had learned about in class, like machine elements or heat transfer. I also learned things on these rotations beyond just engineering. Even though engineering is very technical, there are those “soft skills” you need like effective communication and being comfortable asking questions that really set me up for success here.

Do you have any advice or tips for college students interested in doing an internship with GE? What is something you wish someone would have told before you started as an intern?

I think the most important thing even for applying anywhere else is being your authentic self. It’s important that you can speak truthfully about the person you are and not the person you want to be. I learned that at my first career fair. I mentioned to a recruiter that my dad works for GE and was able to tell me about some of the cool projects he had worked on. The recruiter said, “That’s nice, but tell me why you want to join GE.”

That was not what I was expecting to hear, but once I told the recruiter about my love of flying, engineering, and my fascination with flight, it was a much more genuine conversation. I’ve learned to be my authentic self while being here, so one of the most important things, in my opinion, is being yourself whether that’s working for GE or somewhere else.

What are some important lessons you’ve learned from your internships?

Time management is a big lesson I’ve learned because I have to juggle multiple projects at once. I’ve also learned to ask for help when I need it and talk to others when I can’t solve a problem on my own.  Coming in as a college student and having limited experience, it was especially important to know who to talk to and know that it was okay to ask questions—nobody was expecting me to have all the answers. It’s also important to know how to communicate effectively and document the work you do, which helps others understand your process and reasoning much easier.

The GE9X on-wing of GE Aviation’s 747 flying testbed in Victorville, California.

What are your interests outside of work?

I’m very involved in student organizations at Ohio State, particularly cultural events. I was involved in Global Leadership Initiative, a yearlong program that focuses on bridging gaps between domestic and international students, professional networking, and community service. Community service is a passion of mine, and I always try to do GE volunteer events when I can. It’s a great way to give back and meet new people within GE.

I’m also a foodie—I love to explore cultural foods and restaurants that offer something out of the ordinary . I like to learn about different cultures, and I’m also part Chinese, part Iranian, so I like to share the cultures I grew up with to others. I also like soccer. When I’m here I commute from home, so I try to do volunteer events or go to socials just to meet new people.

Did you know Quick Six is a series? Read our previous features: