Interns Work Experiences Summer 2020

Gunnar Peterson-Gross

I have experienced a lot and made many important connections during my time interning here at LA DOTD. My knowledge of the aviation industry has grown immensely in these few short months. I was fortunate enough to receive hands on experience going out to airports such as Alexandria International Airport, New Orleans Lakefront Airport, False River Regional Airport, and many others. I was able to speak to each of the airport directors and gain insight about what it takes to run an airport from their perspective. Additionally, I was present to experience a lot of the other positions and their duties when it comes to helping an airport run. I was present on multiple safety inspections, attended meetings with the FAA and airport engineers concerning airport projects, and spent an entire day with LA DOTD’s Aviation Development Program

Manager, Tina Wilson, where I learned about her important role of allocating state money to help fund airport projects all across the state. Even though we are in the middle of a pandemic, that has not stopped me from getting an incredible experience out of my internship with DOTD. Through utilizing technology such as zoom, I have been able to sit in on many conference meetings, attended webinars, and check in with my supervisors safely and remotely. I would have to say my favorite part of my internship this summer by far would have to be the unique connections I was able to make. My current plan is to return to Louisiana Tech University in the fall and finish my degree program in Aviation Management. I will without a doubt utilize the connections and experiences I have made this summer to continue a career in the aviation industry.

Gunnar Peterson-Gross
Aviation Intern
DOTD Aviation Division


Maggie Grace Loper

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern for the LA DOTD Aviation Division. I looked forward to the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of aviation management by attending airport inspections and airport planning conferences, all while conducting my own research projects. With the ongoing pandemic, I was originally concerned about not being able to fully engage in hands on projects or network with management from across the state. I discovered that my original assumption was far from true. Not only was I able to accomplish the goals I set for myself, I was able learn to learn so much more.

By utilizing conference calls, zoom meetings, and other forms of technology, I have built upon my communication skills. I was still able to successfully complete airport inspections as well as attend airport planning meetings on site at various locations. Some of my greatest accomplishments from this summer include developing draft aviation proclamations, assisting in updating the Louisiana Airport Directory, and assisting in completing 5010 Airport Safety Inspections, as well as building upon my management skills. 

I plan on returning to Louisiana Tech University in the fall where I will continue pursuing my degree in Aviation Management. I will graduate from Louisiana Tech University in March 2021, I will then continue to pursue a career in Aviation Management. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and experience provided to me by the LA DOTD Aviation Division.

Maggie Grace Loper
Aviation Intern
DOTD Aviation Division


Andrew Hennessy

Despite the ongoing pandemic making business difficult, this summer has nonetheless been enormously helpful in developing me as a professional in the aviation industry. I hoped I would meet people in this industry, gain firsthand experience of state governance of aviation, and get a feel of how to work within an office. Prior to starting, I had little experience, but this has helped me reach the goals that I set.

I have been exposed to the state’s drone program and the expansion of drone usage in the DOTD world. I have also been educated on the importance of airport inspections and regulatory compliance. Airport development is more complicated than I thought and I have been exposed to airport planning and financing for construction projects.

Andrew Hennessy
Aviation Intern
DOTD Aviation Division

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