This summer, several parents had the opportunity to connect with their children while they interned at Bell. Read what these parent-intern pairs said about being multi-generational Bell employees.
The Watson Family: A Lack of Helicopter Parenting
A financial analyst and an engineering intern in Fort Worth have a relationship that goes beyond typical coworker interaction. Father-son duo Curtis Watson, principal financial analyst, Government Pricing, and James Watson, engineering intern, Manufacturing Research and Technology, enjoyed the shared experience of working at Bell this summer.
Throughout James’s childhood, Curtis taught him about Bell and the passion he has for his work. Curtis appreciates the people and opportunities, including the ability to gain unique experiences and produce life-saving aircraft for first responders, armed forces and other important customers. He wants his son to experience working for a company that has kind, intelligent employees and meaningful work.
“I have always encouraged my son to be independent and go after what he’s passionate about. I don’t ‘helicopter parent’ and enjoyed that my son and I were on different teams so we could do our own work while sharing a similar passion,” said Curtis.
In past years, James has been able to network with Curtis’s co-workers and has attended several Bell events, including Family Day, STEM events and Bell Leadership Association for Developing Excellence (BLADE) programs, further sparking his interest in the aviation industry and in Bell. This summer, James experienced Bell firsthand during his summer engineering internship.
Through his own persistence combined with his father’s advice, James has had a successful college career and is excited for what his future holds. His advice to future interns is to network and build relationships. “Meet the people around you at orientation or on your extended team and build relationships with them. Take the initiative to schedule a lunch meeting or grab coffee. Your internship and career are what you make of them, so don’t be afraid to reach out,” said James.
With a culture that thrives on collaboration and diversity of thought, Bell is the place to do just that.
The Schank Family: Find Your Passion
“This has been a very rewarding experience for me. I am very grateful for my son’s opportunity to see my work and experience working for a company that values integrity, has a culture where everyone is valued and produces aircraft that make a difference in the world,” said Troy Schank, manager, Advanced Technology Integration, after having the opportunity to work with his son, Quintan Schank, over the summer.
Quintan could not be happier with the experience he gained as an engineering intern on the Electrical Aircraft team and is grateful he listened to his father and applied for an internship at Bell. Despite only being here for the summer, he felt like a trusted full-time employee working on significant projects.
“I came to Bell at a very exciting time. While working on the V-280 program and seeing the FLRAA contract under review, I had the chance to talk with Army customers about our solutions. This has been an incredible experience,” said Quintan.
Throughout his youth, Quintan attended airshows and Bell Family Day (mostly for the churros and bouncy houses) with his father and had the opportunity to see and touch helicopters. With over 15 years of experience at Bell, Troy has had the chance to support multiple programs and develop technology for a variety of aircraft and programs. Most importantly, Troy enjoys the people, projects and ability to see his research and work come to life.
As Quintan begins his senior year, Troy is very proud of the work Quintan produced this summer and how hard he has worked to get where he is today. “Seeing how the industry actually works is a unique and valuable opportunity and is a lot different from school. You find your passion during your internship and early career.”
While Quintan takes his new knowledge and experience with him, he also leaves advice for future interns. “Being professional, keeping yourself organized and staying on track are essential for a successful internship.”
The Nimrick Family: Embrace the Career Jungle Gym
When he was younger, Nolan Nimrick attended Family Day in Piney Flats with his father, Chad Nimrick, director, Support and Services – Americas, and experienced the Bell facility and aircraft up close. This summer, Nolan gained new exposure to the company through his internship in the Mechanical Systems Test Lab. During this rewarding experience, he interacted with cross-functional and cross-facility groups, met interns from universities across the country and attended fun events.
Nolan’s interest in pursuing engineering grew during his childhood through learning about his father’s work experiences. During Chad’s almost 17-year career at Bell, he has worked on a variety of teams, including Engineering, Strategy and Acquisitions, Marketing, as general manager of Piney Flats and now on the Support and Services team. Chad enjoys working on a global team and the ability to interact with Bell customers and employees from all over the world. He wants his son to experience working in a variety of roles so he can find his true passion.
Chad is proud of his son for carrying on the Bell legacy through his internship and is happy that Nolan’s internship exposed him to a variety of careers available for engineers. “I encourage my son and other interns to have an open mind and explore as many opportunities as you can. View your career path as a jungle gym instead of a ladder – taking on many different roles is important for your growth as a young professional,” said Chad.
Similarly, Nolan encourages future interns to work hard while having fun during their internship. “The internship experience is what you make if it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, build relationships and attend events,” said Nolan.
The Markham Family: Be Patient. Ask Questions.
Mother-daughter duo Paige Markham, vice president and deputy program manager, Military Sustainment, and Kirsten Markham, finance intern, Commercial Accounts Receivables, had the opportunity to work together at Bell headquarters in Fort Worth this summer.
Kirsten grew up watching her mother come home from work each day fulfilled and happy. With over 25 years of experience at Bell on different teams, including Finance and Accounting, Military and Commercial Programs and now with her current position on the Military Sustainment team, Paige has gained a wealth of experience and now encourages her daughter to be open to opportunities in different roles and functions. With her many years of professional wisdom, Paige advises young professionals to be patient. “As you’re earlier in your career, you may not start off doing something you love. Embrace the path that you’re on and focus more on the people and environment you’re in rather than the detailed work you’re doing initially. Your work will and should change, and the more projects you work on and opportunities you have, the greater your perspective and experience will grow. Be patient, be inquisitive and ask questions,” said Paige.
During her first internship at Bell, Kirsten worked on the Finance team. Her internship allowed her to become more confident in her career path. “My team definitely made my internship worth it. With what I’ve learned, I feel a lot more confident about what I’ll be doing in the future,” Kirsten said.
“The people you work with impact your work environment and influence your day, so it’s important to choose carefully. At Bell, you have the opportunity to work with good people.”
Building Bell’s Legacy: Sparking Interest
“Selfishly, this was awesome for me. You don’t often get to bridge your personal and professional life. It was very fulfilling,” said Chad Sparks, director, Strategy and Enterprise Growth Alignment, after having the chance to see his son, Caleb Sparks, intern at Bell on the Electrical Engineering team.
Throughout the summer, Chad and Caleb experienced even more of a bond over Bell and the industry by sharing a common purpose. The two enjoyed carpooling to work and talking about their days during the commute: Chad learned more about new technologies and ideas from his son, while Caleb benefited from networking and lessons from his father.
Caleb’s interest in Bell began at a young age when he was able to attend Bell Family Day, tradeshows such as CES in Las Vegas and other conventions and events with his father. With Chad’s 26 years of experience at Bell on different teams, it was only natural for Caleb to take interest in the aviation industry. From Engineering, Supply Chain, Program Management and now with his current position on the Operations Alignment team, Chad has served as a role model and provided a wealth of knowledge to Caleb throughout his childhood and during college.
Drawing on experiences from his long career at Bell, Chad shared his thoughts on the keys to success. “My biggest piece of advice is to learn and ask questions. Be intellectually curious and build relationships. No matter what stage of your career, stay curious and ask,” he said.
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