Kentwood High graduate Lauren Campbell finds time for planes and volleyball
By KRIS HILL
Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor
July 18, 2012 · Updated 11:18 AM
Lauren Campbell is making the most of her oh, so short summer vacation.
The 2009 Kentwood High graduate is spending her eight weeks off as an intern at The Boeing Co. in Everett.
Campbell, who will be a senior at Northern Arizona University in the fall, is a mechanical engineering major who also plays volleyball for the Lumberjacks.
And just because she’s got a full-time, paid internship at the aerospace giant doesn’t mean Campbell gets a break from her responsibilities as an athlete.
“It seems to be my day is go to work, get home, eat, work out and go to sleep,” Campbell said. “I’ve been keeping up with all the weight lifting and all the volleyball stuff.”
She has always known she wanted to pursue a career that involved math and science so becoming a mechanical engineer seemed like a logical path.
Despite the demands of being a Division I student athlete with a major that requires rigorous math and science courses, Campbell has maintained a 4.0 grade point average according to her player profile on NAU’s athletics website, and was named to Capital One Academic All-America Division-I volleyball third team, the first All-American in program history.
Managing all of the, she said, requires exceptional time management.
“I’ve been pretty good with keeping up with that kind of stuff,” Campbell said. “I have a planner that I use regularly. My whole life is in that thing.”
She also credits the academic support the school provides her and other athletes who make sure players are on top of all of their academic requirements.
Campbell also credits the NAU volleyball coaching staff for allowing the team to have time with family, especially over summer break, though it’s important to keep up with off season training.
Being able to come home has been helpful, too, in allowing her to work last summer and this one in an internship that really helps her learn about her chosen field, network in her industry as well as provide a real-world perspective on all the theoretical classes she has taken.
“Being around the area, especially if you want to be in engineering, you always look toward Boeing as the optimal place to work at but actually my dad has worked here for 25 years so that gave me a little bit of an in,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to work here, mainly because my dad has enjoyed it. If they give me the opportunity to work here, I would love to work at Boeing, and that’s all up to them to see if they would like to hire me but if they do I would jump on that. I have enjoyed every second I’ve been here and to me this seems like a good company.”
Her father started out as an engineer and has since moved into business operations in the 787 program, she said, while Campbell is interning in the 737 Max program.
In her first summer at Boeing she spent a fair amount of time learning how the company works, especially the acronyms, “which is like a different language,” she said.
“This year I’ve been working on specifications, documents, the overall requirements on a spoiler they’re going to use on a 737 Max,” she said. “I’m excited about that because I get to learn about the inner workings of one of the components of an airplane. What my lead told me when I first joined is I’m not going to treat you like an intern, I’m going to treat you like an employee. I think I’ve learned so much more being treated as an employee than as an intern so it’s been much more gratifying. It’s been a great opportunity.”
When she gets back to Flagstaff, Ariz., July 31, Campbell will spend some time telling the team about what she did during her summer vacation during two-a-day practices and pre-season games.
“Normally when I come back from my internship my teammates are very excited about it and want to know what I did,” she said. “They’re very into that kind of stuff and wondering what I did. It always makes me feel good that my teammates are supporting me and interested in what I’m doing.”
Then it will be down to business on the volleyball court for Campbell, a 5-foot-8 outside hitter, who will be one of five seniors on the team this year.
“We hope to get to the Big Sky championship. That is our No. 1 goal,” she said. “We haven’t made it to it yet, we’ve been rebuilding, we’ve been a young team. This year we’re going to have a lot of seniors, this year should be good, we should be past this rebuilding stage and hopefully reach that goal. We’ve been playing for four years together so that chemistry should hopefully show on the court and we can get some wins.”
Contact Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor Kris Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 432-1209, ext. 5054.