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Patti Grace Smith Fellowship 2020-2021 for Black and African-American Students Interested in Aerospace

Patti Grace Smith Fellowship

Deadline: 11:59pm Pacific on  Sunday, November 15, 2020.

Patti Grace Smith Fellowship 2020-2021 for Black and African-American Students Interested in Aerospace

Are you ready to take the first step towards your aerospace career? Because we’re definitely ready to hear from you.

The Patti Grace Smith Fellowship is designed for Black and African-American students who are looking for their first ever internship in the aerospace industry. We know you’re just getting started — so we’ve designed an application process that doesn’t assume you’ll have a giant resume and a loaded school transcript already. We know there are other ways to show excellence, and we’re eager to learn about your talents in all of their different forms.


This one is easy. To be eligible to become a Patti Grace Smith Fellow, all of these things should be true.

  1. You should be Black or African-American. If that’s the box you checked on your Census form, than that works for us!

  2. You should be a current student in the first two years (freshman or sophomore) of a Bachelors Degree program or in any year of an Associates Degree program. If you are taking some time off due to COVID-19, you are still eligible.

  3. You should be seeking your first ever job / internship in the aerospace industry.

If you meet those three requirements, you are eligible! Students of any gender, any age, any economic class, any major, any GPA, any college or university, and any anything are eligible if they meet those three requirements.

 Materials Required

Okay, this is the simple and straightforward part. It’s probably similar to what you needed to do back when you applied for college. You’ve got to gather together a few straightforward things.

An up-to-date, one-page résumé. We know you are applying for your first job in aerospace, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any relevant experience! So please, show us what you’ve got. Make sure you are listing everything that might make you a valuable teammate at an aerospace company – which very likely includes your clubs, side-hustles, and other projects in addition to your coursework and any past jobs or internships. Yes, jobs well outside of the aerospace industry can still be relevant here: they show that you know how to manage a schedule, how to work with others, and more. Before you finish, double check it for typos, then have a friend read it, then have a different friend triple check it just for good measure.

To make sure your résumé stays associated with your application, we ask you to submit the file in PDF format and to give the file a certain name that follows this format: 2021PGSF_Lastname_Firstname_Resume.pdf. If we had a hypothetical candidate named, for example, Cindi Mayweather, she would name her file: 2021PGSF_Mayweather_Cindi_Resume.pdf

Your latest school transcript. If you are in your first semester at your new college or university, get us the last transcript you have from your previous school (whether that was your high school or a previous college or university).

One side note: we think it is downright crazy that most universities charge their own students money to access official transcripts. Accordingly, we will accept happily unofficial transcripts. Admittedly, it is possible that if you advance to the final stage of our selection process, our Employers may require an official transcript… but even that is exceedingly rare.

Like with your résumé, we ask you to follow a pattern when naming the file for your transcript: 2021PGSF_Lastname_Firstname_Resume.pdf. Our hypothetical candidate would therefore name her file: 2021PGSF_Mayweather_Cindi_Transcript.pdf

letters from your referee – So, we need you to find two other human beings who will each write us a letter all about you. These folks can be anyone you want: teachers, bosses, coaches, mentors, or anything else. You can even request letters of recommendation from a friend or a family member, if you want — though keep in mind that most other applicants will have letters from professors and the like, which can make it hard for a letter from a loved one to stand out.

Please ask the folks writing your letter to tell us about this kind of stuff:

  • How quickly do you learn new things?

  • How curious are you?

  • How hard do you work?

  • What do you contribute to your community (this could be any type of community)?

  • How creative are you?

  • How interested are you in aerospace?

  • How might you benefit from mentorship?

Please ask the people writing these letters to send them directly to us via email at [email protected]. And as with your transcripts, CVs, and more, it would be very helpful to have these letters come in with a specific filename. We therefore politely request that your recommenders submit their letters as PDFs with the following filename pattern: 2021PGSF_CandidateLastname_RecommenderLastname.pdf. So, if a person named Meg Murry is writing a candidate for our hypothetical candidate named Cindi Mayweather, the file should be named: 2021PGSSF_Mayweather_ Murry.pdf

Accordingly, as part of our application, we require you to create two original works. In here in Step 4, we’ll talk about the first of these: the Essay.

Please write us an original essay of approximately 500 words that specifically responds to one of these prompts:

  1. GPAs and college transcripts don’t paint a complete picture of a person. What else do we need to know about you?

  2. What would Blackness bring to the Aerospace Industry? How would a significant change in the diversity of this industry, and specifically in the number of Black contributors and leaders, change the Aerospace Industry itself?

  3. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do, only you lacked the resources?

  4. What is a significant sacrifice you’ve made to help someone else?

  5. What is something you have taught to another person that made a lasting impression—on you, on them, or on you both?

  6. Which skill or lesson that you learned outside of the classroom will do the most to make you a more effective teammate at an aerospace company? Why?

The purpose of this essay is to teach us as much as we can learn about your professional and academic interests, your fundamental character, your critical thinking abilities, and your communications skills. The more we learn about you through your application, the better!

And yep, you guessed it. Your essay should be submitted as a PDF following the same filename pattern: 2021PGSF_Lastname_Firstname_Essay.pdf. Our old friend Cindi Mayweather would name her file: 2021PGSF_Mayweather_Cindi_Essay.pdf


For more Information: Visit the webpage for Patti Grace Smith Fellowship 2020-2021 for Black and African-American Students Interested in Aerospace