AUBURN, Ala. - Summer time and the living’s easy. Unless of course you’re softball standout Kasey Cooper. The rising junior from Dothan, Ala. had other plans on how she would spend her summer.
Starting with an SEC Tournament Championship followed by a run in the NCAA College World Series. For most, that would be the summer of a lifetime. Not for Cooper. Just two days after the dream season, Cooper started a new adventure, as an intern for Lockheed Martin.
For those who don’t know, Lockheed is an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company. Cooper is a mechanical engineering major who has always had a knack for taking things a part and putting them back together.
“I’ve always been interested in how things work,” said Cooper. “Engineering is a mindset for solving problems. I was always taught not to bring up a problem unless there was a solution.”
Back in the spring, Cooper knew a summer internship was imperative (problem). Cooper knew there was an upcoming job fair being held at Auburn for student-athletes (solution). She met with a representative from Lockheed Martin and applied. Working with and assembling missiles sounded like a great way to spend the summer. After a lengthy security check, Cooper got the job.
When the alarm clock went off shortly after 4:00 a.m., on her first day Cooper knew she was in for a treat. Employees arrive at the facility early in order to ensure they are properly dressed and protected. From 5:42 a.m. to 4:12 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Cooper would spend her time conducting reports, training, building and coming up with efficient systems to improve defense mechanisms used by the military. While each day offered something a little different, the two-time All-American saw some pretty cool stuff.
“Working on the assembly line and watching parts be put together was pretty cool. We actually got to watch a video of our final product being used. We got to tour different buildings where different equipment was made. It’s essentially a pretty patriotic thing… we may not be on the front lines, but we helped.”
Cooper was able to take what she learned in the classroom and on the softball field to standout in her internship. Supervisors constantly referred to Cooper’s work ethic, discipline and confidence throughout the course of her internship.
“Coach Myers constantly preaches hard work and excellence,” said Cooper. “I was able to take that and show it off during my time at Lockheed. The skills I’ve developed being a student-athlete helped me stand out.”
The future is a bright one for the NFCA Scholar Athlete. When she’s not busy preparing to bring her team back to the College World Series, she’s weighing her options about a potential career in the medical field. Cooper has dreams of one day becoming a surgeon.
Auburn Athletics has given Cooper the chance to succeed on the field, in the classroom and out in the real world. A quality Cooper recognizes as being one of a kind.
“I can’t thank Auburn Athletics enough for the opportunities I’ve been given. I went to them for help and they went above and beyond anything I could have asked for. My coaches and teammates have been an amazing support system. I have a family behind me, that’s what Auburn is … a family.”