LAKELAND, Fla. — Two Florida Polytechnic University students are jump-starting their aviation career by helping a Lakeland company get more than 100 fighter jets off the ground.

  • Kat Newell, Kevin Ordonez interning at Draken International
  • Company recently got nearly $300 million contract with Air Force
  • Students atttend Florida Polytechnic University

Draken International's former military jets flown by retired fighter pilots act as the bad guys to help train our military pilots — flying all over the country including Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Home base is a huge hanger at Lakeland Linder Airport. Two Florida Poly students are getting to intern at Draken for several months.

"I think it was just a match made in heaven," said John Adams, the department's director of maintenance. "We get to capitalize what their students bring to the fight and we get to show them how we work in our industry."

Kat Newell and Kevin Ordonez will help the company develop supply chain software to keep track of the jets and all of the parts they need. Getting to work around fighter jets has a cool factor for the college students.

"I would say I'm definitely excited, always wanted to be in the aviation industry," Newell said.

Draken recently got a nearly $300-million contract with the U.S. Air Force and it's growing, so the college students are hoping to fast track their solutions for the company.

"Here it's more like work on the fly," Ordonez said. "You gotta create solutions that are creative and work for today's problems."

Adams said Newell and Ordonez bring a "fresh perspective, a fresh outlook and give us what we might not have considered otherwise."

Draken says it is considering increasing the number of Florida Poly internships in the future.