Sunday, December 19, 2010

Operation Explore at BAE Systems

On Friday December 3rd, BAE Systems in coordination with SHPE-NYC hosted SHPE college students at the BAE Systems facility in Wayne, NJ for an event called Operation Explore. The purpose was to host an event focused on enabling students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career opportunities in the defense industry. Students interacted directly with engineers and technologists who are leading the development of many innovative products.

Students showed great determination just to get to Wayne, NJ. They drove over 1.5 hours from
Stony Brook University and Rutgers University. Some came from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Students even took a public bus from the City College of New York (CCNY).

The event kicked off with lunch and informational videos, provided by the host Juan Alvarez, BAE Systems, which showcased lines of businesses as well as specific products relating to BAE Systems. The participants were then taken to the manufacturing floor where they had the opportunity to see live circuit card assembly work. They were also able to tour the environmental testing lab where BAE Systems products are placed through extreme environmental conditions.

The participants next heard from Nydia Rosado, from the BAE Systems Contracts department. She is a retired Air Force Colonel with an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,

who wanted to provide insight into personal and professional development based on her life experiences. She stressed four key points:
  1. Life is a group of decisions, not just one. One poor decision does not prevent you from achieving success.
  2. Family is very important
  3. Education opens many doors
  4. Have a mentor (someone who cares enough to be brutally honest with you) and be a mentor to someone else.
Kelly Zeh followed with a discussion about the Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP); a 3 year program aimed at achieving a balance of managerial competency and intense technical proficiency through rotations / training in different business areas. She left the students with 2 main points:
  1. Its not what you know, it’s who you know. Connections are very important even within the company.
  2. You are the only person that can block yourself from succeeding.
Discussion concerning the Engineering Leadership Development Program concluded with a Q&A panel where Kelly and two other members of the developmental program answered questions from the participants. They highlighted 3 points about the program:
  1. Switching disciplines / assignments keeps you challenged and helps you push yourself further. You don't need to know about the department, they will teach you when you get there.
  2. You can do a technical or a management rotation
  3. Balancing work, coursework, and personal life is tough, but you learn a lot from the classes right away.
The last presentation was made by Jeff Coletta and Bob Faraccio from the Human Resources department. They provided tips that would maximize success at career fairs and interviews, such as:
  1. Having 60 second interview pitch
  2. Being confident
  3. Remembering to have your resume in hand and accessible
Juan Alvarez thanked everyone for attending and urged them to look for mentorship opportunities that will help them reach their potential. He also reminded them to set aside time, now and in the future, for the people and organizations that got them to where they are today. Remember to pay it forward!

--- Article submitted by David Guisao, BAE Systems

1 comment:

Syed said...

BAE Systems, Inc. is building a new human resources and financial service center in Charlotte, N.C., that should be operational by the second half of 2011.

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