Tech-savvy grads participate in reverse mentoring at Raytheon
Engineering and IT candidates need graduate degrees. Rotational development programs are available.
Internships and co-ops are offered year round
Raytheon is a defense and aerospace contractor that keeps its recruiting programs for engineering and IT students and new grads active year round. College hiring accounts for 15 percent of the company's overall new hires.
Raytheon specializes in technology for defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. In its ninety-year history, the company has provided state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; command, control, communications and intelligence systems; and a broad range of mission support services.
"We have feet on the ground at more than seventy-eighty campuses across the country," says Karen Balcom, enterprise university programs manager for corporate talent acquisition.
Diversity is key. Raytheon works with minority engineering programs and maintains partnerships with academic departments. Its long history makes those partnerships an integral part of campus life. The company hosts campus events like the University of Michigan's SWE career fair and Cal Poly-Pomona's SHPE conference. University recruiters attend all the minority organization national conferences.
That means students, both undergrads and grads, have many chances to talk one-on-one with Raytheon employees about what it's like to work there and what they can expect.
Most engineering positions are in electrical, manufacturing, software, industrial and mechanical engineering, engineering technology, computer science and management information systems, but openings are available in other areas, like cybersecurity.
The company offers rotational Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) in engineering and IT as well as six other areas including supply chain. Before assuming a management role, new LDP grads are placed in three different corporate and geographic locations over two years. Candidates for the engineering and IT programs should have graduate degrees or be actively engaged in graduate study.
Internships and co-op work are the focus for undergraduate students. "Interns at any level are a great source for talent and diversity," says Balcom. "It's really a win-win for everybody."
Raytheon is learning from its new generation of employees, with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn pages. "Social media outlets keep us on top of people's minds when it comes to our industry and who we are. It helps not only with recruiting, but also with technology and brand awareness," says Balcom.
Entry-level employees are welcomed into reverse mentoring with senior employees. Tech-savvy young employees help established professionals understand new technologies.
"The generations are really collaborating," says Balcom. "It's informal, but so much work is being done on generational differences within the company. Senior management is interested in partnering with entry-level, college and masters-level employees."
RSpace is an internal social media network that integrates news, profiles, communities, blogs, wikis, activities, forums, files and bookmarks into a single tool behind the company's firewall. Each employee can post a page of professional and personal information. Employees use it socially to connect with alumni and others with shared interests, and professionally to create and collaborate on virtual projects.
"It's so beneficial," says Balcom. "Employees can collaborate with each other no matter where they are. From any location, they can find each other."
Both formal and informal mentoring are encouraged. New employees are introduced to the eight employee resource groups (ERGs): Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies (GLBTA), Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement (HOLA), Raytheon American Indian Network (RAIN), Raytheon Asian Pacific Association (RAPA), Raytheon Black Employees Network (RAYBEN), Raytheon Persons with Disabilities Association (RPDA), Raytheon Women's Network (RWN) and Young Employee Success Network (YESNET).
YESNET provides support for early- career employees, a way to build connections between their workplaces, their communities and one another.
"YESNET provides both a forum and a voice for its constituency," says Balcom. "It is a vehicle to drive young employee personal and career development, and it helps Raytheon acquire and retain top talent."
Employees often find mentors through the ERGs. The groups sponsor senior employee speed-dating-style events to help new employees connect with mentors. An online database also helps employees find mentors.
Raytheon supports students well before college. MathMovesU is Raytheon's outreach program for middle school students, their parents and teachers. Its goal is to increase the number of students signing on for STEM majors by offering interactive learning programs, contests, live events and tutoring programs. The materials and traveling museum show students that the science and technology behind the things they love is fun.
"We connect with students as early as we can to get them excited about math and science, and thinking about a career in our industry," says Balcom.