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Diversity/Careers Summer/Fall 2013 Issue



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Diversity In Action

The SI Organization has openings for new grads and interns

Students majoring in electrical, systems or aerospace engineering, CS, IS or IT, ME, physics and math should apply online; internships can lead to jobs


The SI Organization, Inc (the SI) is committed to hiring new grads to fill fulltime and internship positions in 2013. Recruiters visit local HBCUs and reach out to minority professional groups for diverse applicants.

“Our leadership team is committed to hiring the best and brightest entry-level professionals,” says Kevin Marshall, the SI’s diversity and EEO representative. “We strive to leverage partnerships with diversity-focused organizations to maximize our company’s brand and attract a wide spectrum of applicants.”

Systems engineering for intelligence
The SI is a government contractor providing full lifecycle, mission-focused systems engineering and integration services to the intelligence community.

Although it has only been an independent company since 2010, the organization began in 1972 as part of General Electric Aerospace and has a history of successfully delivering complex, system-of-systems technology solutions. It later became part of Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD), and was sold to Veritas Capital (New York, NY) in 2010 to avoid organizational conflicts of interest.

Recruiting diversity
The SI taps a number of sources for diverse talent. Recruiters visit schools including HBCUs Howard University (Washington, DC), Hampton University (Hampton, VA) and Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), as well as other campuses across the nation. The SI also partners with an assortment of diversity-focused professional organizations like SWE, SHPE and NSBE.

Engineers from the SI recently participated in the Women in Engineering Developing Revolutionary Engineers and Mentors (DREAM) panel at the University of Maryland, an event that drew over 500 young women engineering students.

“We’re very passionate about diversity, but there is always room for improvement,” says Marshall. “As we work with diversity-focused organizations, we are finding a lot of interest in who we are.”

“We want to promote the SI and increase women and minorities in all STEM fields, from elementary through high school level,” says James Mesick, director of human capital strategies and operations.

Internships teach tech and workplace skills
Interns at the SI get plenty of exposure to senior engineers and corporate management. The interns are the beginning of the pipeline for fulltime hiring.

Elaine Bofill, senior employment representative, is the go-to person for the interns. On the job, they are assigned to R&D projects that tap their academics and involve them in real-life projects. Last year, one group built a small quad-rotor flying vehicle.

Bofill organizes brown-bag lunches for the interns with company leaders. Classes offer interns both academics, like the foundations of systems engineering, and workplace polish, like professional dress and etiquette.

Potluck lunches and community service projects provide opportunities to make friends, and there’s a major field trip each summer. In 2011, interns visited the International Spy Museum (Washington, DC), where they had a scavenger hunt. In 2012, they solved a mystery game at the Museum of Crime and Punishment (Washington, DC).

Mentors and mentees help each other
Every intern and entry-level employee is matched with a mentor to help them get acclimated to the company. That relationship works both ways: the new hires can get advice on their careers and ask questions that they might not be comfortable asking their direct managers, and the senior employees can stay current in the technologies and techniques taught in today’s college classrooms. Pairing entry-level employees with experienced engineers helps with knowledge transfer and allows the new employees to take leadership positions early in their careers.

“Our new hires give recommendations right off the bat,” says Bofill. “It’s helpful to have that kind of relationship. They learn a lot in the first six months on the job.”

Outreach and internal support
Many employees at the SI work with their alma maters through alumni and professional organizations. Two business resource groups provide internal support: the Network of Enterprising Women and the Rising Professional Association. The groups also organize community service projects, and a diversity council is in the works. An annual volunteer day involves hundreds of employees across the country.

“Our community involvement focuses on building that STEM education pipeline,” says Brad Wolf, senior manager for communications. “We have a robust volunteer program aimed at generating student interest in engineering careers.”

Career development
Over 85 percent of the company’s employees have bachelors or masters degrees. An additional 5 percent hold PhDs. To support continuing advancement, the SI provides on-the-job, classroom and self-paced training to develop skills in current and emerging technologies. It also offers formal development programs at the early career, mid-career, advanced-career and executive levels, industry certifications, and tuition reimbursement for advanced degrees and certificate programs in key skill areas.

Technical positions include systems engineers, systems integrators, analysts and information technology support. Students majoring in electrical engineering, systems engineering, aerospace engineering, computer science, information systems or technology, mechanical engineering, physics, mathematics and other technical or business-related majors are encouraged to apply online.

D/C




The SI Organization, Inc
www.aeroflex.com

Locations: Chantilly, VA; Laurel, MD; Valley Forge, PA
Employees: 2,000
Revenues: $12.2 billion
(North America)
Business: Systems engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence community

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