Students receive high-tech education in military world
Software Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground revitalizes pool of talent
TOWSON, Md. (Dec. 2, 2011)—Towson University graduate students are receiving hands-on experience in high-tech civilian support roles at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Internship programs established between the Applied Information Technology (AIT) and Computer Science programs at TU and the Software Engineering Center (SEC) of the U.S. Army serve as recruitment and retention tools designed to revitalize the information technology talent pool at the Aberdeen-based Communications Electronics Command (CECOM).
With many CECOM personnel set to retire in the next few years, building a set of qualified candidates is vital. TU students aim to fill those roles by working on war fighter, business service and enterprise service missions.
Gonzalo Pareja, an Applied Information Technology major, has been an SEC intern since August 2010, putting him about halfway through his two-and-a-half-year internship. So far he has worked on warfighter, logistics and business service programs. He says his experience with the SEC has made him see things differently.
“I saw army vehicles returning from being deployed, and I could relate that to what I do in logistics,” explains Pareja, one of a class of 12 TU students currently participating.
SEC programs offer an array of internship opportunities, including the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), a government-wide paid internship that provides work experience that directly relates to the students' academic program and career goals.
Kathryn Baldwin, also an Applied Information Technology major, is on the software engineering track. She has been assisting with updates to the SEC website which gives her hands-on experience in web design and usability.
Though her father is an Army Lt. Colonel, Baldwin had not given much thought to a civilian career in the armed forces. Today, she is glad to have found an opportunity at CECOM.
“Being able to apply what you’ve learned and knowing that the things you do have an impact on soldiers makes it worthwhile," she says.