When Andy Seely ’99 is looking to hire interns who have the knowledge, skills, abilities, practical experience and education to get the job done, he likes to turn to a familiar place: UMUC.
Seely is the solution director for digital transformation at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC®). SAIC is a technology integrator that mainly supports the government services market. This encompasses engineering and technology solutions in areas such as information technology, training and simulation, platform integration, mission expertise and intelligence.
“We do IT for the Federal government,” explains Seely, in simple terms. SAIC counts NASA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, including the branches of the military, as clients.
“We also serve the intelligence community,” notes Seely, including the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Seely is no stranger to UMUC. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science from the University in 1999. He also has been an adjunct faculty member for nearly 20 years and teaches in the CMIS Computer Information Systems and Technology Department.
His dual roles have given him unique insight into the UMUC community. “I have a lot of personal experience and equity in what it means to be a UMUC student and graduate,” he says.
As an instructor, he understands that through UMUC he has access to students in degree programs within 12 IT-related majors, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity. “These are the kinds of things we care about as a company at SAIC,” Seely says.
Seeking seasoned talent
Historically, SAIC has sought interns from traditional colleges and universities. While they have been pleased with the interns’ performance, these internships entail a two-month project in July and August.
“SAIC’s model doesn’t work that way,” he insists. “We don’t only work in the summer.” Seely is pursuing interns he can deploy on projects 12 months a year, as needed.
“I’m looking for people who know how to install, build, maintain and run things,” he says. He wants interns—and employees—who are well versed in standards like Red Hat Linux, Microsoft Server and other state-of-the-art technology. “I need people who know databases, people who know data analytics tools and know how to work with big data,” he says.
Partnering with his alma mater
He decided to develop an internship program at SAIC that taps into the talent pool at UMUC. He has already hired three interns through this new program, and he hopes to add a dozen more each year.
Seely and his colleagues are impressed with the level of talent and the work ethic they are seeing in their UMUC interns. In fact, one of the three interns from UMUC has been hired for a permanent position at SAIC.
Although SAIC’s partnership with UMUC is new, Seely has plans to continue to grow the program. It’s a win-win for both the intern and Seely’s employer. “These interns are already older and more mature. They are going to come away from their internships with a broader sense of how technologies come together to create capabilities for government agencies,” he says.
Seely is thrilled to be in a position where he can make an impact on his alma mater and SAIC. “I am hoping to disrupt the way we do internships in general here,” he says. “Our needs are year-round, and UMUC is year-round. I want to create a pipeline so I can fill my intern needs at any time with somebody who has the hunger, knowledge, skills and abilities to get to work.”
Giving fellow UMUC community members a foot in the door is just a bonus. “Helping others achieve the American dream—that gets me excited,” he adds, with a smile.
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