Every ROTC cadet should have the chance to work for, let’s say, a Fortune 500 company, regardless of their major. Simply due to the fact that the leadership styles and management experiences you gain are invaluable and highly qualifies any cadet for any career field. Companies value the discipline and dedication a ROTC student exhibits which sets them apart from other candidates. Extracurriculars signals your resume as more competitive because it diversifies your skill-set. I found a wide variety of opportunities at Illinois Tech to do as such, apart from Illinois Tech’s ROTC, including running a 65 person radio station (WIIT), working with the American Institute Of Aeronautics and Astronautics Chapter (on putting a satellite into space in conjunction with NASA), and joining the cycling team. Combining academics, significant activities, real work experiences mixed with Army ROTC cadet training guarantees a very competitive background to be reckoned with.
Joining the Army ROTC is not only a life changing opportunity to become part of America’s next generation of Army leaders, but it can open doors that will jump-start your professional career. All the skills you learn can be applied to the civilian workforce and lifestyle. As a third year Aerospace Engineering major planning on commissioning into the reserves, it’s critical to find employment opportunities at top companies upon graduation. I had the privilege last summer to be selected for an internship with the US Army Corps Of Engineers (Rock Island District) where I worked as a project engineer. I was able to experience and analyze real world problems and apply the management skills I learned in ROTC and the technical skill-sets I learned in school. For example, I was given the opportunity to get involved first hand with the complex inner workings of the dams and lock systems within the Mississippi River and the Illinois Waterway– on top of other project managements and systems at work. During the time I spent with the Army Corps Of Engineers, I was able to learn invaluable skills and gain experiences that will benefit my career. Since then, I have been encouraged to leverage my ROTC experience, once again, and search for an internship for Summer ‘16 that would ensure success post-graduation.
I focused on other experiences that would set me apart from competition, such as working for any technology company and becoming partner on a patent. I was offered an internship from Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems Sector in their Special Programs Division. I’ll be working in Los Angeles and Palmdale Air Force Base as an Aerospace Engineer intern with the best division in the company! Throughout this semester I will also be participating in an undergraduate research with Argonne National Laboratory and IIT’s Department of Physics in Finite Element Analysis. I’ll be involved in a large scale research project to build an Antimatter Interferometer. These connections wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the Army ROTC and the knowledge, mentorship, and network it provided. I’ve been trained to be a dynamic leader which is an important skill-set for not only the Army but also commercial/private companies. I’m excited to take on new challenges that both the Army and Northrop Grumman will give me over the next year and beyond.