The Internship Series – Trailblazing Through Innovation
At Parsons, I work for the Information Architecture team under the guidance of John Scarlett and Kelly Greer with Irene Fleischman and Elizabeth Junod where we learn the processes to identify, track, and intercept a missile threat. Earlier in the internship, I spent weeks understanding the missile defense system, and now, I model it based on various resources explaining the radars, sensors, communications, and weapons systems. Modeling is prioritized in the MDS because it provides an avenue for advanced testing of the system, which can save lives and resources.
In addition to modeling, a focal point of the internship is project management. Project management elements, such as requirements and interface relationships, ensure a quality project and mission success. In my senior design project, my group partnered with Madison Cross Roads Elementary School to provide the librarian with portable study cubicles, where we oversaw the design and implementation of these stations. My training with Michael Schaefer and Christine Aldijaili reiterated and built upon the prior knowledge of systems engineering including requirements, functionality, and concept of operations diagrams and information. I now have been able to apply this knowledge to the Missile Defense System. Parsons’ culture fosters the belief that if there is a willingness to learn, they will aid in your growth. I believe this mindset has allowed me to advance my knowledge of systems engineering.
Being a baseball student-athlete, nothing compares to having forty brothers that challenge, encourage, and drive me to grow and succeed. I never imagined I would find that same relationship at a company; however, when I attended my interview for the internship, I knew it would be just that. I learned that Parsons takes extreme pride in everything they are associated with. Parsons is a leader in every market. Whether it’s civil architecture, space systems, or missile systems, it is evident that Parsons takes pride in their projects and its employees.
This same standard is held for the internship program. When I was interviewed, I was told that Parsons had a top-notch intern program. I was told that the program would not only challenge me, but it would connect me with people to grow in knowledge and experience. I was told that assistance would always be provided for those seeking it. I was told an internship at Parsons is one of a kind. Throughout my internship, I can confirm these promises are true, and the internship has excelled in them. Parsons values the connection with an employee: a connection that seeks to challenge, encourage, and drive success and growth. The extreme care Parsons has for its employees is unmatched and is a big reason for being a notable company everywhere it places its footprint.
The Dream – Post Internship
Throughout the internship, we have been exposed to markets, assignments, and connections to broaden our scope of what Parsons does and give us a better understanding of the opportunities that will come about in our potential future at the company. One specific meeting that stood out to me was a presentation by Mr. James Lackey on “Simulation and Integration.” Mr. Lackey stressed the importance of being an effective leader while adding value to a team. He also went into depth on projects that Parsons works on and integrates into the field. It showed the ingenuity of Parsons teams and their ability to improve missile defense and intelligence through their actions.
One opportunity that provided me with insightful and valuable knowledge was my meeting with the COO, Mrs. Carey Smith. It’s a blessing to be able to pick the minds of experts in their areas, but it’s not every day you get to pick the mind of the COO. During this meeting, we spoke on leadership, teamwork, and the importance of the work Parsons does. While we spoke on a broad range of subjects, a key takeaway from the meeting was about the characteristics that make an employee successful. I was told the most important aspects of an employee include effective leadership and teamwork. True chemistry is of the utmost importance in creating success in any area of work. This would include not only caring about individual successes but the team’s successes. Effective leadership and teamwork help grow the team chemistry in order to push the limits of the team and mission. I am very thankful for the time she set aside to speak with me. It truly shows the value Parsons has in its employees for the COO to set aside time to speak with an intern.
My time at Parsons has provided me with insight and direction in a future career. It has solidified my interest in missile intelligence or defense.
Parsons is present in so many important fields that serve a bigger purpose, and it provides support in a number of areas, for example, public safety, cybersecurity, and foreign nations protection. It is an honor to be a part of the Parsons’ team, and I know that Parsons will continue to trailblaze through innovation, creativity, and hard work. As I continue my career, I hope to be a part of such an amazing, world-changing company and community, such as Parsons.