TULSA, Okla. — Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District recently spoke to students of Langston University in Langston, Okla. about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) internship and career opportunities at the Corps.
As part of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allowing STEM collaboration between the university and Tulsa District, Tulsa’s Chief of Natural Resources, Kent Dunlap, Engineering and Construction Division’s Administrative Officer, Nancy Crenshaw, and Tinker Air Force Base Resident Office Mechanical Engineer and former intern, Kendrick Adams participated in a brown bag luncheon seminar Nov. 20.
“Our presentation was titled ‘Serving the Nation; Serving Others. Career opportunities with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,’” said Dunlap. “This is somewhat representative of the dual missions of the Corps of Engineers, which are military and civil works. The emphasis of our presentation was about the variety of possibilities that a career with the Corps may afford a young person.”
Dunlap explained the history of the Corps and its missions, and then Crenshaw offered tips to the students about how to get a job with the Corps through the Pathways Intern program for summer hires and students, and the Pathways Recent Graduates program, which are competitive and require an application process.
“The Pathways Intern program is a great way for a young person to gain experience while going to school,” said Crenshaw. “The Recent Graduate program is what we call an upward mobility program in which the person is targeted for one of the Corps’ professional, journeyman-level positions. They can come in as a trainee in a two-year program and get rotational assignments and then come out as a journeyman-level employee.”
Crenshaw noted that of the many career fields the students might be interested in pursuing, the Corps likely has a fit for that field. She also talked about the Corps’ worldwide mission and the opportunity for deployment with the Corps’ contingency missions.
Adams, a mechanical engineer who joined the Corps through the Recent Graduate program, spoke to the students about his experience with the Pathways program. He graduated From Tuskegee University in May 2009 and began work with the Corps in June that same year.
“I had a lot of $70 thousand job offers out of college, but I went with the Corps at a lower salary because it gave me two years to develop,” said Adams. “I came in as an intern and in those two years I went to a lot of prospect courses to get technical training since I was new to construction. Now I work at Tinker Air force Base as a project engineer and I manage four or five contracts worth about $5 million.”
With the MOU finalized, the goal is for the Corps to participate in more STEM presentations at Langston, and to coordinate site visits for the students at Corps projects, such as dams and powerhouses, to encourage them to consider a career with the Corps.