Tag Archive for PCSE

Pizza My Mind Presented by Kimley-Horn

Kimley-Horn presented Pizza My Mind on February 18. Headquartered in North Carolina, this growing company now has more than 90 offices across the country. Kimley-Horn is a multidisciplinary consulting firm with a wide range of services including aviation, energy, environmental planning, forensics, parking, water, and many more. Presenters Ben Priddy (College Recruiter), Victoria Holmes (Environmental Analyst), and Jon Chambers (Electrical Engineer) joined us to talk about what Kimley-Horn has to offer.

At Kimley-Horn “teamwork is paramount to success.” There are numerous opportunities for employees to be challenged and grow. Kimley-Horn has a unique “shifting” program that allows employees to travel to other offices for short periods of time to help on projects where help is needed. New hires at Kimley horn are offered training and boot camps followed by professional development training opportunities for the next 6 years.

Kimley-Horn offers bonuses, paid time off, retirement contributions, health and wellness perks, ownership/stock opportunities, and many more perks. During COVID-19, Kimley-Horn has supported employees by shifting to work from home. Employees are offered flexible schedules to accommodate for things like kids participating in school from home as well. Each employee is supported to make sure they are comfortable and accommodated in these unprecedented times. 

Kimley-Horn is currently hiring for internships and full time opportunities. For more information please visit kimley-horn.com/join-our-team/working-at-kimley-horn/

Thank you for the fun, information filled presentation Ben Priddy, Victoria Holmes, and Jon Chambers.

Pizza My Mind Presented by General Dynamics Information Technology

General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) presented Pizza My Mind on February 11. GDIT is a subsection of General Dynamics, a company with locations all across the globe. GDIT serves as a defense contractor working in many areas such as artificial intelligence and applied machine learning,  enterprise IT, cyber, cloud, application development, and more. Presenters Jay Powell (Chief Technology Officer) and Amira Nguyen (Early Career Recruiter) joined us to talk about what GDIT does and what opportunities they have available.

One of GDIT’s initiatives is equality, inclusion, and diversity. They are actively working to foster a diverse culture within the workplace. GDIT offers a ten week paid internship program that will be 100% virtual this summer due to COVID-19. GDIT hires all skill levels and features a supportive training program for new hires. 

GDIT responded to COVID-19 by immediately sending everyone that could to work from home. Employees were supplied with ample collaboration tools, laptops or remote desktop access to their work environment. Meetings of more than 4 people were prohibited, and those in the office are expected to wear masks and social distance to keep everyone safe. They have worked to continuously support their employees through uncertain times.

For those interested in cybersecurity, there are many opportunities available at GDIT including pen testing, computer network defense, attack, and exploit, and many more areas of focus.

For more information visit gdit.com/careers/

Thank you Jay Powell and Amira Nguyen for your wonderful presentation!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Marathon Consulting

On February 4, Marathon Consulting presented Pizza My Mind. Marathon is a consulting company headquartered in Virginia Beach. They have been voted one of the best places to work in Virginia since 2011. They serve private industries rather than the federal government and work in fields from healthcare to finance to education and many more. Marathon strives to recruit and retain the best of the best. Presenters Harris Pezzella (President), Tom Marsden (Vice President), Katie Keene (Senior Recruiter), and Lindsey Mashburn (Senior Recruiter) joined us to talk about the opportunities available at Marathon.

The culture at Marathon is very social, and the company has taken great care to keep this culture alive in the virtual environment we find ourselves in today. Marathon focuses on nurturing the professional and personal growth of each employee as well as maintaining a balance between life and dignity. Employees at Marathon receive healthcare, paid time off, paid premium overtime, a competitive 401k, professional development training, health and wellness benefits, among other benefits.

In recent years, the company focus has shifted from senior level consultants to identifying less senior talent who can learn and develop skills. Marathon offers an internship program with the chance to transition to full time employment. In particular, Marathon is looking for interns interested in web development, application development, mobile development, and quality assurance. All students who are interested should keep an eye out on Handshake for upcoming summer positions. 

Visit www.marathonus.com for more information.

Thank you to Harris Pezzella, Tom Marsden, Katie Keene, and Lindsey Mashburn for your informative presentation!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton presented the first Pizza My Mind of the semester on January 21. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Booz Allen is a consulting firm whose purpose is to empower people to change the world. The firm is organized into several groups: global defense, national security, civilian services, strategic innovation, and enterprise services. CNU Alumni Adam White (Lead Engineer), Robert Caine (Staff Engineer), and Tyler Smith (Staff Scientist) presented with Heather Holdaway the University Recruiter for the East Coast. 

Booz Allen Hamilton offers locations all over the world. There are many opportunities available for employees to engage in community outreach and volunteering. In addition, Booz Allen offers a good work-life balance. Heather Holdaway was eager to share about the company culture. Booz Allen is purpose-driven and values based with focuses on leadership and a team environment. Employees are given resources and encouraged to continue to learn through benefits like tuition reimbursement and a program to pay back pre existing student loans. These benefits can be used to pursue graduate degrees, gain certifications, take classes and boot camps, and attend conferences.

Adam, Tyler, and Robert all shared about their experiences as Booz Allen employees. Adam spoke eagerly of Booz Allen’s commitment to his personal and professional growth. He shared that the most rewarding part of his job is the benefit his work offers to real people. Tyler has loved Booz Allen since being hired, and spoke fondly of the time he had to learn the tools available before being assigned to a project. Robert said “It has been great working here” at Booz Allen, because the company is very understanding and accommodating of your circumstances. 

Booz Allen Hamilton has both full time positions and summer internships available. Interested students are encouraged to apply at careers.boozallen.com/University. Heather Holdaway advised that if you are interested in a position, you should apply for it as soon as possible.

Thank you to presenters Heather Holdaway, Adam White, Robert Caine, and Tyler Smith for your informative and engaging presentation.

Tuesday Tea with Dr. Farideh Doost Mohammadi

On December 1, 2020, Tuesday Tea featured Dr. Farideh Doost Mohammadi, a professor here in Christopher Newport University’s department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. Dr. Mohammadi is from Tehran, the capital of Iran. She got her BS in electrical Engineering at the Iran University of Science and Technology, her MS in Electrical Engineering at the Amirkabir University of Technology, and she came to the United States to get her Ph D in Electrical Engineering at West Virginia University. 

Dr. Farideh Doost Mohammadi

Dr. Mohammadi reminisced about the differences between life in Tehran and here in the United States. Once a year in Iran, there was an entrance exam (students choose between engineering, medicine, or law) held for all students who wanted to attend university. All students who took the entrance exam were ranked, and this determined what universities they would be able to attend. Dr. Mohammadi chose to pursue engineering, because there were more options within the field and many of her family members are in electrical engineering. 

The difference between Iran and the United States extends beyond education. Dr. Mohammadi shared that she was shocked by the change of pace from Tehran where “everyone is running,” to the United States where things are calmer. She also spoke fondly of holidays she celebrated with family in Tehran like the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  She spoke of how mothers in Iran have a great skill for cooking, and when she was a kid her family always ate food at home rather than going out. Iran is famous for hospitality, and she shared that people will welcome you into their homes.

Dr. Mohammadi worked as a teaching assistant during her bachelors and masters program and found that she enjoyed teaching and wanted to stay in academia. However, becoming a university professor in Iran is much more difficult for women, so she came to the United States. Dr. Mohammadi likes Christopher Newport University for the connection between the university and industry and the focus on experimental and practical learning.  Dr. Mohammadi’s studies focus on power system controls and renewable power. 

Thank you to Dr. Mohammadi for sharing about her life and experiences.

Pizza My Mind Presented by NAVSEA

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) presented Pizza My Mind on November 19, 2020. The Dahlgren Division protects the nation by designing and developing warfare systems and technologies. Dahlgren often teams with academia on research and supports continued education. Presenters Debbie Bardine and Barry Mohel shared about what Dahlgren has to offer.

There are many departments within Dahlgren including the Gun and Electric Weapon Systems Department. Within this department, there are opportunities to work with a variety of technologies like high energy lasers, an electromagnetic railgun, hyper-velocity projectiles, gun fire control software, and projectile fuzes. 

Dahlgren offers the ability to directly impact the lives and safety of our Nation’s military. They also bring great pay and benefits, flexible schedules, family friendly environments, and paid opportunities to continue your education, alongside a myriad of other benefits. The presenters were excited to share that they can go home every night knowing they are directly helping someone else’s life. 

Applicants to Dahlgren should showcase previous experience they have in the form of internships, projects, and leadership experience. At least a 3.0 GPA is expected, along with motivation and a good work ethic. No previous work experience is required, just a passion for learning.

For more information on career opportunities with NAVSEA, please visit https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Careers/NAVSEA-Careers/

Thank you so much to wonderful presenters Debbie Bardine and Barry Mohel.

Pizza My Mind Presented by Facebook

On November 12th, 2020, Sean McHugh, Software Developer at Facebook and VT alum, joined the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering Department to talk about the opportunities available at Facebook. Facebook consists of several apps including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Facebook is headquartered in California, but has locations all around the world (including here in Virginia).

Sean McHugh interned at NIST, PolyTech, Amazon, and then Facebook. He has been a software engineer at Facebook since 2019. Sean works in Seattle on the payments care team. Facebook offices come with a lot of cool features including a rock climbing wall, a music room, three meals a day, and so much more.

Facebook offers internships in the spring, summer, and fall. The interview process consists of 3 phone interviews. Good ways to stand out in the interview process are showing off personal projects and research, prior internship experience, clubs, and school projects. Sean shared tips on interview success. To prepare for interviews, students should do practice problems. These can be found on FireCode.io, LeetCode, and in books. Mock whiteboarding is another good way to prepare and practice answering questions. 

More information can be found at www.facebook.com/careers/

Thank you to Sean McHugh for his informative presentation!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Newport News Shipbuilding

On November 5, 2020 Newport News Shipbuilding presented Pizza My Mind. Morgan Edwards joined students and professors to discuss what the Shipyard has to offer. Newport News Shipbuilding, located here in Newport News, designs, builds, and refuels ships for the US Navy as well as commercial business. They are the biggest shipbuilding company in the United States. 

There are many internship opportunities available at Newport News Shipbuilding. Interns can expect to work on a project as a part of a team. They will get hands on experience and the opportunity for a full time offer following the internship. Students can get assistance with housing, and these positions are open to graduate students as well as undergraduates.

Full time positions at Newport News Shipbuilding include benefits, paid time off, paid holidays, and community outreach. Their Covid-19 response has allowed employees to work from home. There is more time between shifts for sanitation, and all employees are required to wear masks. They are keeping a close eye on the situation as it evolves. 

Applying for a position at Newport News Shipbuilding is as simple as submitting your resume and transcript. Interns are not expected to have extensive prior experience as they will be paired with a mentor and taught on the job. Applicants are encouraged to highlight experience related to their studies like academic or personal projects.


See https://careers.huntingtoningalls.com/ for more information on open positions. 

Thank you to Morgan Edwards and Newport News Shipbuilding for the presentation!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Canon Virginia

Canon Virginia, Inc presented Pizza My Mind for the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering department on October 29, 2020. Canon Virginia is a global manufacturer located in Newport News, Virginia. Their innovative and efficient production methods along with their environmental commitment make them a leading global manufacturer. CNU Alumni Griffin Tritaik and Ben Gendell joined presenters Bryan Forrest, David White, and John Brownfield to discuss Canon and the career and internship opportunities available. 

Canon Virginia works with copiers, printers, cartridge manufacturing, and toner cartridge recycling. They utilize many technologies including augmented reality, collaborative robots that safely work side by side with humans, deep learning vision, and autonomous mobile robots. Canon is focused on being green and participates in recycling, a zero landfill policy, and green procurement. They are ISO 14001 Certified and R2 Certified. 

Canon is a great company to work for with a good benefits package, good work life balance, and opportunities for upwards movement. They are the fifth largest company in the area and are continuing to grow. 

Griffin Tritaik and Ben Gendell shared about their experiences as interns and now full time employees. During his internship with Canon, Ben worked with no-touch automation and HMI and PLC programming. Griffin worked with collaborative robots, deep learning, and ViDi. Both came into their internship with no prior knowledge of the tools and technologies they were working with. They learned as they went, and both eventually got an offer to continue full time. Ben now works on an industrial internet of things as well as ViDi, deep learning, and AutoCAD design. Griffin now works with CV2 and 3D Vision, collaborative robot applications, and smart manufacturing. They offered advice to current students to “ask questions and be willing to learn. Go into everything with an open mindset.” 

Internship and other opportunities can be found at cvi.canon.com
It is okay to not know everything, Canon is looking for people who have a good attitude and a willingness to learn!

Thank you to Bryan Forrest, David White, John Brownfield, Griffin Tritaik and Ben Gendell for your wonderful presentation!

Tuesday Tea with Dr. David Conner

The Physics, Computer Science and Engineering department had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. David Conner on October 20th. Dr. Conner is from a small rural city southwest of Blacksburg, Virginia. He grew up near the Blue Ridge Mountains and spent his childhood days hunting, fishing, and riding a motorcycle. He lived on a working farm with cows and lots of land. As a kid, Dr. Conner described himself as a “geek.” He talked about having a microscope and chemistry set that he tinkered with during his adolescence. 

Dr. Conner described some of the must see attractions in Floyd County Virginia. There are the Blue Ridge Mountains with the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as the famous Mabry Mill. In addition, they hold Floyd Fest (https://floydfest.com/) music festival. Besides that, there are wineries and lots of farmland and mountains.

Dr. Conner attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech or VT) as a first generation student. He wanted to stay in state and VT was close. Coming from such a small town, VT was a huge change with many more students and much bigger classes. Dr. Conner identified as being shy and struggling with making friends in this new place with all new people. He spent his undergraduate years alternating between working to pay for school and attending semesters at VT. Because of this, he graduated with no debt, but did not have a continuous group of classmates to go through college with. He graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering.

After graduating, Dr. Conner found a job and began working. He found that he loved the creative side of engineering like designing and math, but did not enjoy the management side. He decided to go back to school for his MS in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. He found that he wanted to continue his research and discovered the robotics program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA where he went on to receive his MS and Ph D in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. While there, he enjoyed the collaborative open door policy he was met with and the interdisciplinary faculty in the program. 

After getting his Ph D, Dr. Conner spent time working in the autonomous vehicles industry as a research scientist. After competing in the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, he found he enjoyed working with students and decided he wanted to teach to have more impact in peoples’ lives. Going somewhere that valued teaching was important to him, so he chose Christopher Newport University and began teaching here in 2015.

Dr. Conner has tried many different things, research, graduate school, working in different jobs, and now he is teaching. He spoke of admiring the lack of fear of failure that Michael Jordan exhibited when he took a break from the NBA after winning 3 championships and pursued a baseball career before returning to the NBA. Dr. Conner encouraged students to try many different things. Dr. Conner’s advice for students interested in the creative side of engineering is to continue their studies in graduate school and get a masters. He advised students to find a program that specializes in the specific area they are interested in working in. 

Thank you to Dr. David Conner for joining us to talk about his experiences. He has shown us that it is okay to not know what you want to do and explore different options, and that failure should not be feared.