Two-thirds of interns at General Dynamics Mission Systems accept full-time positions within the company, including Connor Leicken, Janet Lee, Robert Brosh, and Jacob Willinger (left to right).
Our internship program is nationally recognized, and that’s just one of the reasons we have interns accept full-time roles at General Dynamics Mission Systems. Our interns get to work on programs that are at the forefront of groundbreaking technology and transitioning to a full-time employee means they continue working to make Missions:Smarter.
We asked four of our former interns, Janet Lee, Robert Brosh, Connor Leicken, and Jacob Willinger, about their intern experience and advice they have for prospective interns.
Why did you decide to stay with General Dynamics Mission Systems upon completion of your internship?
I stayed with General Dynamics after my internship because I was excited to be a part of such a mission-driven project. The internship program gave me a taste of the content I would be dealing with in the industry and that had me itching to find out more. My manager also played a big role in always communicating with me throughout my internship to full-time transition process, as well as making sure I was putting my skills to use and engaging in different programs, while I waited for my clearance. - Janet Lee, Software Engineer
There are several reasons, from the excellent first impressions of the people I’d be working with during the phone interview for my internship, to the meaningful work I’d be doing here as a full-time employee. – Connor Leicken, Software Engineer
I chose to stay at General Dynamics because I was offered a position with a supportive and talented User Experience (UX) team. They have empowered me to make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes. It has been a great place to start my career. – Jacob Willinger, UX Researcher
Our internship program has been ranked one of the Top 100 in the country by WayUp. Our internships are paid positions and are open to college sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students. You’ll learn from the very best and discover why starting a career here is such a smart choice.
What top skills did you learn from your internship?
Through my internship, I gained a deeper understanding of Git, Agile practices, and the problem discovery process. Though classes give a foundation for Computer Science, I’ve found that real-world software development involves more interaction with stakeholders and requires constant communication to produce a meaningful product. Since this was my first internship as a software engineer, many of these skills were entirely new, but learning through experience is both part of the challenge and reward. – Connor Leicken, Software Engineer
It will be five years in May since I started my internship! I certainly still use skills that I learned during my internship, but the most beneficial lesson from that time was gaining an understanding of how programs, projects, teams, and the organization as a whole operated. It helped set my expectations for moving forward with the company. – Jacob Willinger, UX Researcher
At my internship, I learned how to really dig deep and research something I knew very little about but was very interested in. – Robert Brosh, Software Engineer
I learned a handful of technical skills: hardware emulation, OS configuration, network structure - just to name a few. However, I think one of the more lasting skills I learned was how it felt to work in a real industry environment. Coming from just school project experience, where collaboration and research (aka Google) were penalizable, you realize how important both of those skills are in the industry. Research-wise, being able to read documentation, understand existing public examples, and implement certain API’s or libraries into your program is essential to being innovative and successful in this field. – Janet Lee, Software Engineer
What advice do you for interns with their post-internship planning?
Work hard, but don’t forget to enjoy your last year(s) in undergrad! – Robert Brosh, Software Engineer
If you are thinking of staying after your internship, have an intentional discussion with your manager about what you did well and what could use improvement. If you’re leaving to go back to school or another opportunity, be thoughtful about what you learned and where you still need to learn more—then use that to give you confidence moving forward into a new position. I also always recommend finding a mentor to help guide you. – Jacob Willinger, UX Researcher
Keep learning! Learn more about yourself and what you find interest in. Focus and capitalize on those aspects during your remaining year(s) of school and apply for either your next internship or full-time position in that area. One of the great things about General Dynamics Mission Systems is how broadly their footprint is in the technical industry, so be sure to communicate your interests with your manager because I’m 99% sure General Dynamics Mission Systems will have what you’re looking for. – Janet Lee, Software Engineer
The first step to becoming a former intern-turned full-time employee is applying for an internship!