ARES Skillbridge

Hey folks! Today I have the pleasure of writing up a blog post for another amazing DoD Skillbridge opportunity…this time with a contracting company working with NASA! I am pretty excited about this one, because growing up, I remember wanting to be one of those lucky kids that got to go to Space Camp (there was a movie that I recall). Space has always fascinated me, and I know I bore my wife and kids all the time watching science shows featuring the latest and greatest from the space community.

So a bit about the company and the program: The Skillbridge is with ARES, a company that provides engineering solutions to various industries, including space exploration. The specific areas covered by the skillbridge are engineering, budgeting, and strategic communications.

For the engineering programs, a 4 year engineering degree from and accredited university is required. There are two engineering programs available: Ground Integration Engineer and Operations Engineer. Without getting too technical (I don’t want to pretend I understand all of the technical jargon!), the Ground Integration Engineer will be working with various systems, their learning processes, testing of the systems, and documentation/validation of the systems before they go operational. This means that you could potentially be working on the Space Launch Systems (SLS) which is the next generation of rocket designed to take astronauts back into space!

The other engineering program open for the skillbridge is the Operations Engineer. This role is designed to have you working on operational systems after they have gone through their testing validation and are actually being used…Again, this could very well mean you will be working to get astronauts back into space on the SLS! I can’t begin to express the level of excitement this brings me!

There are two other skillbridge programs with ARES: Budgeting Intern and Strategic Communications. For the budgeting intern spot, a degree is preferred, but NOT required. With the vast amounts of experience that the military offers, someone that has spent a substantial portion of their career in a fiscal position handling unit budgets is a perfect fit! For the strategic communications position, the same applies: If you have spent a good portion of your career in the Strategic Communications Office (that’s what the Marines call it), in journalism, or have a degree in journalism, this could be a great fit for you!

All of these skillbridge opportunities are designed to be 4-6 month internships with the intention to place you in a permanent position upon completion of your active service if a spot is available. I spoke with Bruce Chamberlain today (the point of contact for the skillbridge), and all of the spots sound amazing. Currently all of the roles are working virtual due to COVID-19, but once things start opening back up and ARES picks back up operations at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I imagine that participation will require a relocation to the area.

For more information on these programs and to see if you might qualify for one of the spots, reach out to Bruce Chamberlain on LinkedIn or send him an email at bruce.s.chamberlain-1@nasa.gov. Bruce is a great person to talk to and I could tell he is pretty passionate about what he does. He has been working at Kennedy Space Center since 1988, and he has a wealth of knowledge about day-to-day operations down there!

If you have any recommendations for skillbridge programs you would like me to feature on this blog, please reach out to me on here or on LinkedIn. I am always open to connect with new people and welcome new and fresh ideas! I also love to hear if you have found any of the information in this blog helpful, as these notes keep me motivated to write!

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