Building a Resume One Summer at a Time

September 2017
MITRE Interns
Three AFCEA interns

Some things are worth repeating.

Just ask MITRE interns Matt Gramigna, Katie Bradford, and Philippe Lessard—they returned to MITRE this summer for a second, and in Graminga's case third, internship. All three were eager to explore new areas and opportunities within the company.

Gramigna is a University of Massachusetts Amherst student working on a double major in computer science and math. He started interning at MITRE in 2014. "This summer, my main project was working with a MITRE team doing web development for the U.S. Marine Corps," he says.

A secondary project focused on an embedded security "Capture the Flag" competition. "I did web development in earlier years, but the cybersecurity stuff is all new to me," he says. "It's been a good mix of project work." 

Bradford, a Cornell University student studying computer engineering and electrical engineering, spent most of her time working on vehicle security and car systems' connections. In 2016, she mostly developed software. This year, she conducted schematic analyses on codes that connect automobile systems, how they can be read, and what they mean.

"My biggest takeaway was learning how to approach problems from different angles and develop good solutions," she says. "I've had opportunities to work on some exciting projects and even participated in my first hackathon. I never thought I could work for that many hours in a row, but we created a really cool project. And I learned how to develop apps, which is something I'm interested in."

Lessard, who's studying computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, first came to MITRE last year, after graduating from high school. He worked on software development in 2016, but this year his work was more research oriented. He focused on a proof of concept for networking technology for one of MITRE’s government sponsors. 

All three agree their internships complemented their studies—and they all expressed interest in working for MITRE after graduation.

AFCEA Scholars

That's not all they have in common. Gramigna, Bradford, and Lessard first came to MITRE as interns as part of a fellowship program sponsored by the Lexington-Concord chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) the summer before they started college. AFCEA awards scholarships and coordinates with several local companies to offer 10-week paid internships to new high school graduates interested in pursuing careers in the science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields.

"MITRE's long collaboration with AFCEA is part of our role as operators of federally funded research and development centers to promote STEM education," says MITRE's Eric Koerner, who is also a board member for the local AFCEA chapter. "It's a mutually beneficial relationship. From a MITRE perspective, we're committed to contributing to and supporting AFCEA's causes. The AFCEA internship program is part of that commitment. "  

In 2017, MITRE continued the tradition and hosted five new AFCEA scholars: Anusha Datar, Ilyas Salhi, Obiageli Nwodoh, John Sauriol, and Nathan Johnson.

Datar summed it up well. "Being part of the AFCEA program definitely helped me. As I start college, I’ll already have some perspective about the disciplines I enjoy and am curious about. Plus, the skills I learned this summer—from software design principles to collaboration—will be useful as soon as I get to campus and dive into my school's project-based curriculum."

—by Blair Gately

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