LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – An intern program was, at once, just a dream that AVIAN would only hope to launch someday. Now, with steadfast commitment to educating the next generation workforce, and partnership in the SoMD 2030 Workforce initiative, the dream of developing a program to prepare college-aged students for future jobs has become a reality.
This month, AVIAN welcomed four students into its first formal internship program, the Odyssey Program.
“We’re incredibly excited to host and teach students as part of our first formal intern program,” said Tara Strickland, senior director of communications for AVIAN. “These interns are energized and ready to learn and we believe we’ve built the foundation of a program that is going to begin connecting the dots from academia to real-world application of concepts. We branded the program Odyssey to represent their transformational journey into the workforce.”
Odyssey is an immersive experience where interns embark on a voyage of academic, personal, and professional discovery, pushing beyond their comfort zones. Through mentorship, hands-on learning, and a supportive community, this odyssey empowers interns to navigate challenges, acquire new skills, and envision an optimistic future for themselves and their future careers.
AVIAN’s 2023 summer interns will learn in the disciplines of Systems Engineering/Model-based Systems Engineering, Finance and Accounting, and Quality Management.
“At AVIAN, we understand the importance of giving interns meaningful work that goes beyond theoretical knowledge, allowing them to actively contribute and make a difference,” Strickland said.
By immersing themselves in real-world projects and collaborating with experienced professionals, interns will gain practical skills, industry insights, and a deeper understanding of their chosen fields.
“The Odyssey Program is the start of something great,” said Kevin Switick, co-founder and CEO of AVIAN. “We must commit our time to make this program a success and focus on meaningful work so our interns are well prepared for their future careers. In concert with the SoMD 2030 Workforce initiative, AVIAN will help equip interns with the necessary tools, knowledge and hands on experiences to excel in their future career fields.
Two interns will directly support AVIAN’s Senior Director of Systems Engineering, Jeff Davila and will learn how to read and understand digital models that will prepare them for a future in Model-based Systems Engineering.
In addition, the other two interns, from the SoMD 2030 Workforce program, will work closely with AVIAN’s Director of Quality, Robin Gatton and AVIAN’s Controller, Charlene Crawford. The interns will focus on specific learning objectives related to company metrics, accounts payable and travel.
“Odyssey is AVIAN’s commitment to our future workforce and this is just the beginning,” Strickland said. “We know that with our efforts will only mature and evolve as we move forward. We’re proud to be part of a community movement in Southern Maryland to connect talented students with paid internships.”
About SoMD 2030
SoMD 2030 is a joint initiative of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance (SMNA) and The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), with funding provided by Naval Air Warfare Center Aviation Division (NAWCAD). This collaborative effort is focused on identifying, hiring and retaining talent in Southern MD by growing the STEM pipeline, increasing career opportunities, and enhancing partnerships with government, industry, and academia.
This initiative will connect talented students with paid apprenticeships and internships in southern MD. It will expand the successful TechJobsRule (TJR) high school apprentice program now connected with the Apprenticeship Maryland Program (AMP); and create college internship opportunities with local industry and government – leading to further education and career opportunities.
AVIAN (*ae-v-yin*) is an employee-owned business with over 400 employees and annual revenue exceeding $68 million. Headquartered in Lexington Park, Maryland, the company provides communication strategy and graphic design solutions, engineering design, and systems engineering; test and evaluation of manned and unmanned aerial, surface, and subsurface systems; program, financial, and logistics management; workforce development and training; to 80 government and commercial clients across the United States.
Founded by two U.S. military test pilots in 2005, AVIAN has consistently grown over the past 17 years and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of America's fastest-growing private companies for ten consecutive years, as well as one of the nation's Best Places to Work.