Summer hire returns for USASAC experience
July 6, 2012
Cyle Baker never thought he would end up in Huntsville as a summer hire at the Security Assistance Command, which is responsible for security assistance and foreign military sales for the Army.
Baker, a native of Alexandria, Va., found the opportunity when his family moved from Virginia to Alabama with the Base Realignment and Closure of 2005 shortly before he graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in December 2008. While working on his master's in business administration, which Baker is set to finish in December, he applied for a summer hire position at Redstone Arsenal in spring 2011. He was chosen from numerous candidates by Ramon Rivera, deputy director of USASAC SOUTHCOM regional operations directorate, based on his achievements and desirable qualities.
"It was an experience I couldn't pass up, "Baker said. "Each new job is an opportunity to grow as a person."
During his time in PACOM/SOUTHCOM, Baker immersed himself in his work and the organization wholeheartedly. He became involved in fund-raisers and joined the planning committee that coordinates and organizes events. He also put a great deal of effort into organizing his office, filing papers, creating a standardized system for binders and helping his supervisor transform trip books from pieces of paper shoved in a folder into organized, informative, detailed and easy-to-use books.
Not only did he spend his summer working hard, he also made an effort to meet and talk to people throughout the organization.
"A lot of summer hires don't venture out of their cubicles, but I made myself known," he said.
Through his work ethic and personality, Baker caught the attention of many people in the building, resulting in his return this summer.
His supervisor, Brenda Hatley said, "I interacted with him on numerous occasions (last summer) and was always impressed with his positive attitude and his willingness to help out in any way he could."
His return did come with a change of scenery, however. He moved from PACOM/SOUTHCOM to the Command Group. Baker said the main difference between his work this summer and last summer is the level in the organization of the people he works with.
"I get to see the decisions as they are being made instead of after they are made," he said.
Beyond that, he said his main task is the same -- alleviate stress for his supervisor. This involves a wide array of things, including making certificates, learning and helping with Protocol, helping with events and performing day-to-day activities.
He does not mind these sometimes tedious tasks, though. He looks at each new experience as an opportunity to learn. Some things he has discovered from his time as a summer hire are that hard work always pays off in the long run. Smiling and being helpful makes you a better worker, according to Baker, and you must take time to do it right the first time. He also believes you have to be proactive if you want to leave a good impression and be a great worker.
"Cyle brings a fresh enthusiasm and positive attitude for every task he's asked to handle," Hatley said. "Cyle is a great addition to our team and I believe we're all glad to have him here working with us."
When asked what he'll take away from his time as a summer hire, he emphasized the experience. He said that at each job henceforth, he'll have the valuable skills he acquired here, such as professionalism and communication, which will make him a stronger employee anywhere he goes.