ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 16, 2013) -- Not many college students get up close and personal with a military headquarters like the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command. This summer, however, ATEC hired eight currently-enrolled college students to work full time across its headquarters and a collocated subordinate activity.

ATEC summer hires included John Alevetsovitis, Jack Cambre and Lindsey Monger; and U.S. Army Evaluation Center summer hires were Megan Cannon, Jacob Coles, Heather Cook, Lyndsie Ludwig and Christopher Wooten.

Each summer hire worked on different tasks but supported the ATEC mission. The students experienced on-the-job training, which led to understanding jobs that full-time employees hold. All student hires had the opportunity to provide fresh input into established projects and routines, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

"As an intern, students are provided meaningful, real-world work experience that is generally related to their field of study," said Sarah Wheat, program manager in the Acquisition, Readiness & Development Branch, ATEC G1. "They are able to put what they have learned in the classroom into actual hands-on work assignments or projects."

During this time, leadership is able to assess the skills and aptitude of the intern and select the most capable and productive interns for future permanent employment, she added.

Alevetsovitis, who joined the G6/Information Management Directorate, worked exclusively with the Army Data Consolidation Program, which deals with reducing the number of data centers within ATEC. He was able to help ATEC save money through the closing of physical buildings that hosted data centers and all the utilities associated with them. During this assignment, he learned the importance of teamwork.

"One thing I learned from being at ATEC is that everyone must pull their weight to achieve the mission," said Alevetsovitis, who finishes up his last semester at Towson University this fall. "ATEC is full of intelligent people who treat you with courtesy and respect, even as an intern."

Cannon, who finishes her degree this fall at Notre Dame of Maryland University, was a part of Sustainment Evaluation Directorate, AEC, where she provided developmental test management on a variety of systems, mainly with a concentration on chemical-biological projects.

This summer she wrote safety releases and safety confirmations to allow Soldiers to participate in various events who are stationed in the continental United States and outside CONUS. She also assisted in determining different developmental tests that would be beneficial to the user and also informational to decision makers, she said.

A part of Evaluation Sciences Directorate, AEC, Wooten's main projects involved two critical systems: the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, and the Theater Medical Information Program.

"I contributed to the ATEC mission by providing decision makers with essential information to make informed decisions, such as operational impact of system failures and visual summary of system reliability," he said. Wooten finished his undergraduate studies in May at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

ATEC has conducted the summer hire program for more than 20 years. This year, two summer hires will be converted: Wooten is being converted to the Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development System Intern Program, and Monger will be converted to a local recent graduate appointment.

"Internship Programs are a win-win for both the Army organizations and students. They allow us to tap into fresh, young talent and create a solid foundation for future leadership," said Wheat.