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Koret Fellowship Program

Simon Gebrai

Electrical Engineering major, Class of 2020

The NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) National Convention was an experience that has already potentially made an immense impact on my future and my career path. The convention exposed me to the national network that has the mission to empower and support African-Americans in the field of engineering. The convention exposed me to many unheard success stories of African-Americans in the field of engineering, knowledge of different career paths, first-hand experience of national level career fairs, and a networking opportunity that was unparalleled in my short experience.

The networking opportunity and environment at the convention and in the downtown area, where most if not all events were happening, was great and because of a networking exchange that happened outside an elevator in the hotel we were staying at and having my resume polished by some of the members of the SCU NSBE chapter. I received a call to set up an interview with Northrop Grumman the next day at the Convention.

In preparation for the interview I was able to consult some of the resources at the Convention as they had a dedicated space to career fair prep. I was able to do some research and was able to receive advice from convention employees in supplement to the advice I received from fellow SCU NSBE members. The first interview I had with the a Northrop Grumman manager went very well, he believed I would be a good fit and set up a second interview with another manager in the electrical design department. The second interview later that day went well as the manager helped identify where my interests were and how they aligned with what Northrop Grumman is working on. He also explained a little bit more about what Northrop Grumman does. At the end of the interview he told me to wait in the pseudo-lobby of their interview area as he put in his recommendation, and shortly thereafter I was offered a paid full-time internship position in Sunnyvale for this summer on-the-spot in engineering. I was also invited to a private reception later that day, where they celebrated our offers and gave me the opportunity to network and otherwise interact with people from the company and other people who received offers from Northrop Grumman.

When I received the offer, it felt very surreal. I came in with the mindset that the whole convention would just be a great learning experience that would give me some engineering experience and maybe a little clearer vision of what I wanted to do with my career. To receive this rare opportunity as a Freshman, far exceeded my expectations. This opportunity that I have has the potential to make an immense impact on my future
and my career path. Especially being able to intern a top company like Northrop Grumman, I feel like I have the opportunity to have a bright future in an engineering field that I already had an interest in prior to receiving the opportunity.