Peraton’s Director of Blacksburg Operations Greg Caufman (’95, electrical engineering) talks with Virginia Tech computer science students at the CS|Source spring 2020 career fair.
Q: How does Peraton interact with Virginia Tech students?
Our primary interaction for recruiting Virginia Tech students is through the CS|Source career fairs, but we enjoy engaging with students throughout the semester. Having an office in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center means we’re close by, and we leverage our proximity to be engaged members of the CS@VT community.
We have many connection points with Virginia Tech throughout the academic year, including:
- Interacting through classes as guest lecturers or panel members,
- Presenting to computer science student organizations,
- Listening to presentations at the CS:1944 Cool Topics Fair,
- Serving as judges for the undergraduate research poster sessions,
- Sharing meals with students at etiquette dinners and awards banquets, and
- Presenting information sessions.
As alumni we really value all these interactions because they allow us to give back to the university community while also meeting students who may become future Peraton employees.
Q: Has Peraton been involved with any other events on campus for Virginia Tech students?
The majority of the staff in our Blacksburg office are VT and CS@VT alumni, so we enjoy engaging with and giving back to the university community in the spirit of Ut Prosim. Some of our staff serve as alumni advisors for student organizations, and we’ve served on Virginia Tech advisory boards composed of students and alumni. We’re always looking for new ways to get involved.
Q: How does Peraton hope to further interact with Virginia Tech students in the future?
One of the areas our chief technology officer, his staff, and the Blacksburg office have been exploring is sponsored research with Virginia Tech as part of our Internal Research and Development program. We’ve met with organizations like the Virginia Tech Hume Center and Space@VT to discuss how we might be able to work together. In the future we hope to develop projects that allow our staff to work closely with the university research community, including undergraduates, graduates, and faculty.
Q: How many years has Peraton been attending career fairs at Virginia Tech?
We’ve been attending career fairs at Virginia Tech since 1999, so 21 years. Hiring college students has always been an important component of our staffing strategy. College graduates, interns, and co-ops contribute new, innovative technical ideas and bring technical curiosity to the company.
Each year Virginia Tech produces exceptional graduates, some of whom have gone on to become technical leaders and managers within Peraton. Our long-standing relationship with Virginia Tech and the success we’ve seen from its graduates was one of the key reasons we opened an office in Blacksburg in 2013. Since that time our co-op and internship programs have employed over 100 students, and we’ve hired numerous Virginia Tech graduates.
Q: It is clear that one of Peraton’s main concerns is serving their customers. Do you see employees who come from Virginia Tech, whose motto is “Ut Prosim: That I may serve”, live this out in their careers? Or more simply put, what distinguishes Virginia Tech students as potential employees?
The desire to serve our communities and customers is unquestionably a value Peraton shares with Virginia Tech. At Peraton, our mission is to protect and promote freedom around the world through the important work our employees do every day in service to our federal customers. We contribute to important missions that secure the future of our country, connect our world, safeguard critical networks and systems, protect our borders, enable commerce, and enhance human knowledge.
Some of our core values are honoring those we serve, delivering excellence, constantly innovating, and maintaining selflessness for the team, so we actively seek out employees who are not just great engineers, but also have a mind-set that fits with our values. The culture at Virginia Tech that values service, community, teamwork, and technical excellence makes Virginia Tech graduates a great fit for Peraton.
Q: How many Virginia Tech graduates currently work for Peraton?
With over 3,500 employees world-wide, it’s difficult to provide an exact count, but we have well over 100 Virginia Tech alumni working at Peraton, with about 20 of those alumni working in our local Blacksburg office.