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Career Story: Systems Analyst For A Military Contractor

Systems Analyst For A Military Contractor

Job Title: Operations Systems Analyst

Type of Company: My company provides scientifically-based solutions to health care, technology, aerospace and eco-friendly businesses, as well as numerous branches of the United States government.

Education: BS, Civil Engineering, United States Military Academy •• MS, Applied Mathematics, Naval Postgraduate School

Previous Experience: My first job was cleaning bathrooms and sweeping streets, and that is a lot more relevant than you think! I spent over 21 years in the Army, serving in progressively more responsible leadership, staff and analyst positions. The most important skill I acquired was problem solving, some times under significant pressure.

Job Tasks: I lead a small group of engineers and analysts in conducting "System of Systems" operational and systems analysis or design/trade analysis for defense systems that may be fielded by our Armed Forces. "System of Systems" analysis concerns multiple mechanisms that work in concert, so that a change to one mechanism has an effect on the larger system. A trade analysis is simply a comparative analysis of sub-systems within a system; like trying to decide which tires to use on a specific race track.

We interact with numerous customers on a daily and weekly basis. There are often occasions when we are frantic to meet an impending deadline. We have to maintain an organized database of all the work completed in order to refer to it at a moment's notice. These are the crazy days but they become worth it because eventually we see our information passed up to higher levels in the Defense Department. Similarly, we get enjoyment out of seeing the test videos of the projects we work on; we see them work correctly or hit the appropriate target.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the interaction with great people who enjoy what they do and are dedicated to the service that they provide (in our case to the defense of our country). But I also like the job because it gave me an opportunity to continue to serve my country after I left the Armed Forces.

The worst part of the job is muddling through the bureaucratic process required on large government contracts.

Job Tips:
1. Find out what you love to do and get the highest education in that field that you can.

2. Find a company that you like to be in (not just one that likes or wants you).

3. When looking for a job, consider salary, location and job description; if you get two of them you win.

Additional Thoughts: No matter what you do, YOU should be the one to define your own success. It may not always be money, house, car, job title. You have to balance life in there somewhere which could be spouse, family, vacation/travel.

Decide what you want and go get it, don't let the naysayers have another word; listen only to yourself and others who support you. If you are a good person and treat people right and with respect, you will do well in any field.

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