Engineers, ship designers, managers, upwardly mobile students, and General Dynamics Electric Boat’s Black Engineering Council heard an inspirational speech from diversity media CEO and publisher Tyrone Taborn on Friday, May 29.
The Black Engineering Council of Electric Boat is an employee-run professional organization dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment within Electric Boat for recruitment, retention and career development, and corporate responsibility.
General Dynamics Electric Boat is a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation. It has been the primary builder of submarines for the United States Navy for over 100 years.
The company’s main facilities are a shipyard in Groton, Connecticut and a design and engineering facility in New London, Connecticut.
“I’m going to make three points this evening,” Taborn told guests at the 20th Black Engineering Council Scholarship Awards Banquet held at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton, Connecticut.
“One, change is a permanent part of our existence. Two, those who don’t embrace change won’t survive. Three, you must be responsible for your own path.”
‘Validation and value proposition’
A trailblazing diversity publisher himself, he mentioned his experience at Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG), noting how his company sells its STEM diversity mission.
“We want salespeople, or editors, or conference managers. We want individuals who want to make our nation stronger by ensuring that everyone, no matter what color or creed, has a fair opportunity,” he said.
Taborn further noted the importance of personal validation.
“It strikes me that General Dynamics has a similar value proposition for its team members, perhaps now more than ever. You are not simply creating defense products; you are providing the tools that may ensure generation after generation of peace,” he remarked.
“I have been out there in the field with the 18- and 19-year-olds who man our missile systems, who drive our tanks. I have landed on our aircraft carriers and driven our submarines, and I’m here to tell you that the reason we enjoy the freedoms we do is because we have the greatest military ever to walk this planet. And General Dynamics has played a major role in making that happen,” he added.
Career Guide with 8 tips and advice
Taborn had 8 tips and advice for the Black Engineering Council audience.
1. Be prepared to move. If you are not valued, if you are not being challenged, you’re not doing your company or yourself any good wasting away in a futureless job. Go.
2. But before you get to that point, make yourself heard and seen. No one likes a self-promoter, especially those folks who are shamelessly promoting themselves over you, but you have to do some of that.
3. Take on the most difficult assignments, finish the tasks, but make sure the right people know about your efforts. You have to market yourself. Simply doing a great job isn’t enough.
4. Be seen as someone who gets the job done. Be dependable. When the most difficult assignments come up, you want to be the one management thinks of. Why? The rewards for success are high. And, the downside – failure – isn’t as bad as having a routine assignment.
5. Build an internal and external network. Gain respect by speaking at seminars and conferences. You want your company to recognize you. The best way is to show them how much outsiders value you.
6. Be a solution provider. Never go to your management with a problem and no solutions or options. Be careful who you complain to.
7. Don’t be afraid to speak up on ethical issues and to be a voice of social conscience for your company.
8. Remember that you must earn that seat every single day. You must continue to find ways to develop yourself and show your organization your value.
“This is your company, your career, and your life. The opportunities for the most talented leaders have never been greater, and the rewards have never been higher. But they won’t come without sacrifice. Not everyone is willing to pay the price. But the lucky few who are will change the world,” Taborn concluded.
2015 Electric Boat Black Engineering Council Scholarship Awards
The Electric Boat Black Engineering Council hosts and participates in service programs that focus on unifying the community while promoting the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Black Engineering Council supports New London students through its scholarship and middle school mentoring programs to ensure the students of New London County are supported in their academic endeavors and exposed to engineering and design professionals in an effort to inspire and provide role models for their future.
The 2015 BEC Scholarship Award student winners are Naseef McCray of New London High School.
The first in his family to go to college, Naseef plans on attending Bentley University this fall to study marketing.
Kianna Smith of Montville High School will be attending the University of North Carolina where she will be studying to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Damoya Nelson, also of New London High School, is most proud of her acceptance to Ithaca College where she will be studying accounting.