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Teammates Support STEM Students

3 Apr 2015 by Jeff Hecht

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Insight is committed to providing opportunities for the future business and science leaders of tomorrow. To support this, Insight technical teammates, including IT professionals, engineers and executive management, are participating in Maricopa County’s STEM Identity Program, which uses video conferencing technology to connect practicing technical professionals with schools where students are learning math and science at critical points in their education. The goal is to introduce firsthand professional experience that encourages students to pursue a career in STEM-related fields.

“I’ve done presentations to students throughout my professional career,” said Bret Wingert, vice president of business transformation at Insight and presenter through the Maricopa STEM Identity Program. “Through this program, I shared my personal journey, which started during the early days of the Apollo Space program and led me to Aerospace Engineering, then through the Space Shuttle, around the world in IT and to Insight in a variety of roles along the way. I try to impart to the students that by studying now, they keep a world of options open. I also show how they are not necessarily going to have just one career, but that their career will be a journey.”

Several other Insight teammates participated, each bringing their own unique perspectives on what a STEM career means to them.

Colvey Martin, enterprise architect, said, “My story was easy to share, but the gravity of the situation really hit me when the feedback came in. You realize you may have just mentored someone that will fundamentally change the world.”

The Maricopa STEM Identity Program interactions follow a process: classroom introduction, STEM participant introduction, brief overview of the presenter’s unique journey and plenty of time for Q&A. The time goes quickly, and each interaction is different.

“The students ask great questions about salaries, the future and their roles,” said Wingert. “It’s great to see how the little sparks start to form in these students at such an early age.”

“I’m so proud of Insight’s involvement in programs like this,” added Martin. “We’ve been talking a lot lately about our new Core Values, and this is a great example of how our company leads with our heart to impact the future science and technology leaders of tomorrow.”