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This Thursday, Oct. 1, my colleague Zach Nerenberg and I will be taking the Amtrak from DC to Charlottesville, Virginia, to present to the third-year class of Systems Engineers at the University of Virginia.

You may be wondering, what is Systems Engineering? Or even, what is a third year? For the sake of brevity in this post, I will refer you to Mr. Jefferson’s theories on life-long learning to answer the second question. However, please read on for more information on Systems Engineering.

Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary degree that focuses on the interface of humans, technology and information. Through the undergraduate program at the University of Virginia, students learn a variety of analytical tools to increase productivity and efficiency of organizations, and to design and implement user-friendly systems. Much of the project work, including the yearlong senior thesis and capstone project, is team-based and involves coming up with innovative solutions for real-world problems.

KCIC has interviewed and hired many Systems Engineers in the past years. I am a graduate of the UVA program myself, and in the years since, about 10 percent of our incoming first-year Consultants have been Systems Engineers (an exception has been the 2015 incoming class, with 35 percent). This year, however, is the first time we have been invited to speak at the Systems Engineering Design Colloquium, for which we are very excited.

The Systems Engineering Design Colloquium is a class that all third-year Systems Engineers attend for 50 minutes, once a week. Each time, there is a new speaker from academia, industry or government. The purpose of the class is to give students information about the options available to them after graduation, and how and where they can utilize the skills they have gained.

Why was KCIC invited? What will we have to talk about? You will have to tune in to a future blog to find out. In the meantime, we look forward to meeting the class of 2017 Systems Engineers down in Hooville!