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Gandara Tours Naval Aircraft Carrier, Learns of Student Opportunities

Gabby Gandara next to Captain Manazir aboard the USS Nimitz.
Gabby Gandara next to Captain Manazir aboard the USS
Gabby Gandara, UTEP Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering Alumnus and Director of the Plaza in UTEP’s College of Engineering spent 2 days aboard a Naval Aircraft Carrier in March, learning about student opportunities with the U.S. Navy.

Gandara toured the USS Nimitz, a Naval aircraft carrier located off the coast of California, March 5-6, 2009.

“It was impressive,” said Gandara. “We learned about opportunities through the Navy officers program and how the Navy operates. It’s different than corporate America but in many ways it’s the same, as they are still looking for top engineering students.”

Gandara and other participants also learned of the massive infrastructure the Navy needs to maintain an aircraft carrier. More than 5,000 personnel are needed to operate and maintain the Nimitz and the aircraft aboard her.

“The Navy has great programs for students,” said Robert Key, U.S. Navy Recruiter. “They can earn money while in college to help defray the cost of education, as well as having a guaranteed job upon graduation. Most students do not know about the programs that the Navy has to offer.”

The U.S. Navy also offers programs specifically for engineering students.

“Their job is to be a full time student, go to school and maintain a good GPA,” said Warrant Officer Key. “These programs are not ROTC. There are no uniforms to wear and no drills to attend. The collegiate only has to talk to their recruiter once a month while in the program.”

Collegiate programs offered by the Navy include the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program (NUPOC) and the Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program (BDCP). In both programs, engineering students can earn money while in college, serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy after graduation. For more information about Navy collegiate programs visit their web site, or call the local office at (915) 532-6238.