At VIP our people are our greatest asset. Our success comes from our employees, and we value the contributions they provide daily. To show our appreciation, we will have a series of Employee Spotlights where we highlight those employees at VIP that exemplify the culture and values we hold. This month we want to highlight our newest Intern, Aaqib Syed who is currently a Captain in the U.S. Army and comes to us via the U.S. Military’s Career Skills Program:
VIP: Aaqib, thanks for participating, please tell us about yourself.
I was raised in Fairfax, VA where both of my parents still reside as public school teachers. I grew up running competitively and still compete in events ranging from 5k to ultra marathon. I attended West Point where I studied literature and ran, graduating in 2018.
I am currently a Captain in the Army stationed in Schofield Barracks, HI, where I have resided for the last three and a half years. I’ve spent the last five years training, leading, and serving in multiple roles within the Army—from Platoon Leader to Aide de Camp to my current role as a training supervisor and coach. I am excited to continue pursuing excellence with VIP and I am eager to learn and be part of the team.
VIP: Tell us about the Military’s internship program, how you found out about it and why you decided to participate?
Aaqib: I learned about the internship program through my best friend and running partner who participated last year before successfully transitioning out of the Army in 2022. I decided to participate in order to best prepare myself for a role in a company and team with a mission set I could get behind.
VIP: What goals do you have for your time at VIP during the internship?
Aaqib: At VIP I want to absorb as much as I can and improve on a wide range of competencies. VIP’s work involves complex development work simultaneously occurring over vast geographic areas. I want to understand these lines of effort and eventually become someone who can facilitate and maybe even improve these processes in order to achieve VIP’s mission.
VIP: What attributes define a successful transition from the military to corporate America?
Aaqib: I think a truly successful transition requires time and experience. The Career Skills Program offers both of these assets while continuing to compensate its participants.
VIP: What does the ideal company culture look like for you?
Aaqib: For me the ideal company culture is one that values the professional and personal development of its individual members. This involves taking the time to recognize the aptitudes and weaknesses in team members.
VIP: What were some of the biggest factors in deciding to join VIP for your internship?
Aaqib: The single biggest factor were the conversations I had with the members of VIP. Each conversation gave me confidence and increased my regard for the integrity and excellence of the team at VIP. As I researched more about renewables, I recognized the inherent opportunity to be a part of something that involves large scale impacts on real people. After being in the Army—an organization that measures success through the often vague metric of readiness—I am excited to work on projects that lead to the efficient production and delivery of energy to communities across America.
VIP: What advice do you have for other transitioning service members looking to successfully break into the energy sector?
Aaqib: Don’t have a myopic view of the world outside of the military. The energy sector is rich with opportunity for young motivated Officers.