So you’re thinking of joining up with the REP (Rotation Engineer Program)? If you’re not, you really should give it some thought.
1. The Rotation Engineer (RE) community
The community of REs is really the first benefit that a newcomer to the program will realize. While the REP is a cross-site program, with REs all over the US, one would expect that an Oregon RE wouldn’t know an Arizona RE from a random bloke on the street. However, because of the intense, multi-day group training that each incoming “class” takes starting their second day at Intel, you’ll start off with at least several new friends at your work site. And that goes a long way toward making your transition to a new city, a new lifestyle a lot easier.
2. The Training
So, new REs start off with some intense training. This is mostly of the “softer” variety, focusing on motivation, career building, networking, teambuilding, and data-driven problem solving. This makes sense, as the REP has engineers ranging from EEs employeeselectrical engineers who wouldn’t know the Churchill–Bernstein equation from a hole in the ground to ChemEs chemical engineers that would regard the Maxwell equations with a blank stare instead of the awe and reverence they deserve. But I digress. What I’m sayin’ here is that the training is frequent and of very high quality. Also, our guest speakers are absolute blockbusters, more on that later.
3. Intel is HUGE
We’re a $40,000,000,000 company. We’ve got divisions in manufacturing, architecture design, circuit design, research labs, RF design, graphics, and countless other spaces. From outside the company, it’s very difficult to know where you’ll fit best into this massive beast. By letting you wander about the company, the REP lets you find where you belong. Sidenote: Check out our cool new Where do I fit?app; you can see the diverse opportunities for engineers that we have here!
4. Exposure to Intel’s higher-ups
This, I did not expect. But since Day 1, we’ve had powerhouse guest speakers from VPs, Intel Fellows, and other very interesting people. Two weeks ago, we had lunch with Paul Otellini. That’s right, Uncle Paul. Our CEO.
5. Fun-sized work assignments
So one thing about landing a full-time job is that you’ll be doing roughly the same thing for a fairly long time, as most direct hires average 2+ years in one position before moving around the company. The REP allows you to have a try-before-you-buy mentality with several of the groups that interest you.
6. High challenge, high mobility
Because you can try new job functions in a tighter timeframe, you can take on an encapsulated high-octane rotation in some of Intel’s more hardcore groups. However, if you decide that such a group is simply too much for your fragile sanity, you can safely rotate out in a few months before you crack from the pressure.
7. Plenty of Air Shuttle practice
Because much of our training takes place across the country, you’ll log quite a few hours onboard Intel’s classy corporate jet. This is nice for a few reasons. Firstly, the simplicity of the experience will spoil you against commercial travel forever (arrive 20 minutes before your flight and take as many liquids as you want.) Secondly, this will serve as great practice for when you’re a VP and take the Shuttle every other day.
8. Networking (In-Program)
Ach, I hate reading this word in every publication about career development; mainly because it always accompanies the “It’s not what you know it’s who you know” spiel. That’s not what I’m here to say, because that particular message always feels… a little bit wrong. What I am here to say is that the REP forces you into contact with over 20 other highly motivated and often highly social engineers scattered across Intel’s vast landscape. These other engineers serve as friends, tour guides, and corporate barometers in all circumstances. Knowing the crew of REs has definitely given me insight beyond my own teams and rotations.
9. Networking (Out-of-Program)
This time, I want to talk about all the connections you make both in your rotations and while looking for new rotations. Your rotations are valuable networking opportunities insofar as they give you pockets of people in the company who will look out for you, and they give you somebody to eat lunch with if your usual crew falls through. Furthermore, one opportunity unique to REs is the rotation interview process. For my second rotation, I interviewed upwards of ten managers who wanted me to work for them. This experience alone gave me a lot of insight into what work is being done and what opportunities exist in the company.
10. Free fruit and coffee
Right now, I’m sipping a complimentary Intel coffee and eying a ripening orange sitting at my desk. These are things that Intel provides all of its employees to keep us happy and productive. To be fair, tea and fountain drinks are also included in the program, but I’ve got my priorities and a fine brew of lightly-roasted arabica beats Mt Dew every time. It’s not REP-specific, it’s just awesome.
11. (Bonus!) Experience Bizarro-World Interviewing!
This is mainly for those of us that interviewed for quite a few jobs outside of Intel, hoping to land a few offers and be able to cherry-pick the best ones. In that situation, you desperately want to be admitted into the program you’re applying for. Here in the REP, things are a bit different when you’re searching for your next rotation. In this case, you get to enjoy the frenzy of tens of managers trying to recruit the help of the much-hyped REP. So sit back and feel free to cherry-pick.
If all this sounds like something you’d be interested in, I will heartily recommend that you read this pageand then submit your application! Who knows, maybe you’ll be writing these posts in a year or so!