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Entry Point! Alumnus Gives Back
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Schuyler Kaye, an alumnus of AAAS’s Entry Point! program for scientists and engineers with disabilities, has named Entry Point! and AAAS the recipient of charitable contributions from his new business, T4Execs. Kaye indicates that his second business venture was heavily influenced by the mentoring relationships he experienced during his Entry Point! internships and early on in his career.
[Photo by Rebecca Riffkin/AAAS MemberCentral]
As a high school student, Kaye spent two summers with the Regional Alliance for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Program at the New Mexico State University, a program designed to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education among high school students with disabilities through hands-on activities and mentoring relationships.
The summer after his freshman year of college, in 2000, Kaye’s mentor encouraged him to apply to the Entry Point! program, AAAS’s internship program for undergraduate and graduate STEM students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities. The program partners with private industry and government agencies--including NASA, IBM, The Dow Chemical Company, Merck, Lockheed Martin, L'Oréal USA, CVS, and Infosys--as well as university science laboratories. Kaye was accepted into the program and offered his first internship at the National Science Foundation. In 2001, Kaye took a second Entry Point! post at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, and in 2002, a third at NASA Langley Research Center. During each internship, Kaye developed relationships with his mentors that have proven influential in his career today.
After graduating from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics, Kaye spent the next three years with Lockheed Martin in the company’s Engineering Leadership Development Program, completing rotations in software engineering, firmware engineering, and systems engineering. He also enrolled at Stanford University where he earned a Masters degree in Computer Science. Kaye was then accepted in a highly competitive, one-year corporate rotation program at Lockheed Martin’s headquarters in Bethesda, MD, where he worked with top executives on advancing the overall function, operation, and visibility of corporate efforts throughout the company. Through this program, Kaye made strong connections with a group that was enhancing Lockheed Martin’s systems and software solutions through workforce and product development, the Systems & Software Initiative. He worked with the Systems & Software Initiative for two years, telecommuting from New York City.
After that two-year rotation, Kaye was faced with a decision — to relocate and stay with Lockheed Martin or to start his own business. Kaye decided to start his own business, something that he had always wanted to do. “Sometimes you just need a sign” Kaye says.
Mentoring relationships have played a key role throughout Kaye’s education and early career. While at Lockheed Martin, he had the opportunity to do a lot of “reverse mentoring” to executives regarding their online brand presence and other social media issues. He found that executives had a lot of interest in the subject, but that their busy and hectic schedules prevented them from fully understanding the potential of social media tools.
Armed with the knowledge that—just like corporate executives—every professional has a ”brand” to “market” and career goals to advance, and that many people can benefit from a “mentor” to show them how, Kaye launched T4Execs on July 1, 2011. The company’s first product, a social media training package, helps individuals actively shape their online reputation.
“Everyone should view themselves as the ‘CEO’ of their personal brand,” Kaye explains. “T4Execs provides social media training to teach busy individuals at all levels and from all professions how to promote that brand.” The training package shows how to receive and retrieve relevant research and news quickly and efficiently and manage and share information in ways that enhance users’ reputations as thought leaders. It also provides tips on how to engage others—including peers, colleagues, employees— both by providing information and by collecting ideas.
Kaye indicates that the Entry Point! program has made a significant impact in his life, providing not only opportunities to overcome the many barriers he once saw in the world, but also the inspiration for the T4Execs business model. Now, Kaye has decided to “give back” to AAAS and Entry Point!. Through his gifts, he hopes to create more opportunities within the program and, in turn, attract more people with disabilities to science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.