On March 16th, a group of NEXT members volunteered at the Southwest Ohio Science and Engineering Expo as judges. This is their fifth year in a row participating in this event and they received a lot of appreciation from University of Cincinnati and the community for the commitment to give back. Siemens PLM Software awarded four prizes for projects.
Created in 2015, NEXT is a cross divisional Employee Resource Group that is a household name at Siemens and a vehicle for talent development, retention, and business value for early career professionals within Siemens.
“The goal of NEXT, for me at least, is to build community and to build friendship. We want Siemens to be the company of choice and to create that, we have to foster an environment not just to recruit people, but to make sure they stay,” says Sameeul Samee, the lead for the Digital Industries Software NEXT Chapter.
Another group of Milford NEXT chapter members are working with two Miami University professors, Carolyn Craig and Dr. Dominik Konkolewicz, to expose Siemens’ software suites to undergraduate students. The students are part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program at Miami University and NEXT’s intention was to create a week-long summer program for students to get in the mindset of engineering.
“We gave freshman an opportunity to think about digital transformation in the industry where it hasn’t happened yet. And then we asked them where they can take Siemens tools and apply them to this transformation,” Samee says.
Students would spend a week researching all the technology that Siemens offers and going beyond the norm to expand their thinking. This strategy was offered to freshman to get their minds in the right space to eventually start implementing Siemens software to everyday situation. It was so well received that the two professors spearheading the program wanted to offer it as a semester long class. Eight undergraduate students under the supervision of two faculties visited Milford office on February 22nd to learn about Solid Edge and Mendix two programs that students would use in their semester class to create an app solving some sort of social issue, such as the opioid crisis or the lack of a healthy diet in senior citizens.
Beyond the Milford Office, NEXT has been contributing to even more community outreach. This past April, NEXT has continued their month-long outreach with Mount Washington Schools, in Siemens STEM Days. NEXT chooses 10-12 elementary school students who are interested in STEM and introduces beginner programming skills using LEGO robots. The goal is to raise interest and excitement for STEM practices in the classroom. In addition to Siemens STEM Days, Siemens also offers free student software downloads to prepare students for Industry 4.0.
“These students are 4th, 5th, and 6th graders usually coming from families absent of role models. We want to work with them and encourage them to move on to high school with the mindset of STEM and to hopefully know that college is an option,” Samee adds.
In addition to their work with elementary students, they also offer programs for high schoolers from local schools like Milford High School, Sycamore High School, and Goshen High School to expose them to engineering and programming, as well as interview prep.
These outreach efforts help NEXT to fulfill the values of their three pillars: development, business value, and giving back to the community.
“We as a company have a lot of resources with technical background and we want to share that with the community,” Samee says.
Along with NEXT, Siemens has multiple other ERG’s focused on select groups of people such as PRIDE, for the LGBTQ+ community, a women’s resource group, and a health and wellness ERG. To learn more about the ERG’s at Siemens, click here.
To learn more about NEXT and their other outreach programs, visit their website.