Meet Ike Hajdak and spend ‘5 Minutes With…’ Greencastle’s only intern!
Ike is a recent Penn State graduate who was commissioned into the US Space Force and found himself with some time on his hands before attending military training. Instead of spending his time before starting active duty at home relaxing, in true GSD spirit, he decided to work on his professional development and joined Greencastle.
Keep reading to learn more about this Space Force officer (he might be the first one you’ve met!) and his experience at Greencastle. And stop by the office to see some of his 3D-printed designs!
Tell us about your intern experience! How did you end up at Greencastle?
After graduating from the AFROTC program at Penn State, I found myself in a unique situation where I had an extended period before joining active duty in the Space Force. I was determined to use my time in a productive manner that would allow for personal growth and develop skills for my upcoming service. I sought out an environment where I could gain hands-on experience and contribute to an organization in a meaningful way, which is when I found a perfect fit in Greencastle.
Since joining as an intern, my experience has exceeded my expectations. I have had the opportunity to work with a team that values my contributions and challenges me to take on responsibilities that aid in my professional development. I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding experience here at Greencastle.
What was the hardest thing to make on the 3D printer? Coolest thing?
The most difficult project with the 3D printer was creating the large GAC logo. The complexity of this task was not just in the design phase but also in the actual printing process. Designing the structure was a significant hurdle, requiring attention to detail to ensure the final product would accurately represent our brand. However, the printing phase introduced challenges to the project that are not evident with other smaller designs. This led to exploring unique solutions, often through a process of trial and error. The finished product is made of six pieces, with a cumulative print time of over 100 hours.
On the other hand, the coolest project was printing the X-37 model. The X-37 is an unmanned, reusable spacecraft operated by the U.S. Space Force. The model itself consists of about 40 individual pieces, which together form a highly polished and sleek representation of the spacecraft.
What was the best vacation you ever took and why?
A few years ago, my family took a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Over the course of the week we spent there, we enjoyed snorkeling, a deep sea fishing excursion, and trying some amazing food. The absolute highlight of the trip was the unforgettable experience of swimming alongside wild sea turtles!
What is your favorite go-to snack?
Hummus. Personally, I like it with small pieces of pita or cucumber slices. Growing up, I didn’t care for it, but I recently tried a roasted red pepper hummus, and now I can’t get enough of it!
What is one lesson you learned at Greencastle that you’ll take with you as you start your career?
One valuable lesson I learned at Greencastle is how to build a strong organizational culture. From top to bottom, Greencastle is the gold standard for a professional work environment. The leadership team leads by example by being strategic thinkers and intentional in their actions. What sets them apart is their transparency in their decision-making and their genuine openness to ideas and feedback. My coworkers are a huge component of the positive culture. When I first joined Greencastle, they were very welcoming, making me feel like a highly valued part of the team. They are all very supportive and motivated to make this organization the best it can be. I am grateful for the experiences and insights gained during my time here, and I am eager to carry the lessons learned here and apply them to my active duty career.
What movie or TV show are you watching right now? Would you recommend it?
I just started to re-watch Band of Brothers on HBO. It is a phenomenally well-done mini-series following the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne during WWII. The episodes carry so much weight and offer valuable leadership lessons. I highly recommend it to anyone interested!