Pursuing a Career in Engineering
Like many high school students, I was not sure what I wanted to pursue for my career. My strengths have always centered on the math and sciences, so my guidance counselor encouraged me to think about engineering. As I knew very little about it, she suggested I enroll in a program called “Project Lead The Way” – a national organization providing innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, with the goal of filling the engineering skills gap left from the retirement of the ‘baby-boomer’ generation. The classes required complex problem solving, team work, and were grounded in the coursework I enjoyed.
I attended Clarkson University, receiving my BS in electrical engineering in 2005, and I was hired by Lockheed Martin right after college. While working at Lockheed Martin, I completed my master’s degree in Engineering Management at Syracuse University. Through my career at Lockheed Martin, I have had the opportunity to work on power distribution for radar and sonar systems as well as power supply designs for ground-based radar. I have facilitated projects from conceptual stage to production placement within a full radar system – one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I have been able to travel throughout the U.S. and internationally while working on these projects. Recently, I have been fortunate to make multiple trips to Germany. There, I was able to interface with our customer, learn a lot about the culture, and experience a part of the world I may not have visited on my own.
My engineering training has provided me with the methodology, mindset and process to solve problems – not just engineering problems. Engineering has also taught me great people skills, as every project requires personal and team interaction with multiple people, personalities, and backgrounds. An engineering skill set opens doors to opportunities within an organization – it is easy to transition to different roles within a project, or even different projects, to match up with my personal growth path and curiosity.
I enjoy teaching kids about engineering and encouraging them to consider it as a career choice. I have participated in many “Women in Engineering” events held at Lockheed Martin as well as around the community to encourage females to think about engineering as a career. While the number of women in engineering has increased through the years, the ratio of females to males is still less than 30%. Many students still do not understand what engineers do on a daily basis, so I enjoy going into classrooms and doing projects with them to open their eyes to this great career!
Lockheed Martin MS2