Fall is a busy season for our recruitment team, technical subject matter experts, executive sponsors, and our employee volunteers. We find talent across the globe, including at national diversity events like the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) and the Society for Women Engineers (SWE). Later this week we’ll be attending the Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Conference in Pasadena, California.
We caught up with Ryan, a Lockheed Martin cyber systems security engineer, who attended GMiS for the first time in 2019 and received an on-the-spot job offer from our team. Hear about his unique career journey and how he’s continued to give back through STEM outreach:
Tell us a little about your background before Lockheed Martin. When did you become interested in a career in STEM?
In high school, I enrolled in an IT Magnet Program which was committed to educating our diverse population in preparation for the ever-changing demands of a technologically advanced global society. My experience in the magnet program informed my decision to pursue a career in the technology field. I was accepted into the Florida International University (FIU) Class of 2017 Department of Energy Fellowship Program. Through that program, I had the opportunity to complete two summer internships at two national laboratories (Savannah River National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory). The amount of research and history accomplished at these national labs fueled my passion for working in the STEM industry.
How long have you been with Lockheed Martin? And how did you begin your career journey with us?
In 2019, while I was still a college student at Florida International University (FIU), Lockheed Martin came to FIU’s career fair, but a lengthy line discouraged me. As I made my way outside of the career fair, I received a message from the FIU Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) president saying that Lockheed Martin is looking for cyber engineers at the upcoming GMiS conference. When I arrived at the event the following week, I saw one Lockheed Martin recruiter holding a cardboard sign with the words “Hiring Cyber Engineers” written on it. As soon as I showed the recruiters my resume, they instantly took me inside their hospitality suite and introduced me to a hiring manager. As the hiring manager reviewed my resume, he noticed the words “master’s degree in cyber security” on it and was so impressed, that he immediately scheduled an interview with me. A few hours later I received an “on-the-spot” job offer, in an improbable span of 24 hours, I went from facing an uncertain future to securing a full-time job right after graduation!
What is the significance of Lockheed Martin’s presence at events like GMiS?
Lockheed Martin’s participation at events like GMiS helps establish itself as the premier aerospace company to work for. It also lets the candidate know that this is a company that truly understands the importance of STEM.
What award did you receive from GMiS this year?
This year I will be receiving the 2023 HENAAC Luminary Award. The HENAAC Luminary Award recognizes the achievements of America’s top engineers and scientists from the Hispanic community. To know that all the challenging work I put in, my commitment to advocating STEM, and making the cross-country move from Miami, Florida to Palmdale, California to begin my journey at Lockheed Martin, the culmination is very gratifying.
How are you giving back to the STEM community?
I’ve been a consistent supporter and volunteer for Lockheed Martin’s Engineers in the Classroom (EITC) initiative. This year I visited a local elementary school for the first time ever and got to speak to a class of fifth graders. I spoke with the students about Lockheed Martin, STEM, and the engineering journey I took to get to where I am today. I then assigned the students an activity to create catapults with popsicle sticks to launch projectiles and determine which one went the furthest distance.
What are you hoping to take away from this year's GMiS event?
The connections I made with other Lockheed Martin professionals last year were very meaningful. I hope to reunite with all of them again at GMiS. I am also eager to meet with new Lockheed Martin professionals attending GMiS this year and make new connections!
What inspired you to get involved with recruiting at this year’s GMiS event?
Last year my presence at our career fair booth ended up being critical as I became the primary subject matter expert for students looking to learn more about our Aeronautics business area, working in Palmdale, California, and cyber security. It would be a dream if I could give a student attending GMiS the opportunity to join Lockheed Martin full-time.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is planning to visit the Lockheed Martin booth at the career fair this year?
Have your elevator pitch ready (your name, academic year, major, career interest, and projects involved) to discuss with our recruiters. Don’t be discouraged if the line is long, patience is key, your opportunity will arrive. Finally, be your authentic self when answering the question: “Tell me about yourself.”
Are you a talented professional with a passion for innovation? Join us at an upcoming career fair like GMiS, BEYA or SWE. Learn more at the links below.