Starting at a young age, Amy began growing her passion for engineering by taking Project Lead The Way (PLTW) classes in Middle School and High School. As a national nonprofit organization, PLTW empowers students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset and is the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM curriculum. Her first few classes, including ‘Intro to Technology’, sparked an interest in technology.
Since 2014, the Lockheed Martin-PLTW partnership supported more than 150 high school interns (and another 52 starting in the fall) at Aeronautics in Fort Worth, debunking myths that hiring younger workers is bad for business. Not only are they engaging in hands-on engineering work that has business impact, but they’re also proving that they’re an asset worth investing in.
Due to her association with PLTW, in her Junior year of High School, Amy received an invitation to attend an informational seminar to learn more about the Lockheed Martin internship program. After viewing an informational video, she was excited at the prospect of being a part of supporting Lockheed Martin business objectives and goals.
Amy recalls that moment, “I will never forget it…they showed all the business areas of Lockheed Martin and what they did. They had F-35s and F-22s giving air shows in this video. And I looked at my Dad and I said “Dad, I want to do that! I want to be able to help our servicemen and women. I want to be able to advance technology. That sounds amazing!” Soon after, she was accepted into the program and began attending a specialty class during her Senior year of High School and interning each Summer in various departments while an undergraduate at Texas A&M.
Over the course of the internship, Amy’s peers and experiences helped shape her educational path. Pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering at the time, she dreamed of writing code for the F-35. As she gained hands-on technical experience in the internship program, she quickly learned that devoting most of her day behind a computer was not for her. Instead, she enjoyed collaborating with her colleagues, learning about supplier management and concentrating on the business aspects of Lockheed Martin. Now having graduated, she is pursuing an MBA to further support her new career goals.
Amy is grateful for the opportunity of taking part in Lockheed Martin’s internship program. She attributes the program to being one of the main reasons she stayed in an engineering field. Today, as a full-time Lockheed Martin employee, she is a part of the F-35 Communication Navigation and Identification (CNI) Team with Aeronautics in Fort Worth, TX. Her team provides technical supplier management to ensure that all new capabilities on the aircraft in a timely manner. In addition, she supports the redesign of diminishing resources to make sure that all parts are of the highest efficiency and quality.
While a Sophomore at Howard University, Simeon knew he was interested in pursuing a career in Cyber Security. He sought after opportunities to further expand on his studies and one appeared while attending a Lockheed Martin sponsored Cyber Analyst Challenge. Through that event he met several Lockheed Martin employees and was offered an internship with hands on experience as part of their Cyber Security team.
Over the course of the internship he felt like a full-time analyst instead of a typical “intern”. When thinking back to that experience Simeon shared, “It was great for my development, because I was essentially green and knew nothing and it accelerated the rate at which I learned. They gave me meaningful projects…all my co-workers were willing to take time to explain new concepts to me. And I really got to network with all the members on the team.”
Additionally, his leadership team took every opportunity to help Simeon gain exposure to Lockheed Martin leadership though out the organization to learn about their roles and experience. One interaction he recalls was with Anne Mullins, former Lockheed Martin Chief Information Officer. During their conversation he learned that she once too was an intern which inspired Simeon to think: “Hey maybe I can be her one day!”
Today, as a full-time Lockheed Martin employee, Simeon works on the Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) to defend the Lockheed Martin global network for all business areas. This includes working with system alerts, creating detections to stop adversaries from trying to steal proprietary and customer data. It is a dynamic role that involves programming, communications, analysis and encourages him to engage in continuous learning.
Even though Amy and Simeon began working full time in 2019, between the two they have accumulated several years of experience. Their years of participation in the internship program counted towards their Lockheed Martin tenure. This allowed Simeon to start as a Level II Analyst (with three years of experience). And just a few weeks after joining Lockheed Martin as a new hire, Amy received her five-year Lockheed Martin pin!
For more workforce development program success stories and to learn about Lockheed Martin’s commitment to investing in the workforce, click here.
*Amy and Simeon’s story are examples of employees who have thrived under workforce development programs ranging from internships and rotations to mid-career development and technical apprenticeships. In 2018, Lockheed Martin announced a Pledge to America’s Workers and is committed to creating 8,000 new learning-based opportunities and internships by 2023.*