Many people say they don’t enjoy change; however, Rose Blank’s job as an industrial engineer is all about implementing it.
She joined Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control almost three years ago and supports a development program with her key focus on reducing waste and driving down cost.
Rose’s nature of questioning processes and how or why things are done a certain way made her path to industrial engineering an obvious choice.
Part of Rose’s job implementing changes can involve stepping on toes, which was challenging for her fresh out of college. However, Rose took the time to earn people’s respect and demonstrate the value of her contributions. She believes much of her success is due to her understanding the importance of making personal connections and adapting how you communicate to fit your client’s needs.
“Everyone doesn’t always respond positively at first when bringing new ideas to the table," she said. "The people with the mentality of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ will challenge your notions and be reluctant to change. As long as you keep looking for areas of improvements, and communicating the benefits, you can help to improve the way that change is perceived."
Implementing change is very important in her role to reduce waste and improve cost, she said.
“This helps Lockheed Martin keep a competitive advantage, keeps us evolving, and in general it is important to continuously improve and not stay stagnant," she said. "As time moves on and there are better ways to perform tasks, we need to advance and stay ahead of the curve.”
Efficiencies and cost savings also result in savings for the customer, getting a better and less expensive product to the warfighter, faster.
“Our company’s mission to ‘solve complex challenges, advance scientific discovery and deliver innovative solutions to help our customers keep people safe’ is exactly what I wake up and go to work for. I am always proud when I tell people I work for Lockheed Martin.”
She offers the following advice for other change agents and anyone who might be interested in a STEM career.
- You are in control of your career. Network and seek out opportunities to keep learning. If you are feeling comfortable or bored in what you are doing every day, it’s time to educate yourself in other areas. Ask for stretch assignments. Consider what you want others to think about when they hear your name. Work to become that person.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Worried that a question you have might make you sound dumb? Ask anyway and make every situation a learning opportunity. Asking questions gives you a learning advantage, keeps you engaged in conversation and shows interest. Staying curious keeps you open to new ideas and helps you draw connections between different concepts.
- Don’t succumb to imposter syndrome. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Having agents of change in place like Rose, Lockheed Martin continues to adapt and innovate to meet our customer needs and stay ahead of the curve.