Summary of Fall 2023 Lockheed Martin Speaker Event

  • A photograph of students attending the speaker event. They are sitting at long tables, listening intently to the presenters.

Summary of Fall 2023 Lockheed Martin Speaker Event

Summary of Fall 2023 Lockheed Martin Speaker Event

Recently, our department was happy to host another speaker event, this time exclusively featuring our partners over at Lockheed Martin. Hosted on November 3rd, this was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about working at one of the biggest weapon contractors in the country. Students learned the ins and outs of the company from daily routines, work life balance, internships, and opportunities to move up and around the corporation. 

Lockheed Martin is a defense company that provides the US military with state of the art technology, with branches all over the country. The speaker event was hosted by Rob Logan and Dominick Velardo. Both are systems engineer managers at Lockheed Martin. Velardo is also an Rowan University Alumni, once a part of Rowan’s ACM chapter. Verlado got an opportunity to work full time at Lockheed Martin thanks to an internship. They work at the Moorestown branch, specializing in rotary and mission systems. Logan and Verlado discussed in further detail what they do at their jobs, what their working life is like, and paid internship opportunities for students.

Currently, Lockheed Martin centers most of its operations around assisting the United States Navy. One of the most impressive, if not the most impressive advancements to come out of this coordination is the Aegis Combat System. This is one of the most advanced multi-mission marine warfare systems on the planet; with the ability to launch missiles and utilize radar– all fully integrated with computer programs to defend against both air and surface level threats. Both Logan and Velardo have the opportunity to work with this massively impressive and massively complex piece of technology. Particularly, Logan and Velardo focus on radar integration for naval combat missions systems. Employees at Lockheed Martin also get to work with the navies of other allied countries, such as Japan, Korea, Spain, and others. 

The speakers highlighted the location of their Moorestown department; it’s near the town of Moorestown, with plenty of small shops and restaurants for employees to enjoy. It’s situated right near USS Rancocas, a combat engineering site where engineers at Lockheed Martin get to work side by side with navy personnel. Lockheed Martin operates on a ten hour long, four day work week. Both speakers emphasized how much the company values a healthy work/life balance, and how the four day work week has allowed them to participate in life outside of work.

Lockheed Martin also values equity in their offices, and strives to create a diverse, welcoming experience for every and anyone who walks through their doors. Lockheed Martin works with many business resource groups to accomplish their goals, such as the Professional Asian American Network Plan, Military Veterans Network, Women’s Impact Network, and Lockheed Martin’s own Able & Allies group. “Lockheed Martin strongly believes that having diverse work environments is crucial to providing the best possible product, as allowing people from all walks of life, allows for all sorts of great ideas,” says Logan.

Working at Lockheed Martin is constant hands-on development. “You have a desk, but you never see it,” says Verlado. Engineers consistently work together across departments, to get needed work done. 

Lockheed Martin is a working environment that wishes to challenge its employees, so they can create the best possible tools, achieved by encouraging career growth in their employees. “The experience is so enriching, even if you don’t plan to stay here your whole career,” says Logan. Internships are no exception: “You don’t just sit in an office and push papers. You’re given real, important tasks where you actually get to learn in a professional environment,” says Verlado. “You’re on the scrum team, in meetings– you’re a part of the team. During my internship, I was brought into a different world, filled with labs, servers, and all different infrastructures. Within a week or two, they were giving me actual important assignments that needed to be done– no busy work in sight.”

Interns are paired up with mentors to help guide and assist in adjusting to work at the company. Mentors figure out mentees’ skills, and give assignments where growth is guaranteed. Mentees learn elements of their field beyond what they learn in a classroom. “It’ll take a while, but your knowledge will grow tenfold,” says Verlado. 

Students also learn skills beyond STEM related skills, such as speaking with customers and communicating with teammates– soft skills that are deciding factors in job applications today. Lockheed Martin also offers networking opportunities constantly. There’s always social events for interns to get their foot in the door, to begin cultivating professional relationships. At the end of the internship, students get to present their ideas and discoveries to team leaders and executives, allowing students to really process and reflect on their experiences at the company. 

Employees working at Lockheed Martin also have the opportunity to participate in their leadership development program. Employees marked as having high potential are given the ability to work with 3-4 upper management employees in different departments, strengthening your STEM repertoire. Because unlike other companies, working at Lockheed Martin isn’t exactly a vertical ladder. Employees are able– and encouraged– to look at other areas of the company outside of their initial field. “Lockheed Martin encourages growth in all directions,” says Logan. 

The company has several distinct career opportunities for CS students. Systems engineers, software engineers, hardware engineers, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineers are all needed. Because of the wide variety of career opportunities at Lockheed Martin, leadership is always on the hunt for students with data analytics skills, knowledge in machine learning, AI, cybersecurity, software development, and other skill sets.

The company also offers both tuition reimbursement and certification reimbursement programs, where the company will pay money to build your knowledge as it relates to your work at Lockheed Martin. 

Students interested should go to the Lockheed Martin website for more information on co-ops and internships. Both speakers recommend that students should focus on honing their soft skills for the interview. Students should prepare to be asked questions about what they’re passionate about, how they maneuvered working with a difficult team member. A person who goes from interviewee to employee is someone who uses these questions to show your strengths– rather than merely state them. Lockheed Martin is looking at candidates from now until the end of the year. Unfortunately, international students cannot apply for positions at Lockheed Martin, as you need to be a permanent citizen.

Both speakers greatly enjoyed speaking with our students during and after the presentation. “I just love being able to come back here and spread my experience,” says Verlado. “I want to make sure students continue to do what they want, forming a solid, stable career path.”

We here at the CS department are very grateful for both speakers taking the time out of their busy schedules to speak with us. We hope the students in attendance enjoyed this chance to learn about one of the most prestigious job opportunities in the state. 

Written by Kiley Parker | Posted 11.30.23