I did a programme office internship at Lockheed and had the opportunity to spend 2 months within the engineering department. At the end of the internship, I was offered a intent to hire letter after Graduation. I came back to Lockheed as Graduate Engineer. I knew I always wanted to work in the defence industry, and Lockheed is one of the biggest defence companies in the world. When I got the opportunity to come back as an Engineer, I took it. The projects they work on make a real difference and the people and teams you work with are second to none.
As a systems engineer I have had a variety of tasks every day, depending on what programme I work on. It can be anything from reviewing requirements, to writing requirements, Interacting with suppliers or the customer to reviewing documents. As a graduate I was given responsibility from the start. I've worked with a variety of engineers at different levels, from graduates, all the way up to the chief engineer. I have also been exposed to other functional areas, such as programme management, finance as well as other engineering disciplines.
The LM Graduate Programme has not only developed my technical knowledge and skills but has been instrumental to my own personal development. There are regular graduate events that help you self-identify and strengthen your soft skills as well as provide you with the opportunity to visit the various sites across the UK. My technical skills and knowledge has been developed throughout the year through stretch assignments as well as taking on tasks that involved aspects of engineering I had not looked at before.
I have a number of highlights from my first year on the Graduate Programme. I was given the opportunity and responsibility to lead with a refresh of the System Design Document for the programme, a key customer deliverable. This task required me to practice technical skills by reviewing detailed system requirements for a complex programme but provided me with the platform to directly interact with key programme stakeholders. Other highlights include working on other engineering discipline tasks, something that I had never done before and being able to learn the importance of it. The chance to attend both supplier and the company design reviews allowed me to network with a variety of people as well as broaden my knowledge of how design reviews work.
At Lockheed you are treated like an equal from the day you join and are immersed into the team immediately. The vast experience and knowledge within the office enables me to learn something different every day. Furthermore, the responsibility you get from the start allows you to be involved in the projects from when you first join, and you are supported throughout the scheme. As a grad you have the ability to interact with managers and executives, not something you would see at other companies!
Starting in a new role is always challenging, and questions like 'are you going to understand the work' ?, 'will you be able to do the work'? always come up, however, there is a lot of support provided to you from the start. Everyone is always willing to answer questions, whether those are other grads or the chief engineer. Furthermore, your co-workers take the time out to explain your tasks, you aren't expected to know everything from day one and they understand that this is a learning experience for you, therefore providing you with the opportunities to develop.
Lockheed is a renowned company, known across the globe. The projects they have really do make a difference in the world. Knowing this and being able to work on some of the biggest projects in the world makes it all the more realistic. Moreover, the office ethos and culture really allows you be part of the Lockheed Family. Everyone is welcoming and friendly, and you would never feel like an outsider, even on your first day. The early careers group have a strong bond and often attend social events together. The STEM and outreach activities provided by Lockheed to volunteer at allow me to give back to the community, as well as network with others across the company that you may not necessarily interact with every day. The 9/75 Schedule and flexi time provides a great work life balance with the longer weekends and allows me to take part in a variety of activities outside work.