1. What company do you work for? How long have you worked for them?
I work for BAE Systems, an aerospace & defense company (3 rd largest globally) with
primary customers being Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the Department of Defense. We
make the flight control systems that go into Boeing airplanes and develop
countermeasure technology for defense programs such as the F-35 Lightning II fighter
jet. I have worked full time for BAE for almost a year and half, but also did a summer
internship with the company prior to senior year.
2. What is your position within the company? What are your responsibilities?
I am member of the Operations Leadership Development Program (OLDP), a three year
rotational program that provides exposure to a variety of functions under operations as
well as advanced training, mentorship, and graduate education. We change positions
and/or locations every year and I am in my second rotation, working as an Operations
Program Manager (OPM) for one of our defense programs. I am ultimately responsible
for managing all operations under my program, which involves coordination of
manufacturing schedule, quality, and cost for our end product. I oversee the build across
multiple factories and engineering labs and act as an interface between them and my
3. What are some challenges you face within your job? How do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I face is influencing and managing experienced people who I
technically don’t have any authority over, especially within the factory. I am constantly
in environments with more experienced employees and it can be challenging to give them
instruction or challenge the way they have “always done things”. It’s important to
recognize and be respectful of the experience of others, but you need to have the courage
to promote the new ideas and perspectives you bring to a situation! I find that developing
strong interpersonal relationships helps me overcome this challenge, because people are
far more likely to respect your demands and needs when you are willing to take the time
and understand the issues they are facing.
4. Throughout your undergraduate career, what steps did you take to eventually secure this
As a GSCOM major (I think its called something different now?) they frequently
promote team/group projects as part of the coursework. I strongly recommend leveraging
each and every group project as an opportunity to learn how you interact with others and
discover your personal leadership style. Make sure you participate in whatever higher
level activity your major offers and I cannot stress the importance of pursuing leadership
opportunities. My time spent serving in various leadership positions within SOU
benefited me greatly during the hiring process and it is something I often look for when
reviewing resumes from the other side of the table. My internship experience covered a
variety of fields and is a good example of how your internships don’t necessarily define
what type of role you can obtain after graduation. Explore a breadth of options when
pursuing internships as each one will give you a unique experience that you can leverage
in the future.
5. What kinds of internships/previous jobs have you had? What was your role?
My first rotation at BAE (please say B. A. E. and not “bay” ) I worked as an Non-
Recurring Engineering Planner, where my responsibilities were very much project
management focused. I oversaw the planning of several capital and factory expansion
projects at my company and it solidified my interest in moving into program
management. While at USC, I interned with a different business under BAE Systems as a
business development intern where I was able to actively participate in our business
capture process and interact with our customer (the Navy). Prior to this experience I
interned for two summers with Mondelez International (Nabisco – Oreo/Ritz/etc.) as a
Sales Representative Intern. As my first real internship, my experience with Mondelez
laid the groundwork for my experiencing in managing others and handling
inventory/supply management. I was responsible for coordinating the work of several
merchandisers that worked under me and managing the supply of our product to various
types of stores.
6. How has your study abroad experience and involvement at USC and SOU prepared you
for an international career?
While I was not able to study abroad for a full semester, I tried to stay fully involved in
SOU as an alternative. Even though you may be too busy to attend the various events
offered throughout the semester, I have found that my high level of involvement prepared
me for moving outside my comfort zone and pushed me to try new things. Like I
previously mentioned, my experience leading SOU and being on the executive board for
several semesters boosted my career prospects and taught me valuable lessons in
managing the activities of an organization.
7. What do you like to do in your free time?
Since moving to New England, I have become an avid hiker and snow skier depending on
the time of year. Moving to a new region of the country has opened up experiences that I
never thought I would partake in (there is not much snow in SC haha) and it has truly
broadened my horizons.
8. What advice do you have for brothers?
Take advantage of all the wonderful friendships and opportunities SOU provides.
While you may be involved in a variety of organizations during your time at USC, I
found that my time in SOU truly defined my college experience and gave me some of the
best friends I could ask for. There’s a level between comfort and stress where you are
able to grow the most. Always push yourself to move outside of what is familiar and
comfortable to you and it will continuously lead to new and exciting things that you
might have ever thought possible. When I joined SOU as a quiet freshman, I never would
have thought that I would one day lead as CEO and see it grow from its humble
beginnings to the awesome brotherhood it has become. I love how connected the
organization has become with alumni and I look forward to whatever the future holds for