With the College of Engineering career fair approaching, many students are busy polishing their resumes and perfecting their elevator pitch. But for most, the process can still be daunting. Mechanical engineering student and Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania native Jack Markussen found himself in this exact predicament.
The summer between his sophomore and junior years, Jack landed an opportunity at Lockheed Martin as Combat Systems Integration Engineer, where he worked on the Aegis Combat System predominantly used in U.S. Naval destroyers.
"I chose Lockheed Martin because I wanted to challenge myself and work on some of the most cutting-edge technology," Jack said. "Lockheed Martin is considered one of the top security and defense contractors in the industry, and I felt that Lockheed Martin could provide me with the experience of working at such a high level."
How did Jack land the opportunity? A little bit of luck, but a lot more work behind the scenes, too.
"I really focused on learning as much as I could in each of my classes, striving to end with the best grade possible," he said, before ticking off a list of extracurricular work that included stints with the Society of Automotive Engineers (Temple Formula Racing) and work as a Physics Teaching Assistant.
"I tried to build a connection with each of my advisors and professors and make a lasting impression on everyone I came in contact with," he said. Jack also invested heavily in preparing with the college's academic advising team.
Jack worked closely with academic advisor Danielle Dailey, who helped him to navigate Temple and get comfortable enough to ask the hard questions he may need to answer to get to positions like the one he landed at Lockheed Martin. Career Counselor Leslie Silva helped fine tune his interview and application technique.
"I went to all of her career workshops, learned how to create a solid resume and cover letter, and most importantly, learned how to prepare for an interview," Jack said.
For students just starting out, Jack urged them to start planning early and to not limit their ambitions.
"Do not put limits on what you think you can and cannot do," Jack said. "When I first was hired as an Integration engineer, I was worried I did not have enough experience since I was studying mechanical engineering. Once at Lockheed Martin, I was taught everything that I needed, and ended up really enjoying the new type of engineering that I was not used to."