Betsy McBride wanted to become an engineer to get her hands dirty and learn from those around her. The electrical engineering alumna is getting the best of both worlds at Lockheed Martin, Missiles and Fire Control in Dallas.
“Not only do I work with some of the best and brightest engineers and rocket scientists in the nation,” McBride said, “but I also get to work in the lab or in the field solving hands-on, real-world engineering problems.”
An electrical engineer in Lockheed Martin’s Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP), McBride rotates to a new project or team every 9 to 12 months. “I like to call this program ‘choose your own career path’ because I work one-on-one with my manager to find projects that fit my career aspirations.”
In her most recent rotation, McBride was a circuit card and FPGA (field-programmable gate array) designer who supports a missile telemetry system. McBride is also pursuing her master’s degree in space system engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
“From my time at MSOE I learned that a good engineer has a tenacious work ethic, critical thinking skills and a strong technical foundation,” she said. “MSOE showed me that a great engineer will always act with integrity and cultivate the community around them.”
McBride sited several experiences at MSOE as particularly valuable, the first being her involvement in the Society of Women Engineers. “I was active in SWE all four years,” she said. “Not only did I meet some of my closest friends through SWE, but I was able to connect with and develop an amazing network of engineers across the country.”
McBride continues her involvement in SWE as a national member.
McBride also found working on a senior project to be a valuable experience. “From the technical perspective, the senior design project is the most ‘life-like’ project an engineering student could experience,” she said. “This is when everything came together, and I realized I was made to be an electrical engineer.”
Finally, McBride broadened her horizons as a student worker in the Grohmann Museum. “Beyond just holding a work study job and learning a thing or two about customer service, the Grohmann Museum helped me expand my way of thinking about engineering.”
The youngest of five siblings, family and faith are important to McBride. “My faith is what has inspired me and motivated me the most. It pushes me to be the best version of myself in my career. Because of my faith I am a better friend and co-worker to those around me.”
McBride encourages current students to value the mentors and other relationships that will help them along the way. “Not only does a thank-you go a long way, it’s important to remember those who helped you. Relationships and community matter. Take time to give back to those around you.”