There is no substitute for real-world work experience as Stevens senior Elizabeth Pascetta has discovered. She has participated in an internship every summer of her college life, with each leading to a full-time offer. Ultimately, it was her last internship, one in which she worked at Lockheed Martin, that produced the offer she was waiting for.
After graduation, Pascetta will head to Sunnyvale, California to embark on a three-year rotational program with Lockheed Martin’s Operations Leadership Development Program (OLDP). The rigorous early career program will expose Pascetta to the defense company’s key business functions through one-year assignments in Operations, Supply Chain and Quality. During these three years, Pascetta will gain valuable technical knowledge, leadership training and networking opportunities to enhance her career development at Lockheed Martin.
It’s a career track she didn’t foresee when she began college. As a freshman at Seton Hall University, Pascetta she set her sights on a dual degree in physics and engineering. But things changed.
“After taking the core classes in my freshman year, I realized that I didn’t want to be a physicist or work in a lab. So I knew it wasn’t the right degree for me.”
So she applied and transferred to Stevens Institute of Technology in her sophomore year to pursue a bachelor’s in engineering management and a master’s in systems engineering.
Pascetta says the broad education she received from the dual degree program at Stevens will undoubtedly help her move forward in her career.
“The engineering management and systems engineering curricula train you to think about the ‘big picture’ when it comes to looking at a problem and figuring out a solution, such as how it impacts the stakeholder or user, and how it affects the supply chain, the company, and so forth.”
Soon to graduate with both degrees in May, Pascetta is glad she made the change in academic program. But she also credits the diverse work experiences she gained though her internships.
“From the very beginning when I thought about doing internships, I wanted to make sure they were all different from one another, so I could see what I really liked. That approach ended up being a good experience for me. After my freshman year, I interned at a construction company that worked on the World Trade Center. After I transferred to Stevens in my sophomore year, I did an internship in financial consulting with Ernst & Young. And my third was with Lockheed Martin last summer.”
Pascetta used the Stevens Career Center to secure her internship with Lockheed Martin. But the level of involvement by the Career Center in student outcomes took her by surprise, she says.
"I originally went to them thinking, 'Okay, they’ll help me with my résumé.' But they gently remind you, every semester, to keep improving that résumé a little bit all the time and to keep thinking about and preparing for your eventual career. They made sure we understood that college is fun, yes – but at the end of the experience, you will want to be getting the right kinds of job offers and jobs, and that they would help us find them."
Another eye-opening experience for Pascetta when she came to Stevens: when companies come to campus to recruit, they intend to recruit.
“This was a completely different experience for me, companies coming to campus to recruit you versus just coming to shake hands and hand you some information. It was clear they really wanted Stevens students to come work for them.”