Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute alums reflect on their experiences

By Paige Smith

Alums of the Lockheed Martin Leadership have ended up all over, but one thing is constant: they are all grateful for the skills they learned as part of the program.

The Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute is a three-year certificate program in which a select group of students (called a cohort) learn all the ins-and-outs of being a leader in a globalized world. The Leadership Institute introduces students to leadership topics in class and then students work on long and short-term projects to put the theories they learn into practice. Students of all CEC majors can apply during the spring semester of their first year.

Jean Paul MugziJean-Paul Mugizi ('14)

Software Engineer at GSA (Seattle, Washington)

"I am a Software Engineer on the Login.gov platform at 18F, an office within the General Services Administration that collaborates with other federal agencies to build, buy and share technology products. The Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute has taught me to build a career (and a life) around my personal values, which has resulted in better outcomes both for me and for the citizens in general. Training in crucial conversations, SWOT analysis, and cultural/diversity awareness, among other many important learnings, have equipped me well to look at solutions to problems from a variety of angles, not just technical. This is especially indispensable in public service."

Korey SmithKorey Smith (’17)

IT Analyst at Eli Lilly (Indianapolis, Indiana)

"Lilly is, hands-down, a company focused on relationships, networking, philanthropy, and respect. The Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute equipped me with the necessary interpersonal and soft skills – collaboration, reliability, self-awareness, communication, conflict resolution, and many more – to succeed at Lilly. Although I have only been working at Lilly for four months, I am the project lead for a major initiative in my department, and I attribute my ability to garner trust from management to give me this leadership opportunity and to perform well in this role to the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute."

Heather WalkerHeather Horne-Walker (’16)

Software Test Specialist at IBM (Columbus, Ohio)

"I am a software test specialist for IBM Watson Supply Chain. I test our B2B (Business to Business) solutions to ensure it functions according to specifications and meets the business needs. The leadership institute provided me with invaluable tools to succeed in my career. I learned how to work with different types of people and manage projects through my leadership institute experiences. I have applied lessons learned from my leadership institute days to my job every day, and I continue to reflect upon my experiences in order to get better at my job."

Ndeye GuisseNdeye Guisse (’17)

Medical Student at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia)

"My days have been filled with lectures, standardized patient interviews, practice physical exams, community engagement across Atlanta's diverse neighborhoods, mentorship dinners, and most notably a LOT of studying. Medical school has allowed me to use a lot of the resources I gained from my three years with the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute. When I went out into the real world, everything we were told about and learned about before start to manifest right before my eyes and I amazed myself with how prepared I was to tackle some of these issues. In addition, the communication and interpersonal skills I learned through the institute have allowed me to navigate the patient interactions a lot more gracefully."

Alhaji BahAlhaji Bah (’14)

Integrator at Pratt & Whitney (East Hartford, Connecticut)

“I’ve been at Pratt & Whitney [an aircraft manufacturer] for about three years. As an integrator, I worked in a multidisciplinary role that required communicating with many different departments including Quality, Engineering and Procurement. I believe my largest takeaway from the leadership institute was the amount of comfort and confidence it instilled in me. The time we spent learning about Personal Leadership, People leadership and Transformational Leadership exposed us to many challenging situations and ensured we consistently received feedback on our performance. I developed a keen instinct for seeing my threats in the different situations I’ve had to navigate. All these tools contribute to my confidence and this confidence in knowing myself and my abilities transcends work and applies to everything in my life.”