Meet James

As part of my university degree, I was given the opportunity to work a year in industry before my last year of study. I joined Lockheed Martin in the summer of 2019 before returning to uni for my final year.

During my time at Lockheed Martin I have had a great opportunity to put the skills I have learnt at university to practice. The ability to turn theory into an actual product has helped my learning and provided an incredible sense of accomplishment. Going through the process of creating a product for use for an important purpose meant that I had a number of different considerations which is an environment that is difficult to experience on a university project.

My education has provided me with a good background in software and during my internship I continued to concentrate on developing software using python and SQL. I also had the opportunity to learn a lot about Radio Frequency (RF) which was a brand-new topic for me.

Lockheed Martin Intern

My team works on both hardware and software focused tasks which has allowed me to really enjoy trying out hardware tasks despite being more knowledgeable and comfortable on software tasks. This has allowed me to experience as many different areas as possible and has enhanced my learning during the internship.

Every day has a morning stand-up where each team member gives a quick brief on activities from the previous day, what they will be doing today, and anything that will stop them from completing their task. This is something that I personally really enjoy as the stand-ups are useful for learning what other people have been up to, helps to keep other team members up to date, and allows you to an opportunity to assist others that have hit a roadblock.

This is a key part of the agile working mentality which we use in my team and is used widely in the industry.

My thoughts

Going from working on individual projects at university to working in a team project in a work environment creating a product with a real use could feel a bit daunting at times. However, I have really enjoyed the experience and it has helped me to develop a greater sense of purpose to my individual contributions during my internship because I understand how my work fits into and is essential to the larger project.

Being able to work with experts daily has provided me with more learning opportunities both formally, such as training and briefings, and informally, such as conversations over a lunch break. The informal meetings allow me to develop an insight into the fascinating topic of where people have worked and how their careers have developed. These opportunities would only be possible during an internship.

In summary, my learning at university provided the groundwork for me to have a successful internship with Lockheed Martin which has provided me with many opportunities and experiences that are not possible in an academic setting. Knowing that what I have created during my internship is significant and will be used going forward has left me with a huge sense of pride.

CyberFirst Bursary Student

Having had friends tell me how their summer placements had been cancelled due to COVID, I was expecting the dreaded cancellation call from Lockheed Martin, but it never came. In the weeks leading up to the placement they were on the phone with me trying to sort out a safe way of working in this new era.

I’m part of the CyberFirst Bursary scheme, a government run scheme. It means every summer I get the opportunity to apply for summer internships with cyber-companies. I was lucky enough to apply to Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems and get accepted.

Before I came to Lockheed, I didn't understand Cyber or what it meant for the workplace. Though, it really is everything — everything we do online, every time we touch a computer. This really allowed me to seek out and explore new areas of the business and ask far too many questions.

Summer Intern

Every morning we would have stand-up meeting where we got to lay out our plans for the day, our blocks (things stopping us from doing a certain piece of work) and have a brief catchup. This is something I found incredibly helpful and would want to continue to other projects I work on as it was a great way for a team to socialise and feel together especially during COVID-19. Things like this are invaluable and are something you can only gain through working in a placement environment like this.

The main project I was working on revolved around integrating many technologies such as React, ExpressJS, Jersey and Jetty. I’ve learnt so much in the brief 8 weeks I’ve been here. These technologies were used to make admin pages, APIs as well as integration layers for other products. It really exposed me to an ‘enterprise’ way of working through processes like code review and the due process needed for anything, even open source software!

I also got the opportunity to work on a STEM project, which allowed me to use previous experience developing course content for children and apply it to a fun an interactive challenge for the CyberFirst Girls Competition. It was great to have the flexibility to work on both the projects in tandem.

My thoughts

Having done other enterprise internships in the past, something that was very clear to me during my time at Lockheed was their specific focus on ethics and responsibility. They really do care, not just in a corporate way but in a personal and humane way.

This placement has really helped shape my view of the industry. It's helped me see how important teamworking and your co-workers are to ensure you succeed in your endeavour. It is certainly something I'll be applying to future projects I undertake and back at university.

Through the flexibility offered I was able to investigate the areas of Cyber I was most interested in, gain new direction in my career and work with an amazing team. I recommend to others do a summer placement if you can - it can provide a unique insight to the industry you're planning to go into that can't be gleaned from books or University. If you get the chance, go for a placement at Lockheed Martin — though it'll probably be your last, as you won't want to work anywhere else.

CyberFirst Bursary Student

I joined Lockheed Martin as a Cyber Software Engineer on a year placement, having had limited experiences of ‘Cyber’ and the technologies surrounding it.

Since being welcomed into the team, I have had countless experiences that have helped shape my perception of what Lockheed Martin and the industry surrounding it really mean and stand for, from developing solid foundations in advanced cyber skills, all the way to volunteering at local charities and lending a hand to the community surrounding us.

All of these things have really given me a deeper understanding of the values that Lockheed Martin hold highly, such as flexibility and allowing you to experience things first hand, which has allowed me to delve deeper into topics that have long interested me, whilst also exploring new passions that have appeared throughout my internship.

Cyber Software Engineer Intern

My skills have developed significantly by being part of an Agile team, and having to manage time and juggle tasks effectively within this type of team has really shown me everything I need to know that this industry is where I want to continue working – not to mention the really cool work we get to do!

My varied and wide experiences during my internship has let me identify what I do not want to pursue further within my career. It could be said that it is just as important to see what you don’t want to do as much as what you do want to do!

I began the placement thinking I wanted to become a full-time software engineer, as writing satisfying code and solving logic puzzles all day sounded really appealing to me. I soon realised that being sat down typing all day is not for me but I have discovered really interesting topics within electronic engineering that I had no clue even existed before this placement!

My thoughts

Participating in such varied tasks has allowed me to craft out a general direction towards Cyber that I wish to take forwards in my career, which is one that I could not have foreseen at all before starting this placement.

I have learned many new skills on the job and have gained confidence to put these skills to use in my own life. Which allows me to utilise vital development concepts and apply them to real situations on my degree course.

This means that when I return to university next year I will be much better prepared and with a cutting-edge skillset at the forefront of many research topics, sure to help in any dissertation project!

Overall, I have found my placement invaluable for forging my own career path, and I would encourage anyone thinking about pursuing a placement to do one too! Cyber is such an in-depth and interesting topic area and being able to work on the forefront of such a fast-paced technology has been truly eye opening for me.