Alumna works behind the scenes at fast-food company on third-party integration

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The last few months of pandemic-stricken quarantine have been anything but monotonous for 2013 alumna Lindsay Langley, as she has been staying busy with two new roles: working virtually in a new position at a new company and becoming a first-time mother.

Lindsay Langley Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

In February, Langley started working as an IT product owner at Chick-fil-A, after beginning her career at Boeing where she ultimately became a product manager. But within one month of working for her new company, Langley’s position went virtual due to stay-at-home guidelines from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Shortly after, her daughter was born.

Now, recently back from maternity leave, she is navigating her new professional role with a fresh perspective.

“Working full time while also being a full-time mom definitely has its challenges. However, I’m so grateful to have this additional time at home with my daughter and am also so thankful to work for such a wonderful company that is very understanding of the situation,” Langley said. “There have even been requests to bring more babies and kids to meetings; I think it brightens everyone’s day just a little bit.”

Langley had sought out the position at Chick-fil-A as she was looking to fill a more customer-facing role, while bringing skills she gained from her previous professional experience and the foundation she built at Penn State through the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).

“I really liked what I was doing in product management [at Boeing], because I loved working with the business, as well as with the development team, to make sure that we were creating something that they really needed and not just something they thought they wanted,” she said.

Though different companies utilize product owners for different purposes, Langley and her team are responsible for the integration work between third parties and the Chick-fil-A application programming interfaces (APIs). Langley owns the direction, strategy and implementation of all the work done in that area.

“Granted, you can't see the work that my team does from an end-user perspective, but you still need that integration work for it to work out,” she said.

 According to Langley, each day at Chick-fil-A is quite different than the last.

“I'm on calls a lot with DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, any of those type of delivery services,” Langley said. “A lot of my day will be spent with that, and also just making sure I'm in the loop on any issues any of our restaurants may be having with their third-party delivery."

Langley felt prepared for her career thanks, in part, to her experience in the College of IST.

“Having that foundational knowledge of the technical aspect of things really helped me, because that's where I started out in project management,” she said. “It helped me plan out the projects and really understand the timeline that it would take and then work with the developers on the technical aspect of understanding the roadblocks that they had.”

Her advice for current and future students is to take advantage of every opportunity that IST has to offer.

“I was in Women in IST (WIST), and the connections that you can make there (are great),” said Langley. “Also use the career resources. They help with resumes and interview prep; all of that stuff was absolutely fantastic.”

In fact, it was through the College of IST’s career fair where Langley landed her internship, and eventual full-time position, with Boeing.

“It really is what you make of it,” Langley said. “If you're prepared for the career fair, then you're golden.”

In addition to WIST, Langley was a member of THON’s Rules and Regulations committee, played intramural tennis, and helped run the College of IST Startup Week during her time as a Penn State student.

Now, as an alumna, Langley encourages all students to make the most of their college experiences, and to find ways to extend it into the years after graduation.

“Make sure that you're staying in touch with all of your friends, because I know that it's hard when everyone moves to a different place after they graduate. It's easy to lose touch with people, but just make sure that you stay connected and utilize the Penn State system,” Langley concluded.

Last Updated August 31, 2020