A member of the Penn State Abington Class of 2021 secured her first professional position with Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies company.
Alyson Farkas, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering with the multidisciplinary engineering design option, said she can’t wait to start her job as a systems engineer at Lockheed in King of Prussia on June 7.
“As a systems engineer, you’re responsible for the integration of different aspects of software and hardware and making sure the documentation makes sense. My degree will really help me because it combines mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. It prepared me to do this job. It’s all about knowing different aspects of engineering, and it gives you broader knowledge,” she said.
Farkas, the first in her family to graduate from college, was an intern with Lockheed for two summers after meeting a representative of the company at the semiannual Career Expo, organized by Abington’s Career and Professional Development.
“I learned so much from my internship but especially how to work in the real world. My main takeaway was to never shy away from asking questions. There are tons of smart people there, and I learned to pick their brains. I was cautious at my first internship, but by the second one I was wanting to understand and learn more,” she said.
At Abington, Farkas was a Schreyer Honors College scholar and a member of the campus's Honors Program. Her honors thesis project was to apply artificial intelligence to train a robot to do parts inspection in a simulated manufacturing environment. She was also the recipient of an engineering scholarship.
Her experience at Abington began the summer before her first year when she enrolled in the Engineering Ahead (EA) program. EA is an academic enhancement program for underrepresented categories of students including minorities, women, first-generation, and those from low-income households.
“Engineering Ahead helps transition you to college. College isn’t as scary because you already have these connections. You focus on math, physics and chemistry,” she said. “It shows how things are done in college, and it opened up other opportunities. After I finished the program, I became a mentor and tutored other students.”