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"Get the Scoop" Series With Maya Davis: A Dive Into Systems Engineering Career Path

Updated: May 7

If you’ve ever been curious about the intricacies behind systems engineering, particularly in aerospace, our latest episode of "Get the Scoop" is just for you. Arman, co-founder of Career Scoops, recently sat down with Maya Davis, a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin, who gave us an exclusive look into her role, her journey, and the fascinating world of the F-35 fighter jet program.

A Day in the Life of Maya Davis

Maya has been with Lockheed Martin for six years, working on the F-35 program for maintenance systems. As a systems engineer, she is actively involved in the integration and testing of maintenance system software. This isn't just about ensuring the F-35 can fly; it's about streamlining logistics for in-flight operations and maintenance.

In her role, Maya tests the software and integrates it with subcontractors, which means identifying bugs, reporting them to software engineers, and aiding in developing solutions. It's not the typical image most might have when hearing the title "systems engineer", and it's this misconception that Maya takes pride in debunking.

From Computer Science to Systems Engineering

Maya’s journey to Lockheed began with an undergrad in computer science. But what set her on the path of systems engineering was her passion for technology combined with her strong interpersonal and leadership skills. As a systems engineer, she often finds herself at the intersection of technology and client communications. She's not just coding all day but actively engaging with stakeholders to understand software needs.

She emphasized that her role is about ensuring software quality and meeting customer requirements. It's not just about creating software, but also about defining its requirements, setting clear objectives for developers, and testing the finished product.

Educational Pursuits and Passion

With a bachelor's and master's degree in computer science from Tennessee State University and a master's in data analytics from the University of Central Florida, Maya has been dedicated to her education. Interestingly, she found her bachelor's more challenging than her master's because it introduced her to entirely new concepts, while her master's allowed her to delve deeper into areas she was already familiar with.

Balancing Creativity with Technicality

One surprising revelation from the interview was Maya's background in arts during high school. While she attended an arts school and pursued dance and played the flute, she believes that the creativity she honed during those years plays a vital role in sparking innovation in her tech career today.

Advice for Aspiring Systems Engineers

Maya’s advice to those looking to pursue systems engineering? Develop a systematic approach to problem-solving and understanding quality in software. Whether you lean towards hardware or software, it's about recognizing efficient systems and user experiences.

Benefits and Pride in Her Role

Working at Lockheed Martin, especially on the F-35 project, has given Maya a deep sense of pride in the military and the advanced technology developed for them. She also treasures the robust tech network she's built in Orlando and the personal insights she's gained from being so closely associated with one of the latest generation fighters on the market.

In wrapping up her chat with Arman, Maya left us with a deeper appreciation for systems engineering's nuances and the brilliant minds behind our modern aircraft's maintenance and logistics. Her journey from art school to Lockheed Martin is a testament to the fact that varied experiences can come together to create a unique and fulfilling career path.

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