Noting that Lockheed Martin is “good about letting people try new things,” Katherine Pease, MBA 15, is on her third “new thing” at work since enrolling in the Berkeley-Haas Evening & Weekend MBA Program.
She moved from Southern California to Northern California, and from a quality department position to one in facilities when she started the program. Recently, she accepted a promotion into a technical assistant position—that’s Lockheed-speak for chief of staff—in THAAD, an engineering department that designs and sells sophisticated defensive missile systems.
“This is a much more technical department that I’ve worked in before, and I’m not a technical person, which is actually an asset. My role is really to help align the business and technical aspects, to connect with and engage our employees,” she says. “That means using a lot of the skills I learned in Leadership Communication, for example.
“I also find myself applying what I’ve learned in various strategy classes to make sure we’re looking out across all of the stages of development, from initial design to upgrades and even planning for obsolescence and the systems that come next.”
Pease also traces her success in her interview for the promotion back to what she practiced in class. “Just like discussing a case study, my answers had to be comprehensive and concise. I had to think on my feet, to articulate quickly and precisely,” she says of the five-minute, three-question interview—which “fit perfectly with my new manager’s super-efficient style.”