Kelsey Kusman ’18
Lockheed Martin; Grand Prairie, TX
|What extracurricular activities were you involved in at Texas A&M? Delta Gamma, Fish Camp (2015 & 2016), CIBS REEP Exchange in Madrid (Spring 2017), 12th Man Student Foundation
Did you participate in an internship? During my first internship at Lockheed Martin, I was responsible for organizing all foundational activities for a Six Sigma process improvement projects. These included stakeholder interviews, process mapping, leading a brainstorming session, and getting my Greenbelt Certification. In my second internship, I was responsible for tracking 60 sub-assembly parts in the procurement process and keeping contact with 5 small-business suppliers. I also created an excel-based tool to help keep better track of labor hours for Basis of Estimate reports sent to DCAA in the contracting process. The Supply Chain program prepared me by conditioning me to openly ask questions. In the order I took my classes, I almost reverse-learned a lot of the concepts—applying them in my internships and then learning in class, but by feeling confident asking questions and understanding the basics, I learned SO MUCH!
What was your favorite Supply Chain Management course at Texas A&M? My favorite Supply Chain class was SCMT 335 – Sourcing and Procurement with Dr. Koufteros. As I mentioned before, I was introduced to a lot of the basics of procurement during my second internship, THEN I enrolled in Dr. Koufteros’ class. I felt the entire semester that I was finally putting together all of the concepts I had been confused about the previous summer and it gave me so much confidence. Also, knowing that these concepts would be something that I would be applying daily in my full-time role gave me a feeling of incredible relevance during each lecture. I also really enjoyed the Lockheed Martin case study, no surprise there!
What do you feel was the most beneficial course you took? The most beneficial course I took was MGMT 439 – Negotiations with Professor Gan. I felt that I gained so much applicable knowledge for both work and personal experiences. Negotiating is a skill I believe everyone should learn about, and I was so glad I decided to take it as an elective. It also will help immensely in my career in purchasing.
Describe your career and what led you to your current position: My career is primarily concerned with external relations to Lockheed Martin and managing suppliers whose parts go into the THAAD defense interceptor. I began pursuing this company by applying to as many company internships as possible online during my sophomore year. I had an incredibly positive experience in my first year there, did a ton of networking and lined up a supply chain position for the following summer less than a month after finishing my first internship. There were times during my second internship that I wasn’t sure if I liked some of the work I was responsible for, but what pushed me into the role that I will be starting this summer was communication. When I was unsure, I always talked to my boss about other things that interested me, or what I didn’t think was quite jiving, and those were some of the most beneficial conversations.
In my current role at Lockheed Martin, I serve on a subcontracts management team that handles relations and procurement with major subcontractors. In addition, I am also individually responsible for smaller procurements of sub-assembly parts. Other responsibilities include supplier expediting, supplier scorecards, configuration management and maintaining PO documents/folders.
Any specific advice you would give to current Supply Chain Management students? All experience is good experience and can serve as a springboard. My first internship was grouped under “finance and accounting” but I managed to get a heavily supply chain-focused project (6 sigma) and even lock down a supply chain internship for the next summer. It is really easy to form an opinion based on a title before you walk in the door, but you are in charge of your own destiny. If you actively communicate with your leaders, it won’t go unnoticed and you will get so much more from the experience than you ever thought possible.