In Our Own Words – Rebecca
In Our Own Words
“Since coming to Aerospace I’ve pursued both a career and starting a family. I’m challenged regularly in my job to solve complex issues while still having the flexibility to maintain a balance between my life at home and my responsibilities at work. Aerospace gives me the freedom to do both.”
Work-Life Balance Is Key
For Becky Kramer, one of the biggest benefits of continuing her career at Aerospace is the work-life balance she enjoys as a project engineer in the Imagery Programs Division of the National Systems Group. “As the mother of two young children I appreciate the corporation’s generous maternity leave and my flexible work schedule,” she says. “These have allowed me to take the time to focus on my young family while continuing to meet my work commitments,” adds Becky.
Building on her experiences as a teaching assistant and lab instructor in the Optics and Physics Department while a student at the University of Rochester, Becky completed summer internships at both Eastman Kodak and Optical Research Associates (ORA), now Synopsys. She also had a summer internship at Aerospace prior to joining the corporation as a regular, full-time employee after completing graduate school.
“These experiences provided me interesting perspectives on corporate cultures and work environments that were quite different from Aerospace. Both Kodak and ORA are for-profit companies and Kodak was much larger, population-wise, than Aerospace, while ORA was much smaller,” she explains.
Becky’s position at Aerospace gives her ample opportunity to explore new roles and technical areas. “I’ve enjoyed supporting a wide variety of exciting projects while serving in several different roles,” she says. “These have included technical advisor, project engineer, lead optical designer, and test plan architect for multiple internal and external research, development, test, and acquisition projects aimed at improving a variety of space-, air-, and ground-based optical detection systems,” explains Becky. “Each project has brought its own excitement, challenges, and opportunities.”
Mentee Role Is Most Satisfying
And though it’s still early in Becky’s career path, she’s confident in saying that the most satisfying role of her Aerospace career, thus far, has been as mentee. “Aerospace employs some truly brilliant and vastly knowledgeable individuals, and I have been fortunate to call some of them ‘mentors’ either through formal mentoring programs or informally cultivated relationships. I’ve always come away from conversations with these individuals feeling thoughtful, inspired, and excited to try out some new skill or piece of knowledge. I strive to develop the same capacity to mentor future generations,” she says.
Words to Live By
And with nearly 10 years at Aerospace to her credit, Becky attributes her success to the goals and values she lives by. “I strive to be wholly present in the moment, embrace all experiences, and continue to learn and grow,” she says. “I couple these goals with a few basic values—honesty, integrity, hard work, and a positive attitude—and find that the rest of the details of my life seem to fall into place, whether caring and providing for my family or addressing complex problems and building a career at work.”
In keeping with her philosophy, Becky keeps a quote by automobile pioneer Henry Ford tacked up on her bulletin board. It states: “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” With as ambitious a career path as Becky’s, it’s easy to see this philosophy in action. She has been nominated and received several awards and customer accolades for her dedication, professionalism, and achievements including being selected by the Aerospace Women’s Committee as a 2008 Woman of the Year. This award recognizes Aerospace women for exemplary achievement and service to the corporation and the community.
Favorite Past Times
When she’s not enjoying seeing the world through her children’s eyes, which may entail digging in the dirt, jumping in a puddle, making an ice cream sundae, or playing with a slinky, Becky spends her off time working on her family’s farm, reading, gardening, volunteering with a local Girl Scout troop, and traveling with her husband.
If the thought of working at Aerospace appeals to you, check out our current openings.