Before starting at Hallam-ICS I spent eight years in the US Air Force as an Electronic Signals Exploitation Analyst. This was not my first choice, but after learning I was color blind it sounded like the most interesting and challenging choice I had left. The job required a Top Secret clearance and my recruiter made it sound like I was going to be James Bond (I am not sure if he didn’t know or if he was lying to me, but I am leaning towards the latter). To oversimplify this job, I spent my days in a basement working on mostly digitized representations of radio frequencies for possible threat emitters, systems like surface-to-air missile systems. Although there is very little overlap with this work and the work I do today, this is where my interest in engineering began.
I have always had a great interest in how things work. Rather than mindlessly plugging along I would much rather understand why something is done or how it can be improved. I believe this mindset is what caused me to become the first junior enlisted lead for my section (and later first dual certified lead) over many that had significantly more experience in the field than me. I would constantly be looking for answers to questions that were not provided in our training manuals and standard operating procedures. The most knowledgeable person I ever met was in charge of the overall health and wellness of our collection platforms, and he was an electrical engineer. He is the person I always trusted to have the correct answer to my questions and that is who I wanted to be for everyone in my section.
After separating from the military, I held multiple jobs but never had that sense of satisfaction I had when I was in the Air Force; I didn’t feel like the work I was doing was meaningful. That is when I remembered my friend in the military and began my college journey to become an electrical engineer.
Hallam-ICS truly lives by their statement of, “Working to Live not Living to Work”. I feel real fulfillment and meaning in the work I do here, and I am very excited to see where this road takes me in the future.