EEP Alumni Success Story Featuring Pat Camilo
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Posted by: Jerry Dixon
Through interviews with alumni of the HITEC Emerging Executive Program, each month we reveal to you real-life inspirational stories of success and the impact their participation in the EEP program has had on the trajectory of their career.
1. What is your story?
It all started in 2002 when I moved back with my wife and eldest daughter to the United States after living for more than 20 years in the Dominican Republic. Without any professional background, I started looking for any opportunity to get educated and adapt to the new life. Facing many challenges, including a language barrier and getting used to the new culture, I was able to handle a full-time job and complete my technical degree from a local school. Once I graduated and made myself ready for a new adventure, I applied for many jobs to become a systems administrator. One day I received a call that changed my life. It was a recruiter from an agency with an offer to work for Lockheed Martin as a contractor for a year. This was the greatest opportunity I ever had to demonstrate my skills and ability to become who I am today, a Sr. Project Engineer, community leader, and STEM advocate promoting the value of being a Latino in our community
2. How has the HITEC Emerging Executive Program changed the trajectory of your career?
A former colleague of mine, and fellow HITEC member, Nalby Intharaksa, introduced me to the EEP program. She shared all the opportunities she had to expand her professional network and how the program emphasized the importance of growing as a Latino professional. I was so motivated after our discussion that I reached out to my leaders to ask how I could be a part of the program. Once accepted into the EEP Program, I was able to better understand Nalby’s excitement. The program is a complete confirmation that what we’re doing as future leaders in the realm of technology is the right thing for many.
"The EEP program confirmed that I’m unique to my organization and an example for others."
My leaders have recognized me for the great job I’ve done in my organization and my community, but it wasn’t enough to just believe what they were saying. The EEP program confirmed that I’m unique to my organization and an example for others. It also pushes me to have a stronger commitment towards shaping the future as a leader and as a Latino; adding value to the organization, getting involved in the community and sharing my story.
3. Since graduating from EEP, what professional achievement are you most proud of?
In 2018, a few months after graduation, I received an offer to join one of the most impactful teams within our organization as Sr. Project Engineer. Now I’m able to bring innovative solutions for building new technology by engaging our customers on system customization. Also, this year I was nominated to serve on the Hispanic Leadership Council at Lockheed Martin as the Program Integrator, where I’m responsible for developing the council’s tactical approach and fully executing our strategic initiatives in Professional Development, STEM Outreach, and Communications. This role has allowed me to combine all of my professional and personal passions to shape the culture across Lockheed Martin, promote a more inclusive environment, and attract top Hispanic talent from universities.
4. What advice do you have for the current EEP Fellows?
First, they should take advantage of the networking opportunity they have. With every leader, there is something to learn and incorporate in the way we are leading our organization. Great leaders are good listeners, and the EEP program has many opportunities to listen to situations from different perspectives and different reality. Even more so, it is a safe place to talk about our own situation and receive advice from professionals who might have gone through the same. Second, I also advise them to establish a strong relationship with their mentors. During the relationship, they should define exactly what they are looking for during the conversation.
"It is a safe place to talk about our own situation and receive advice from professionals who might have gone through the same."
One of the most common mistakes mentees make is coming to the conversation without a plan. The last piece of advice is to get involved and become a role model. Whether it is HITEC or any organization, they should make sure others look at them as the leader they would like to be and not be afraid to promote the good work they are doing whether at work or in their community.
5. What is the most powerful word in your dictionary?
Can you be successful without having “Teamwork”?
If we take a look at our successful leaders, they all have a great team who have contributed to their success. For the last five years, I have been recruiting volunteers for one of our biggest STEM events in Orlando. This event requires around 160 volunteers total. When I got recognized for having the team ready, trained and motivated to support the event, it is a no-brainer that without their support we couldn’t make it.
6. What are you doing to give back?
There are a couple of ways for me to give back:
I’m currently mentoring a few LM employees, college students and just a few months ago I was asked to mentor a high school student. Mentoring is so far the best way I can give back.
remember three years ago while I was leading a STEM event at the Orlando Science Center, a college student came to our booth to ask me more about Lockheed Martin. After a few minutes, I realized that the students were looking for more than just to know about the company, they wanted to know what was needed to be successful. One student shared how she was struggling with her classes and why she was thinking to drop her classes. I provided my contact information and informally, I became her mentor. After a few months of mentor/mentee conversations, she decided to change her major from computer science to information technology. Last month I received the news that she was able to graduate with honors and she is currently working on a startup company.
Being a mentor is about trying your best by expecting the most from your mentee.
I’m also producing video podcasts within my organization where we are raising awareness on STEM, diversity and inclusion, professional development, and community activism.
7. What Is today’s single most important goal?
Lead by example. Think about how many opportunities you get when you are willing to support your team. Get committed to your responsibilities and own your task until it gets completed. Be the one to provide input and listen to your team to ensure their ideas count and make sure to provide what you promise. Show up every day as your authentic self and allow your words and actions to drive change.
About our HITEC Corporate Partner, Lockheed Martin:
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.