Today we celebrate all women and their contributions to the sciences, politics, and society as a whole. In the STEM field especially, women are under-represented. That’s why we wanted to highlight women from our Women’s Impact Network. We asked them how they grew into their career, and things they learned along the way, and to share any advice they want to give the next generation of women. Stay tuned for more!
Amanda Cyr, Aerospace Engineer
My career journey has been interesting! I started in a technical high school (shoutout to WVTHS!) where I attended a Manufacturing Program. I was able to gain engineering experience, college credits, and work experience all while in high school. This provided me with a great opportunity to be an engineer full-time after graduating from high school. From there I attended college part-time while working full-time. I got a degree in both Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Management. Today I have close to 15 years of engineering experience. Having that experience at my age has been huge in my career success.
Along the way, I learned I have a big passion for engineering and innovation. I enjoy working in a team to design products, problem solve, and always find ways to make things better. I pride myself on being a hard worker, and I’ve learned I work well under pressure. I always strive to be the best at what I do. I have learned a big part of success in engineering is continued learning and networking with like-minded individuals. Throughout my career, it’s become clear to me that I enjoy leading and I always look forward to mentoring others. I am a big advocate for women in the industry and I always jump at opportunities to connect/support women interested in engineering.
To the next generation of women, let’s continue to break glass ceilings. Working in a male-dominated industry is not an easy journey, but it’s a rewarding one! I think if I had to leave any woman with some advice it would be to be confident in yourself, and know that you belong.
Carla Patton, Product Configuration Coordinator II
Prior to my career at EBAD I worked in a manufacturing facility in Dawson Springs, KY where I was a production operator with experience in the Quality Department. I was employed there for over 16 years and it’s where I meant my wonderful husband of 34 years. I was uncertain about leaving my job to come to work at EBAD, not knowing what the job would entail. It was so convenient because we both worked at the same place, same shift, same days off and we lived 5 minutes from work. I had absolutely no idea what EBAD made. I had heard they made explosives and I just automatically thought of dynamite. Oh boy, was I ever surprised. I will never forget taking a test for the job at EBAD and while I was taking the test a shot was fired from the test area. I jumped out of my chair so fast I almost knocked the chair over, then I immediately looked to see if anyone saw me.
After accepting the job offer for Product Definition Coordinator at EBAD, I soon realized that I had made the best career decision of my life for many reasons. Although, when I met Jody Jessup and he said, “I’m so glad you’re here”, I started to wonder if I had made the right decision. Four years later, the place where I was formally employed closed permanently. I knew I had made the right decision.
I am in the Configuration Management Department which consists of creating Engineering Parts, Engineering Bill of Materials, Inventory Parts, and Sales Parts, and the Part Catalog. I hadn’t been here long when my first big Engineering Build came in and it was APOBS. If you haven’t heard of or seen APOBS, it is a huge Build to Print (BTP) job. It was so scary making sure I did it correctly and didn’t leave any components out of the build. After doing that build, I felt a lot more confident in myself and the job I was hired to do. I am also involved in the majority of international orders, due to marking and labeling requirements. My current position is Product Configuration Coordinator II and I absolutely love it. I believe in doing things right because our customers deserve nothing but the very best. Even though my work is performed in an office, I take great pride in knowing that I contribute in some way to helping our Military be able to do their jobs with the best products possible.
On June 2nd of this year, I will have been at EBAD for 20 years. It seems like only yesterday that I was interviewed by Cary Franklin and Eric Habermehl. I shall forever be thankful to them for offering me the opportunity to come to work at EBAD and putting their trust in me that I could do the job. The people at EBAD are like a 2nd family to me.