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Gen Z Looks to Take Risks at Internships, Find Meaning Full Time

Bryce Walters finds meaning in Lockheed Martin's global implications and interactions with coworkers.

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Eric Sorensen

Bryce Walters, a 26-year-old manufacturing robotics engineer for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire control, joined the latest episode of the Gen Z in Manufacturing podcast to discuss his experience in the industry. 

"Gen Z in Manufacturing" explores the perspectives of young professionals in the manufacturing industry and delves into their experiences, career growth and what attracts them to their respective companies.

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Walters’ interest in manufacturing began as he grew up with an engineer mother and an air traffic controller father. His first job in the industry was an internship with Indiana Precision Grinding, and during his sophomore year at Purdue University, he had the option to intern with a heavy equipment manufacturer near school or with Lockheed Martin MFC in Orlando. He decided to go with Lockheed Martin, and after graduating in 2020 with a degree in mechanical engineering technology, he returned to the aerospace company where he currently designs, integrates and sustains automated systems. 

Walters was also recently recognized by SME as one of the 2023 “30 Under 30” honorees.

A common characteristic of the Gen Z workforce is searching for meaning in their careers. Walters explained that Lockheed Martin provided this sense of purpose through the company's global implications.

"Since the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel have risen, both conflicts are using material that we manufacture," Walters said. "It's definitely something that you look at and realize, 'The stuff I make matters to people.' Working at Lockheed Martin, it's, 'Wow, that interceptor missile that we made kept these innocent people from dying.' That's amazing that I had the opportunity to do something like that."

Also in the episode, Walters discusses Gen Z's holistic approach to work and personal life, the optimal way for manufacturers to run internships and internship tendencies that need to change.

To watch all episodes of the Gen Z in Manufacturing podcast, visit manufacturing.netIf you are a member of Gen Z and would like to discuss your experience in the manufacturing industry, please contact Nolan Beilstein at [email protected].

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