Meghan Lujan

Meghan (Zelony) Lujan (BSE-Aero / MSE-IOE '12) discuses her career path in the Aerospace and Defense industry.
 
Q: What would fellow alums be surprised to know about you?
A: As a born and raised New Yorker, I think fellow alums would be surprised to hear that I currently live in Fort Worth, Texas and have lived here since I graduated from the University of Michigan nearly 7 years ago. Additionally, while it is not surprising I am working in the Aerospace and Defense industry, I think it would be surprising to know that I am currently in program management supporting the country of Japan in their purchase, production, and sustainment of the F-35.
 
Since I graduated from U of M, I joined Lockheed Martin in their Operations Leadership Development Program. This 2 year program consisted of 4, 6-month long rotations. Through that program, I held a number of roles including manufacturing engineering as well as a production supervisor overseeing the production of the F-35 forward fuselage. I then spent 2 years out on the F-35 production Flight Line supporting the leadership team in implementing a new organizational structure and facilitating day to day operations. I am currently in program management supporting the country of Japan in all things F-35.
 
Q: What drew you to the University of Michigan?
A: I grew up a Wolverine and watching the football games on Saturdays with my my mom and dad. Both of my parents went to Michigan and actually met there. Ironically, my mom went to the business school and my dad was in the engineering school, so it seems so fitting that I was a part of the Tauber Institute. I always knew how great of a school Michigan was and once I determined that Aerospace Engineering was what I wanted to study, I quickly knew there was no better place to go. 
 
Q: When you think back on your time with the Tauber Program, what stands out?
A: I think one of the best things about the Tauber Program is the cross-discipline environment it brought. As an engineer, I loved having the opportunity to take classes in the business school alongside MBA students. I felt it was a nice complement to the technical engineering education I was receiving. I always knew that I didn't want to be a subject matter expert in a very specific engineering field, so getting that broader education through the Tauber Program aligned perfectly with what I wanted to do when I entered the work force. The Tauber project during the summer was also a great opportunity to get that cross-disciplined perspective in an operations environment. I loved getting paired with an MBA student and another engineering student to go and solve a high level problem for an Aerospace and Defense company.
 
Q: In what ways did your Tauber experience shape the professional you are now?
A: Tauber gives you so much insight into operations. My Tauber Project, specifically, I think gave me great experiences that eventually landed me a job with Lockheed Martin. My Tauber Project with Raytheon was to determine the cost of quality of supplied hardware and my team was able to analyze how multiple business units at Raytheon were tracking their quality metrics and what type of lessons learned from one business unit could be applied elsewhere. Our project culminated with a 3 day structured improvement activity which enlisted support from multiple business units to come up with a combined metric that Raytheon could use to track the quality of supplied hardware. This experience showed me that I like projects that cross multiple groups and is a high level initiative that can benefit a lot of people. I feel that the experience I gained through my Tauber Project helped me get into the Operations Leadership Development Program at Lockheed, which jump started my career there.
 
Q: What advice would you give to current Tauber students?
A: My advice would be to make the most of your time and enjoy every aspect of your Tauber project. The operational experience each Tauber Project brings is unlike anything most interns get to experience before entering the workforce. The Tauber Projects are a really unique way to work on a high visibility project and do something that truly makes a difference to the company you are working for. I would also recommend taking advantage of all the career development aspects Tauber has to offer. I feel that the interview prep and the resume critiquing I went through as a Tauber student gave me an enormous leg up when entering the workforce that I am still benefiting from today, even years after graduation.
 
Meghan (Zelony) Lujan working on the F-35 Flight Line and we were celebrating a jersey day
Meghan (Zelony) Lujan
Machu Picchu