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How does Annabel Flores function to defeat a broken STEM pipeline though fixing our country’s most significant aerospace and defense worries? She utilizes a voice the MIT Leaders for World wide Operations (LGO) software instilled in her.

Flores ’99, MBA ’03, SM ’03 is deputy president of land and air defense at Raytheon, an RTX firm and well known aerospace and defense firm. Flores’s lifestyle attributes, in her text, “a ton of conferences.” Each individual working day is various, with a ceaseless harmony between fixing near-time period tactical challenges and finishing lengthy-expression strategic responsibilities. Especially, “we target on developing, generating, delivering, and sustaining close-to-stop abilities to prevent, defend, and defeat a extensive range of threats that are significant to the protection of our place and husband or wife nations,” she suggests.

Flores is in her 17th task at the organization, by her rely. Her profession background at Raytheon includes running the strategic path and procedure of a numerous portfolio of electronic warfare items. “We deliver a total spectrum of land warfare sensors, supporting our customers generate layered and built-in air and missile protection. Our buyers are predominantly the U.S. Army, U.S. Maritime Corps, and worldwide land and air defense forces,” she describes.

Flores could effortlessly go hoarse following so lots of meetings and shows. But her knowledge in the MIT LGO method strengthened her voice. Figuring out she grew to become prosperous by understanding to converse, she sees price in presentation skills for leadership.

Today, Flores builds rapport with her groups in her own fashion due to the fact leadership “is not just about dollars and cents. It will take time and get the job done to make it efficient,” she asserts. The time put in speaking with people today pushes progress on organizational objectives, makes sure clarity, and empowers enthusiastic possession of the journey through all ranges of the workforce.

Flores recalls the harmless place LGO furnished for acquiring her community talking abilities. She’s grateful for the special and unique comments received from that main team of persons that desired the ideal for her. With no that guidance, Flores believes, “I may perhaps not have sophisticated to where by I am currently. They are the types that started off me down this path.”

Pencil skirts to briefcase

As a boy or girl, Flores knew she desired this everyday living. “In third quality my mom purchased me pencil skirts and matching shirts, but, person, I wanted a briefcase,” she remembers. A planner from the commencing, she resolved she preferred to be an engineer someday close to seventh quality. “I experienced early dreams of getting into corporate The united states since that’s the place they wore suits,” Flores recalled.

Expanding up in Texas, Flores dreamed of heading east to her desire university to do what ladies are sometimes informed is unattainable — come to be an engineer. On commencing her collegiate occupation at MIT, she noticed firsthand what was feasible by seeking around her possess mechanical engineering course, a class that was 42 percent woman.

Flores was in superior business in undergraduate, but it was her time in the LGO software that instilled self-confidence in the engineer. After she graduated from MIT, Flores was identified to continue her system with the doorways opened by her mechanical engineering class. Her thesis’s aim was productive solution progress and pace-to-marketplace. Her advisor pointed her toward the twin-degree MBA/MS LGO application, whose focus bundled item progress.

Acceptance, she reminisced, “felt like heading again residence.” LGO introduced an chance to take into consideration the broader photo of merchandise improvement and how to be an helpful leader in that house. For illustration, the program was helping Flores construct delicate capabilities: staff composition, improve administration, and motivating other individuals. “I leverage these a lot more in my career now than I would have anticipated,” claimed Flores.

Flores ultimately acquired her briefcase at Raytheon, an LGO sector spouse, practically 25 decades ago. She started off as an engineer, then recognized she wanted to do a lot more. On the way to her existing executive job, Flores sought applications with progress chances. This was based on advice from her LGO mentors at MIT. They charted the path to senior leadership: get paid a breadth of experience from publicity to different consumers, systems, and issues.

From engineer to govt

A single of the benefits obtainable to Raytheon staff is the overall flexibility to choose on distinctive roles. Flores, using entire advantage, moved from engineering to business enterprise development, a transform from acquiring systems and items to a stringent target on buyers.

She later took on an additional job in system management. When requested about the adjust, Flores admitted she “missed some of the engineering.” This new function involved equally working with engineers to establish goods and participating specifically with customers to be certain their needs were satisfied. This ideal combine intended she could use her dilemma-fixing competencies and be a enterprise leader, directing groups and generating decisions.

Now that she has the working experience to present mentorship and vocation steerage, Flores aligns her purpose at work with the option to mentor men and women of diverse backgrounds as a senior advisor to LGO’s Underrepresented Minority Alumni Team. This alumni affinity group raises awareness of this dual-degree system and how it can enable accelerate professions.

Flores has also partnered with Nationwide Academy Basis (NAF) to construct STEM teaching academies in superior educational institutions in Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Texas, and Compton, California. She’s serving to to design the curriculum, support teacher training, and bringing kids to Raytheon’s campus for mentorship and teaching chances.

“It is an honor to have Annabel and RTX help NAF, a countrywide instruction nonprofit, which is effective to make sure high college learners are potential-all set, as we embark on this new chapter in establishing our footprint in Compton, CA,” explained Elizabeth Perez, NAF main partnership officer. “Along with our devoted RTX volunteers, Annabel is fully commited to NAF’s work-dependent mastering endeavours, which are priceless to making ready the up coming era of leaders, by way of hands-on pursuits, mentorships, and extra. These activities yield highly effective connections and aid learners to build the important techniques to do well and get their future steps right after higher school — no subject the place their paths could lead.”

Constructing a STEM pipeline

At Raytheon, “we deliver group assistance by efforts these types of as foodstuff scarcity packages, supporting people today who depart the military through job fairs, positions, and community-related routines, and developing a STEM pipeline,” Flores suggests, beaming. These types of tasks replicate a desire to provide the community in a way that stays genuine to the company’s identity, and to Flores’s personal plans to further more instructional possibilities.

Flores would like children to go from elementary school as a result of university fascinated in and committed to science, technologies, engineering, and arithmetic (STEM) systems. Raytheon commits to kids’ futures by giving significant faculty internships, satisfying Flores’s need to give younger folks the types of options she had in the MIT Leaders for World Operations method.

The alumni connections she has now are still willing to share management lessons. “This type of good setting is not straightforward to locate,” Flores notes. Laura Bogusch SM ’03, an LGO classmate of Flores who is now vice president at Boeing, states, “One of the very best things to occur from my Leaders for Producing [LGO] working experience was the connections with the gals in our course. It is exceptional to have a team of friends who are ready to relate to both me and my career in this way.”

Additional emphasizing the program’s benefit beyond graduation, Flores remarks, “I’m in the very same put for them. I under no circumstances felt competitiveness. After you strip that 1-upness it modifications all the things, which is the enduring power of what LGO has constructed. Viewing [alumni] do astounding matters would make you want to do wonderful factors. They shape the art of what is probable.”