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Highlight Video: Jackie Orn

Background & Challenges

I am a 2005 graduate from Virginia Tech, with a B.S. in industrial and systems engineering.  As a young 20 something coming out of college, I was not sure what type of career within the engineering field I wanted to pursue.  I can remember interviewing with SURVICE and discussing how survivability engineering is not taught as a traditional degree program, and the discipline is instead learned through on-the-job training.  That was something that intrigued me.  As I’m sure any SURVICE employee would tell you, I was also proud to help support the Warfighter.

Going along with the women in engineering storyline – before I was offered a full-time position with SURVICE, I interviewed with other companies.  One of my interviews was with a cabinet manufacturer who asked a question that I had not rehearsed an answer for.  The question went along the lines of, “we have a lot of ‘good old boys’ that work in the machine shop.  How would you handle that type of situation?”  I honestly had never experienced that situation in my short lifetime but thought I would openly accept the challenge.  While I expect everyone to show a decent level of respect, I also think professional respect is best earned based on your actions, interactions, and achievements.  Even though this should not be the case just because you are a woman, everyone loves an “underdog” story.

Who inspires you?

While I don’t have an overwhelming story about how I really looked up to so and so, I will say that my mom always pushed me to focus on science and math, as those were subject areas I enjoyed and did well in.  That paid off in the long run for sure.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Woman’s history month is a time to reflect on how far mutual respect in the workplace has come.  I am happy to say I see extremely successful, and respected, women at various levels in my daily professional interactions.  It is crazy to look back and see how that was not always the case.

Technical Team Leader for the Research and Analysis Group’s Analysis Support Team
SURVICE Employee Since:
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