Quick facts 

 HQ: Bethesda, Maryland, USA with operations in more than 50 countries

Market capitalisation: $36.5 billion

Employees: 135,000

Openings: 3,100 US graduate recruits for 2006

Staff attrition: 4.5% (2005)

Pay: starting graduate salary $50,000-$55,000


 Who it wants:

Lockheed Martin says it continues to see high demand for students in technical disciplines, particularly engineering and computer science. The most common majors of graduates joining the company are computer science, systems engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, nuclear engineering, maths and physics.

"We are looking for people who are well-rounded in terms of a strong academic background, but also students who show good work experience related to the industry, have demonstrated leadership skills and community involvement," says Leslie Chappell.

"We look for students who bring forth technical excellence and the ability to solve problems in complex environments. We also look for teamwork, communication skills, flexibility and a can-do attitude."


A cutting edge organisation

Lockheed Martin was formed in 1995 with the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta. The US-headquartered company employs 135,000 people worldwide on advanced technology projects such as JSF and Orion. It is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. In 2005 the company had sales of $37.2 billion. Aeronautics accounted for $11.7 billion, space systems were worth $6.8 billion, and systems and IT accounted for $18.7 billion.
US engineering students have voted Lockheed Martin their ideal employer. We talk to the company's director of university relations, Leslie Chappell, about its appeal

Lockheed Martin has made a big push to boost its appeal to US undergraduates, particularly engineering students. It has stepped up university-targeted recruitment, increased leave and improved its mentoring programme. The new approach seems to be working, with Lockheed reporting a tripling of entry-level applications in recent years.

In September Lockheed came second only to Walt Disney in Business Week's the Best Places to Launch a Career study, and in May topped a poll of US engineering undergraduates' choice of ideal employers. The Universum study polled 37,000 students from more than 200 universities, including more than 7,000 engineering majors.

Leslie Chappell, Lockheed's director of university relations, is at the heart of the company's efforts to increase its profile on US campuses. "We value our relationships with the colleges and universities, as well as the students we're looking to recruit," she says. "These students are the future success of the corporation and we're interested in building partnerships with colleges and universities for the long term to ensure we have a pipeline of outstanding candidates for future positions."

More than 3,000 people will join Lockheed in the USA at graduate entry level in 2006, starting on salaries averaging $50,000-$55,000.

The company offers graduates leadership development programmes in areas such as engineering, information systems and operations, as well as non-technical areas such as human resources and IT. The two-year rotational programmes allow selected recruits to gain an all-round understanding of the business to prepare them for management positions.

Lockheed says its development and career progression strategies are part of the reason staff turnover is just 4.5% a year. In its last employee survey, 75% of workers said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their career there.

"The depth and breadth of career opportunities we have is a big draw," says Chappell. "The size of Lockheed Martin and the diversity of career paths we offer for technical professionals mean you can stay in the company and move around to develop your career.

"We also provide an inclusive work environment that values diversity, so everyone's background ideas and skills contribute to the success of the corporation."

Source: Flight International