Gen Z in Manufacturing: Taking Risks at Internships and Finding Meaning Full Time

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


Editor's Note: Download the audio version below.

Welcome to another episode of Gen Z in Manufacturing, a podcast where I interview young people about their journeys in the manufacturing industry.

For this episode, I welcome Bryce Walters, a 26-year-old manufacturing robotics engineer for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire control.

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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. 

Walters 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.

In this episode, Walters discusses:

  • His parents’ influence on his career (1:27)
  • Choosing between interning with a heavy equipment manufacturer or Lockheed Martin (2:24)
  • His internship with Lockheed Martin and being honest with his manager about what he wanted (4:30)
  • Gen Z’s holistic approach to work and personal life (7:59)
  • Finding the best role for him at Lockheed Martin (9:47)
  • The optimal way for manufacturers to run internships (12:37)
  • Manufacturing internship tendencies that need to change (14:31)
  • How manufacturers can give Gen Z a sense of purpose at work (18:33)

Please like and share this episode of Gen Z in Manufacturing. Click here to view previous episodes of the podcast. If you are a member of Gen Z and would like to discuss your experience in the manufacturing industry, please get in touch with me, Nolan Beilstein, at [email protected].

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