STEM Professional of the week

Jessica Magcamit      
Northrop Grumman

Jessica Magcamit grew up in the predominately Hispanic neighborhood of South Gate – a city located seven miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Raised by a single mother, Jessica considers herself quite fortunate to have escaped the perils and pitfalls of a poverty-stricken neighborhood.
Jessica’s life seemed difficult as a child. Her mother worked countless hours just to make sure the family had the essentials to survive. Basic necessities were as much as her mother could provide but the sacrifices she made gave Jessica an inspirational role model and hero that showed her how powerful a woman’s strength could be.

As a young student, Jessica understood that hard work and dedication would be the key to success. She remembers attending the Miramar Air Show in San Diego, CA, and being awestruck seeing the power, speed and agility of the airplanes. This experience not only sparked an interest in the fascinating world of aircraft, but also introduced her to a desire to pursue engineering. Following her high school education, Jessica enrolled at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. She continued on to the University of California San Diego and graduated with a master’s degree in systems engineering. 

Jessica acknowledges that her college relationship with the very competitive and male-dominated field of engineering was a challenging one. In thinking about what got her through it all, she recalls, “I believed in my dedication, strength, and willpower to succeed and decided not to become a victim of my environment and truly become someone.”

That same dedication and strength, plus talent, is what helped Jessica seek opportunities with her current employer – Northrop Grumman. She is currently a Systems Engineer working on the F-35 Lighting II Program for one of the leading global security company in the nation. The program is one of the biggest programs in the world and is, oddly enough, currently part of the Miramar Air Show. Jessica initiated and is leading a cross-functional team on Change Request (CR) Process Improvement, which includes creating a database that will provide live data on cost and schedule to ensure that Change Requests are executed to meet planned load dates and perform within budget. 

Jessica has given back to the community by mentoring and coaching youth from the very neighborhoods that she grew up in. She has mentored middle school and high school students, had a student shadow her at work and coached her younger fifteen-year-old brother with career support to help him achieve and pursue opportunities with what she has learned. 

The girl that was once staring up at those large mechanical objects in the sky is now living out her dream and hopes to continue to inspire youth with her hard work and determination. 

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