Justin L. Neal
Operations Leadership Program, Raytheon Technologies
Current Rotation: Business Systems Analyst, Collins Aerospace
Next Rotation: Global Operations & Systems ACE/OpEx Analyst, Collins Aerospace
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University
M.S. in Management, Wake Forest University
What advice would you give students (grads and undergrads) who have an interest in STEM/Analytics/Consulting careers?
The biggest piece of advice I could give to students who have an interest in STEM is to not be overly concerned with having an undergrad major that is in STEM, or a specific discipline in STEM. As long as you show intent in learning the basics of whatever area you’re looking to work in and you have the basic foundation to understand the conversations that take place within that industry then you will be fine.
What WFU career resources did you utilize that were most helpful to you (grad and undergrad)?
The biggest career resource that I utilized was my career coach. Being that I got my job offer during the early stages of the MSM program, I leaned on my career coach a lot to get me ready for the case study and presentation that I had to do during my on-site interview.
What courses, activities or experiences gave you an edge in the job search process?
There isn’t a specific experience that gave me an edge in the job search process because most of the job search started before I began the MSM program, but now being in the role, I utilize the skills that I learned in the Excel workshops often, especially as a business systems analyst.
What specific advice would you give regarding effective networking?
I would advise students to be authentic when networking. Yes, you want to present yourself as a professional, but you also want to present yourself as personable. Networking is almost always your first impression with someone, so you want to present yourself as someone who is not only a good fit for the role but also the team culture that you’ll be working in.
What specific advice would you give to students regarding effective interviewing?
I like to think of interviewing as a two-way street. Not only are they interviewing you, but you should also be interviewing them to make sure that they are a company that you align with. To ask the right questions, you have to do research not only on the company but also the industry to see what trends may be affecting the company.
Are there any books, magazines, websites, etc. that you would recommend to students who are interested in STEM/Analytics/Consulting?
I read and/or watch the news a lot because it helps me keep up with the industry and the overall economy. Almost any major newspaper has a business section and if you’re online you can tailor it to specific industries. If you have an iPhone and use Apple News, I recommend tailoring your news and magazine suggestions to STEM if that’s what you’re interested in.