We could all do with a little more badassery in our lives. But what is it and how do you develop it? In this epidose, Rachel McKay discusses the difference between bravado and badass, and the importance of both in our journey to increase our self confidence, enabling us to take a seat at the table, start to acknowledge our worth, and step into our full potential.
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Oh, it is so good to be back! today we have a real treat in store for you! Our guest today has always been reaching for the stars, from her early days at space camp to working for Lockheed Martin, Insitu, and now startup company, Overwatch imaging. Rachel McKay, who is not my sister – though I kind of wish she was – has always been one to watch, with many of the projects and missions that she has worked on literally changing the course of history. Today she’s here to talk about confidence and specifically what it means to turn bravado into badass. Welcome, Rachel.
Thank you. Thanks for that stellar intro. I’m excited to be here and be a part of this. This is wonderful. I’m excited to be here.
We are so happy to have you. I’m loving just building my network of women now in space and UAVs and all the cool stuff that you do. I’m really pleased to have you here. So my opening question, Rachel, what are your thoughts on the glass ceiling? Do you think it still exists?
Absolutely. I think there’s something like less than 10% of women who are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, if that doesn’t sound like the statistic that proves that the glass ceiling exists, I don’t know what is. And then I think it’s even more so relevant in the aerospace industry.
And what does the glass ceiling signify for you?
I think that there’s just a lack of representation at that highest of the highest level, a voice, the female voice in the room. That’s what I think.
Thank you. Thank you. Okay. So here today, we’re going to talk about confidence and bravado to now, what was it that made you want to talk about this today?
Yeah, I have always struggled with confidence and, and that self-confidence, having that voice inside of you that doubts that you should be having a seat at the table, that you should raise your hand and state your opinion. And so what’s helped me along the way is creating this alter ego or this thought of bravado, so that my bravado gets me in the door and at the table and raising my voice so that my knowledge and skills and ability can be there to, to get the job done and do the work. So for me, that’s what, what helped get me where I am today.
So your bravado got where you are today. But you’re saying that despite you having that, you aren’t necessarily always confident. You know what, I sit down and read your bio and I see you that you’re on the leadership team of a startup company, I’m like, ‘well, this woman’s clearly going to have bags of confidence.’ So tell me a little bit more about, about you and some of the struggles that you’ve had with confidence throughout your career.
I’d even take it back a little bit further. I think, being the only woman in a college course about aerodynamics or planetary atmospheres, to just look around and not see any allies or, or I’m sure there are allies, but to not be able to easily recognize them, puts you off and sets you off in this in this protective stance immediately from those early days, formative years of your career and your path. So, I think going from coursework where I’m one of maybe three women and the whole concentration into an industry that is still heavily male dominated, and it has been so heavily male dominated for decades. So not having those recognizable mentors or confidants or, or things like that in the room with you can be scary. So for me, it was kind of having to be able to walk into that room be different than everybody else. But still be able to roll up my sleeves and get the job done.
Thank you for sharing. So what I’m hearing is that the lack of role models and allies in the room in some ways maybe led to some self-doubt?
Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, having that, that self-doubt is probably something, everybody has – male, female, anything – and it’s just not having somebody, to have a sounding board that for me was challenging early in my career.
So there’s something to be said about getting some of your confidence from others?
Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s part of my, my badass plan of action here, is that it’s really important. To find those fellow badasses, to find those people that are in your group that you can be like, ‘Hey, I’m really struggling with this,’ to ask advice from, and kind of spitball with and have a sounding board. And also when you need it, have somebody that can be there to, to kind of kick you in the pants and say, come on, Rachel, look at your experience, look at what you’ve done. You’ve got this, you can handle that. And that goes a long way for, for me personally. And I know for other people in similar situations being, being the only female in the room.
I remember a coach of mine was telling me that you were the average of five people you spend the most time with. So being around people that can instill that in you and believe in you is, is just so important. So who are some of the people that I’ve had massive of belief for you in your career?
Yeah, I’ve been pretty fortunate along the way. And I think that’s part of my success is that I have found those people. And so I’ve had female managers or have had friends and confidants, where we share a cubicle together or, you know, sort of down the hall and we go to lunch together. I’ve always been able to find that person who’s like, man, they’re working on something really cool and they’re really providing a big impact. And I just kind of gravitated to them and found, found those confidants that I admire and people that, you know I think likewise, come to admire me too.
Beautiful. And so what I know of you is that you are quite a bubbly, outgoing character. So, I know that you have no issue finding those people, talking to them, for the people that are maybe a little bit more shy or they’ve not been lucky enough to have that female role model in the office, what would you say to them?
I have an example maybe that I can share. I had a female engineer who I happened to be out at a social event with. And she said, ‘I’m, I’m really looking for a mentor, but I’m afraid to ask them.’ And I said, ‘why would you be afraid to ask?’ for it is a huge compliment for you to go to somebody and be like, ‘I really admire what you’re doing, and I would like you to be my mentor.’ The mentor might have to decline for lack of time or something like that. But there is nobody that I know on this earth who wouldn’t be flattered by that and happy to participate if you presented it like that way.
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s a theme that keeps coming up in my podcast. People seem to be shy to actually ask for what they need. So what, if you’re feeling a bit shy, what do you do to find the confidence to ask for what you need?
I take timeout, I recognize that, I make a point to recognize, ‘Okay, I’m hesitating here for some reason,’ whatever it is. And I take a moment to pause and reflect on that and say, ‘What’s happening? Why are you avoiding this? Or why are you pausing here?’ And then I pump myself up, that’s that bravado piece. So I’m like, ‘We’re going to do this. We’re going to come at this, like, come on, let’s get this!’ And I pump myself up, give myself a pep talk. I used to play sports in college and high school and all through growing up. And that’s part of it, right, before you go out on the field, you gotta hype yourself up. So I find a way to do that for myself when I’m feeling a little shy or a little tentative, tentative about the next thing that I approach.
So sport, and music and pet talks, different things to get yourself going.
I have a lifted, purple, huge, loud truck. And if there’s a meeting that I am nervous to go to, like a new customer or, or, you know, something that I’m just kind of like, ‘Ooh, this is new, I’m a little nervous.’ And I start to feel that feeling I get in my truck and it’s a 50-year-old truck, that thing is loud, and I drive that and I people either get out of my lane or they wave at me in encouragement and by the time I get where I’m going that has helped me up. I’m walking, I jumped out of that truck and usually I’m wearing high heels, stilettos. So it’s probably not as graceful as it could be, but my bravado showed up a mile down the road before I ever got there. And, and I’m ready to go. So having something where you can put it on, or you can see it before you go a place, or you can get in your big, huge monster truck and show up at the meeting helps put you in that mindset. And you lose some of that, ‘Oh dear, what am I going to do,’ attitude when you have that kind of focus.
I think I think one of the things that you said to me when we spoke on the phone previously was about fake you till you make it. Is that, is that kinda how you feel when you drive in the truck?
No, no. My truck is just me alter ego, but I think there is a piece of that where it’s okay to fake it till you make it. I think as long as you are learning and growing along the way, you’re gaining new experience, you’re gaining that confidence because, ‘Oh, I gave this speech two weeks ago. It’s a different customer. I know how to do it now.’ The more experiences that you can gain, the more ways that you can put yourself in different situations grow out of your comfort zone. The easier it makes it next time around,
Oh, fantastic, fantastic. And how do you think that, you know, confidence, bravado, badass, how do you see them relating to the glass ceiling?
My story on this is that for me, if I don’t see something in action, I don’t put myself, I don’t visualize myself in that situation. So without the confidence of knowing that there’s been another female with a similar background or similar experiences to my own in that CEO seat, I never considered it for myself. So if I couldn’t see it somewhere else, I couldn’t visualize it for myself. So at Insitu, when Esina Alic became CEO, that was the first time where I was like, ‘Hey, you know, that’s something I could aspire to do, or maybe one day I’ll be able to be the CEO of a Boeing company.’ Like how cool would that be? And it wasn’t until I saw somebody in that role that I wanted it for myself.
And do you feel like that that has allowed you to pull yourself through the glass ceiling?
Yeah, I think that was the first time when I, when I saw Esina at the helm, that’s when I started to look around me and say, okay, what’s my next step. My next step is a director level. So how do I go about and get that director level position? It definitely gave me more fuel for my ambition for how to get there and the steps along.
And at what point did you like think, ‘You know what, I’ve broken through it. I am through that glass ceiling.’ When do you have that realization?
I think it was the first time that I heard my, my managers say, ‘This is my executive leadership team.’ And I was like, oh, wait, hey, I’m in the room. I’m on the executive leadership team. I think, you know having that recognition has helped me be like, okay, making progress.
Yeah. I really like that you shared that, when you talked about the recognition. Sometimes people say, ‘Oh, you don’t need to ask for validation just, you know, just believe in yourself. And I think that it is good to hear it. And so it’s important that we communicate with our managers, you know, ‘Hey, I want this. And when I get this, I want to be recognized for it.’ And the same for my friends and family. But a lot of people are often afraid to ask for that. I hear it all the time from my coaching clients. What are your thoughts on that in terms of asking for the recognition?
Yeah, I’ve seen that before, too with people that I’ve mentored along the way. And if it’s not asking for the recognition, but it’s the, ‘Well, I’m afraid to ask for that thing that I want.’ Why? If you don’t ask for it, nobody’s gonna know. I was managing, I think a team of 25 people. There’s no way that as a manager at that level, that I can know what everybody wants. I personally really appreciated it when somebody would come in and be like, ‘That job, that assignment, that challenge, I want it!’ Oh yeah, let’s get you on that. So the big thing for you is, hey, if you want to break through the glass ceiling ask for what you want, figure it out, go after it. And not only that, don’t be afraid to do it, because if you show your ambition, if you show that you can get the job done, that’s only gonna continue to open more doors for you along the way.
Beautiful. Beautiful. So going back to confidence, what differences have you seen in confidence of your male colleagues versus confidence of your female colleagues?
I think I noticed this a lot as a hiring manager. I will get people that apply to a position and then maybe the males won’t have the experience or the skills versus there’s a female that I know would be great in that role. And I go approach her and say, ‘Hey, have you considered applying to this?’ And she’ll say, ‘Oh, well, I don’t, I don’t meet this one bullet point.’ And I’m like, ‘Girl, come on. I am the hiring manager. I’m telling you, you should probably apply.’ But I think females focus on the things that they don’t yet know and can’t do, and men focus on kind of their ambition and their past experience. And it’s just different. They’re both valuable in their own way. But I think women could take a lesson and stretch themselves a little bit and try something new that they maybe haven’t done and feel the confidence, I guess, to try it out and see.
Sometimes, unless you’ve been fortunate enough to have that person in your life that has tapped you on the shoulder and said, ‘You can do this.’ There’s probably a lot of women out there who, who don’t know and who don’t go after the job. Yeah. So, you know, how do women like you and I get out there and, and, and spread that message. How do we tell people ‘you are good enough?’ What, what have you done to reach out to the female community and encourage them to really go for it?
So first of all, you can find my bio on LinkedIn, look me up. If you need that kick in the pants that we talked about, I’m happy to be a sounding board for you. There’s no greater reward than helping another woman excel and achieve what she’s trying to do. I love doing it, I’m happy to be a resource for anyone in the audience. And then, second. for my own self. It’s like I talked about before, I surround myself with people who are badasses because it’s important. It’s important to have like-minded people with the same drive, the same ambition. And they don’t have to be in the same field. They don’t have to be in aerospace. You can find that person like in your sister, you can find that person in your neighbor, it could be anywhere. Just find those people and surround yourselves with them and, and find a way to connect.
Yeah, not just in the office, they’re everywhere, yeah! That’d be really good for them, yeah!
My favorite person is my kid’s best friend’s mom. We would’ve never found each other if we didn’t go to the same daycare. But she’s phenomenal. And I use her for a sounding board from everything to what I do with my career. So where my next vacation is just finding those, those allies and was like minded people are important.
Yeah. And, and just building on what you said on LinkedIn, another idea I’d like to throw out there is that we could be posting more to encourage women to break through the glass ceiling. You know, we, we could be putting ourselves out there and say, ‘Hey, check out this, this job description, you know, you might think that you don’t have everything that it takes. I’m going to challenge you on that.’ What do you think, do you think women could be using social media more?
Absolutely. I think our tendency is to not brag, you know? So maybe designating Fridays as a brag day or something like that, where you’re getting yourself out there, you’re proud of what you’ve done. Why does it still feel weird to me to be like, ‘Look at this cool thing I did everyone. I made that thing that took that picture of the sun. Isn’t it awesome!’ I say that in my house, I say that to my friends, but why should it be so hard for me to post that on social media? Because I don’t want people to think that I’m bragging about how great I am. So I even, I still struggle with, with using, utilizing social media to my benefit.
You know, you have just given me a great idea. My leading ladies needs to start a fabulous Friday. Everybody, all of the group, post something fabulous about themselves every Friday. So thank you for the idea.
So in terms of the title of this podcast being bravado to badass, to me it suggests that there’s, there’s something different between bravado and badass. So what do you see as the difference between bravado and badass?
That’s a great question. I think that bravado is maybe, it’s kinda that pump you up, get your foot in the door, get your seat at the table, put your elbows out, claim your space, versus badass is you don’t have to make that show, you don’t have to put on that front. Badass you can do from your office behind the closed door. You’re just getting your stuff done and you’re doing it well, and you’re executing. I think that is perhaps the difference.
So you see badass is more internal work. Whereas that bottle’s external. And so what does badass give you that bravado doesn’t?
I think badass is long-term sustainable. I don’t have to exhaust myself when I’m being badass because, that’s inside, that’s who I am. Versus bravado, ‘I gotta put gas in the truck and I gotta like warm it up before I take off.’ You know there’s not as much effort and expenditure put into it, versus bravado, which is a front.
I love that distinction. It’s awesome. It’s kind of like in my coaching, we call it essence and survival mechanism. I’m almost sensing that bravado is, is more your survival mechanism. Cause you, you know, you’re getting by, but against the people that might be pushing back, whereas with your essence, it’s coming from within, right?
Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
So when did you first realize that you own some badassery?
Oh, wait, I’m laughing confidence is still something that I struggle with. So I am still working on checking my badassery box. And I think, I think the reason is that because I’m continuing to push myself and grow. What I’m doing this year is not the same as what I was doing last year. It was not the same thing that I’m doing was doing the year before. But if you asked me to go back and do that thing that I did two years ago, I would feel confident and capable and like be able to do it. No problem. But I think that, that badass claim is, is kind of something that continues to grow with you along the way, as you can experience as you gain knowledge, as you try new different things along the way.
Hmm. So it’s almost like Badassery is a muscle that you’re building. And what have you taken on to build that badassery muscle? Like what are some exercises you do? What are some things you’ve changed about your life, just to actually go after that?
So I think the thing for me is that I am always trying to get out of my comfort zone. Previously – you know, do you know that that feeling that you get, this kind of, ‘Oh my God, I’m terrified, but wouldn’t this be really exciting, like that kind of, that mix between fear and excitement?’ That used to be a trigger to me to be like, oh, this is scary. I’m gonna not do it. I’ve tried to flip that around now into my own mental framework to be like, ‘Okay, I’m feeling that feeling,’ and so now I know that this is getting me out of my comfort zone and this is going to be a great opportunity to learn something new, or this is going to be a great opportunity to try something else and discover something new about myself or about a skill that I didn’t have before. So rather than them shying away from it now I run towards it. And so that’s how I’m flexing my muscle or that’s how I’m growing that badass muscle is. I continuously find ways to challenge myself. I continuously find ways that get me out of my comfort zone. This is my first podcast. I’ve never done this before, so this is true, but who knows, maybe next year I’m going to do 10 podcasts!
And so, so what was that moment? What, what happened, what changed to make you say, ‘You know what, I’m going to get outside of my comfort zone!’ How did you realize that was the key to your growth?
It’s successes along the way. I have a good work ethic. I have the great experiences. I have those, those skills and those abilities. So the more wins that I had along the way, it only kind of fueled my, my motivation to want to do more.
So recognizing your wins. And how do you recognize your wins?
I’m a pretty goal-oriented person, so I always have my goals that I have set as I’m trying to achieve. And then when I keep those big ones, you know, celebrating the successes.
What about your small successes?
See, this isn’t fair because you know, me!
What I will say Rachel is I know that you celebrate some of those big successes, like promotions. What about the small stuff?
Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s a good reminder to me. We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. We shouldn’t always strive and achieve for more, it’s something I’m personally trying to work on. And, and remind ourselves how awesome we are, how far we’ve come. Even, even at the small milestones and small successes.
A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, well, I’m going to celebrate when I get the great job, or I’m going to celebrate when I get the great promotion, I’m going to celebrate when I’m by the house, what are some little things? Think about this week, that’s just happened? Like ‘my husband got on my nerves and I didn’t get into a big fight with him,’ that’s a success, isn’t it? You know, I think we should recognize, not just the stuff that we do, but the stuff that we don’t, like, ‘I woke up today and I was nice to people before I had coffee!’ What are some things that you think you can celebrate yourself for more?
Yeah, I think I can celebrate myself more…I guess one thing that I ask myself the end of every day was, ‘Did I earn my salary today. Did I do something that positively impacted the business? And, and then I, I think about, okay, well that was it. What did I do today that, that, you know, made, earn my paycheck or help the business progress? So maybe that’s one thing.
And some personal things?
Oh man, you’re asking the hard questions now. I have a four year old son he’s almost four, four year old son. And in him, I’m trying to instill a lot of these things – gender equality understanding our feelings and why they’re important and why we shouldn’t just like get mad and kick the dog, those types of things. So for me on a, on a personal side, when I can see him reflecting how he’s going to be a wonderful human being and then a wonderful adult those are my personal successes that I take on, on a day-to-day basis.
Yeah. Beautiful. I personally don’t have children, but I know that a lot of, a lot of my friends with children, they can look at their kids and realize, ‘Hey, I created that.’ I think, I think sometimes children can be our greatest gift. I rely on my dogs, but I imagine children can be pretty inspirational.
So what would you tell a young woman in your office? All right. These are some tips for growing your badass muscle. What would you tell her?
I think I think there’s some simple, easy steps to do. I think I keep referencing this sit at the table. But but that’s something that I didn’t do as a, as a junior engineer. I would walk into a room, and I would sit by most of the doors, like could as far back as I could. So like, something that is easy and behavior changing is that is when you walk in the room and there’s a spot at the table, well sit at the front of the table. And maybe you’re still too shy to, to speak up and say something, but now you are in the front of the meeting, your present, you’re there. So that next time when you sit at the table the person next to you might be like, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ It puts you in the action. I think that there are small steps like that that can be done. I think also continuing to show up, continuing to use your voice, finding your ally. One thing I’ve noticed in the office place is that sometimes women will, will start to speak and they’ll get interrupted. But finding that person, male or female, whoever it is, your ally, your sponsor, who will notice that and come back and say, ‘Hey, Rachel, what, what was it that you were trying to say,’ and bring you back into the conversation? Because unfortunately that stuff does happen. I don’t think it’s malicious, it’s not always malicious. And I don’t think that it’s meant maliciously, but it happens. So finding your person or your group of people that can help promote you in those types of situations is, is always great.
So just to recap on what you said, it’s a case of sitting at the table. And taking, taking small steps. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be the huge leap. You don’t have to worry about being in the room and giving the presentation, just sit at the table and start to chip in with some thoughts as you spend more time there and find other people to support you.
And I think I use those examples because they’re ones that I have seen for years and years now, but also because those are small actions, those are very small actions. So if you’re feeling shy or if you’re feeling insecure, how hard is it to go sit in a chair? That’s easy, do it tomorrow or next week, those are easy steps and then that’ll help you gain your confidence, grow your comfort level so that you can take the next step after that one. And the next step after that one and the next step after that.
So tell me about a couple of the people that have supported you.
Yeah. I have always been lucky in that I have had very encouraging managers. I’ve had very encouraging people, in high power positions, mentors, and colleagues who have recognized that I’m not the one that’s going to speak up first. So they want my opinion – and they find that they value my opinion – They’re going to have to ask me. So, I have been fortunate in, in making sure that I’m surrounded by those people, working for those people. And they know kind of how I operate and adjust accordingly.
So I’m hearing that you can proactively do that thinking about who you work for find out about those managers reputations. And for those managers, what you can be doing is to actually look for the people who aren’t necessarily using their voice and encourage them to do so.
I have a piece of paper from a personality test or, or leadership training or something like that. I have a piece of paper, which is one page to give him a new manager that says, ‘Rachel won’t speak up unless directly asked a question. And so I think if you know that about yourself, you don’t necessarily have to take these tests to find that out, but if you know that you’re feeling a little insecure, talk to your manager about it. I always take this piece of paper and say, ‘Here boss, here’s a little one-page thing about me.’ And I think that helps kind of set the stage early on in the relationship so that there’s no misunderstandings or there’s no like questions of, well, ‘Why is even Rachel coming to this meeting, if she’s not gonna talk…oh, wait, she’s, she’s thinking, she’s processing. She needs time to like work through the data. And then she’ll come through, with a solution.’ So having that relationship with your manager, your people that you report to is, is important for both the manager and you.
I’ve always had the opposite problem. I’m a little bit too chatty. I have to calm myself down and, and, and not be the first one to talk all the time!
We all have those nuances and operate differently and that’s the beauty of human design and why we’re all different and why we are needed at the table to have that voice, because we’re doing different things at different times. A solution that we come up with together by working collaboratively is better than just the loudest voice in the room.
I have a British accent which helps sometimes! Well, here living in the US – in England, it didn’t make a difference! So, Rachel, I really loved what you said earlier when you talked about, talking to your manager, having this piece of paper. I love those personality tests because they tell us so much about ourselves. And so I’ve often shared them with my managers as well. You know, Hey, this is my love language, I don’t expect you to love me, but my love language is words of affirmation. So, you know, I don’t really care if you give me some office prize….
…But yeah, even things like I know I’m super chatty. And so I’ll say to my colleagues, ‘Hey, I’m super chatty, especially when I get excited. So if I’m too much, just tell me, just tell me.’ And so having that vulnerability to talk to people about, ‘Hey, this is how I show up, this is where my strength is, where my weaknesses, and I really want you to support me to hone in on things so that, you know, I’m contributing to the team the best that I can. And, and we’re all feeling like badasses after this.
Yeah, and I’ll even add one step further to that is when I show up with my piece of paper and I am vulnerable with things I will find that most of the time the manager then becomes vulnerable with me and says, ‘Oh, thank you for sharing. And also if I did this thing, like call me out on it.’ And then my manager is not giving me permission to hold him accountable or her accountable for things that they know are their – I don’t want to say fault – but they’re kind of like differences among, among everybody else. So presenting as vulnerable often allows for that reciprocation as well.
And I loved that you, when you brought the attention to the word fault, or a really good way to look at it, humanity. Now we’re all really good at different things and sometimes we’ll say something a bit silly, or, you know, we’ll dive through the door and interrupt a meeting that’s really not appropriate. It’s just part of being human. And I think that allowing, just allowing people to show up and having some compassion for them is really important for building people’s confidence.
So what is one piece of advice you could give, one piece? What would you tell a young woman just starting her career today, what it takes to get through the glass ceiling?
I’ve mentioned this word quite a bit through the chat here. But for me it’s about growth and learning and expanding what you have. So I would use the analogy of a tree, think of the biggest, biggest tree that you’ve ever seen in your life. And remember that that tree started out as a seed and that seed looked exactly like all the other seeds at that time, when that tree was first starting to grow and not only did that seed have to get planted and that seed had to get watered and that seed had to first push through the ground and, and reach for that sunlight. But it continued to grow. It continued to adapt. It continued to become that huge, beautiful, big tree that, that you can picture. And you know, we think about the tree rings and, and how you can tell that the tree was under stress and maybe it didn’t get water. And there was a huge drought that year and the scientists can go back and be like, oh, this is the age in the trunk and blah, blah, blah. But at the same time, that tree was still growing, even though it a challenging environment at the time. So always continue to remember that you’re growing, you’re resilient. And you will become that tree that you want to be.
That is a beautiful image to be left with. And yeah, we’re gonna encourage people to go out and buy plants to symbolize that. Except if you like me, you’d kill it! So maybe go buy a cactus. That’s a much easier way.
Succulents. They’re kind of like cactuses.
Well, thank you, Rachel. It’s been a real pleasure talking with you today. I know that many of our listeners can really resonate with some of the things that you’re talking about. And I just love the fact that you are so willing to give your heart and your experiences and offering support people on LinkedIn. Check your inbox later, I’m pretty sure you’re going to have quite a few!
Well, I appreciate the opportunity. Thanks for letting me talk to your audience.
Absolutely. See you soon. Thank you for listening everyone!
Rachel is Vice President of Programs at Overwatch Imaging, with a focus on successfully executing customer contracts and product innovation. Rachel is driven by leading high-performing teams to solve complex emerging application challenges. Prior to joining Overwatch Imaging, she was the Chief Systems Engineer responsible for development of autonomous systems at Insitu, a subsidiary of the Boeing Company. In that role, she was responsible for ensuring the ScanEagle and Integrator/Blackjack Unmanned Aerial systems met both the customers’ needs and the company’s long-range strategic business objectives.
Prior to Insitu, Rachel worked at Lockheed Martin developing space-based solar telescopes for NASA. She was responsible for specification development of all the optical components of the Solar X-Ray Imager and the Solar UltraViolet Imager deployed on the GOES satellites. Rachel is a lifelong learner and has earned a Master of Engineering degree in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Systems from the University of Michigan, a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from San Jose State University, and a Master of Business Administration from San Jose State University.