Alumni spotlight: Kevin Schmid's path back
Kevin Schmid spent four years working as a Financial Analyst at Lockheed Martin after graduating college, before his part of the company, IS&GS, merged with Leidos. After working for other employers, he found his way back to Leidos in mid-2018 and hopes to work here for the rest of his career.
Why did you originally leave your job at Lockheed Martin?
While I worked with great people, the culture was hard to navigate at times. I didn't feel like you were treated with the same respect as was given to leaders. It was also my first job out of college, and I wanted to explore other opportunities.
Do you feel that the leaders at Leidos respect you as an employee?
Definitely. At Leidos, leaders are much more accessible. Even the executive team is more visible and engaged with employees at all levels than at any of my other employers. Our CFO attends networking events for entry-level employees and interns, and our CEO speaks at almost every Leidos orientation. He even allows time for people to introduce themselves and ask questions, which for a company of 30,000-plus people, is a pretty big deal.
Everyone is on the same team here. It's a good situation when your company is always open to feedback. If you think you can fix or improve something, everyone is all for it. You feel and give respect all around.
After receiving an email from one employee, Roger Krone, our CEO, took it as a call to action and joined more than 60 other CEOs in signing a pledge to help put an end to opioid addiction. My brother died of a drug overdose in Dec. 2018, so that pledge has meant a lot to me personally and is one of the reasons I'm proud to work here. I emailed Roger about how meaningful this cause is to me and my family, and he took the time to respond. I do not think you will find that at most companies of our size.
Leidos definitely feels like a family—a very large one. Working for someone who cares about the people who work for him is one of the reasons I plan to continue working for Leidos for the rest of my career.
Is there anything else that stands out to you about Leidos' culture?
Leidos offers more flexibility than any of my previous employers. I can work from home occasionally, which is a big positive because it allows me to spend more time with my growing family. You can tell that Leidos is definitely open to embracing a more flexible culture.
It's also been great to hear about how, when the majority of my IS&GS team joined Leidos after the merger, they were welcomed with open arms. All my former colleagues are still here, which is a true testament to the wonderful culture Leidos has created.
How has your career progressed since rejoining Leidos?
I've gotten the chance to work with such smart people, both in tech and in leadership. At Leidos, you get plenty of networking opportunities which helps you meet mentors. And because Leidos' leadership believes in investing in employees and giving them stretch opportunities, it was here that I was given my first role in management.
Leidos also offers a continuing education program that has helped cover the cost of earning my MBA. And I love that I'm able to apply at work what I'm learning in my MBA program day-to-day.
How do you see your future career?
My goal is to stay at Leidos until I retire, even though I'm only in my thirties. There are just so many opportunities for growth. From taking rotational assignments and short-term projects that will help me build and round out my experience to potential for promotions, it's easy to see myself making a forever home here.
What's your advice for other Leidos alumni?
Keep your network open. Communicate and stay in touch with all the people you've worked with. That's the most important thing because if you don't, you could miss opportunities that open up.
I kept in touch with my former colleagues, and they shared how things were going at Leidos after the merger. They had a lot of good things to say, so when I was ready to settle in somewhere and grow, I reached out to my former manager who helped me navigate the interview process.
When you come back, keep an open mind and be flexible. Things may be a bit different, but everything is running really smoothly.
If you're interested in joining ENCORE, the Leidos Alumni Network, visit Leidos.com/alumni.