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Business Management with a Focus on the Aerospace and Aviation Industry

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Sarah Kane, Senior Director of Space and Airborne Systems at L3Harris shares her unique journey from an unexpected internship at Boeing to become a management leader in aerospace and aviation


Beginning with an internship at Boeing during a Virginia Tech career fair, Sarah Kane has made a career out of constantly embracing change, ambiguity, communications and growing her financial acumen to become a leader within the space of aerospace and aviation.

What You Will Learn in this Interview:

2:30 – Economic and key trends within aerospace, unexpected journey that led Sarah to study engineering , marketing management and Spanish (learning the levers that make things happen)

5:45 – Government, defense contracting and consolidation within the aerospace industry (learning how and when to speed the contracting process up)

8:45 – Biggest challenges today in Aerospace and Aviation (covid lens) along with evolving key soft skills (insert yourselves in areas where you can make a decision and a difference, ambiguity equals opportunity!)

14:55 – innovation and areas within a college where students may thrive in leadership roles such as studying group dynamics (financial acumen is crucial if you want to truly rise within an organization.)

19:25 – Perspective on areas that students could work within the space, public vs. private (need to prove your concept is viable and be future driven, importance of leaders like Dr. Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to push industries forward)

25:30 – What students can do to improve financial education (makes the world go around) and importance of other key certifications/areas to enhance knowledge

29:44 – Sarah’s internship story at Virginia Tech Career Fair (preparing for alumni roundtables, mentorship and first job opportunities) – Go to career fairs/roundtables with a plan, perform interview practice/elevator pitch in advance and be open minded/communicative

Sarah Kane is a dynamic leader capable of proactively leading multi-discipline teams through complex business environments to meet emerging customer needs having demonstrated billion dollar project execution experience in both defense and commerce airplane markets with unique exposure to commercial and military manufacturing, large scale engineering development, and customer interfacing roles.

After spending over 8 years in leadership positions within the Boeing company performing everything from power and electrical systems management to associate director of military programs and industrial participation,  she subsequently moved over to Raytheon Technologies (Collins Aerospace) as general manager and site leader for military ejection seats business and is currently the Senior Director of Space and Airborne Systems at L3Harris.

Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in marketing management and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Foreign Language and Literature at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University along with numerous masters certifications from Villanova University and is in the process of completing an MBA at the University of South Carolina.

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