Florida Polytechnic University alumna Daniele Mendez ’19 is thriving as a software engineer at aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin.
As a software engineer associate at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and an on-air technology podcast host, Daniele Mendez ’19 is fulfilling her dreams and pursuing passions for engineering and journalism.
Mendez received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Florida Polytechnic University in 2019 and joined the aerospace, defense, and technology giant soon after.
“I work for the F-35 ALIS program, a system that gathers information and tracks flight data from the F-35 War Fighter. ALIS works to maintain, plan, and sustain the systems throughout the life of the F-35,” she said, referring to the combat aircraft produced by Lockheed Martin. “It’s been incredible.”
Mendez, a graduate of Sickles High School in Tampa, Florida, said she is constantly learning new skills and information.
“You get the opportunity to learn at this company and they understand that you may not be aware of all the systems when you’re just starting out,” she said. “They work with you every step of the way.”
Brett Mas, Mendez’s supervisor, said she has become an asset to the company since her arrival in 2019.
“Right way, she found ways to contribute to the team while learning the technical aspects of our software development processes,” said Mas, F-35 ALIS Software Engineering Manager. “She has been eager to learn from her more experienced teammates and takes on all tasking with a positive, learning attitude. She continues to take on more challenging technical implementations within our program.”
According to the US Census Bureau, women represent only 15% of those in engineering occupations and about one-quarter of computer workers, including computer and information systems managers.
Mendez, who was vice president of the Society of Women Engineers at Florida Poly, is proud to be among their ranks. Additionally, through her work at Lockheed Martin she is able to mentor FIRST Robotics teams based at the Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) Fab Lab in Tampa.
“I want to tell younger women that they can do anything. They don’t have to go only into certain professions,” Mendez said. “It’s really easy for young women to be discouraged from the STEM fields and I think that should be overcome.”
In addition to her work at Lockheed Martin, Mendez also has worked as an on-air talent for PLuGHiTz Live, a technology-focused multimedia company based in Largo, Florida, since 2014. In high school, she said she dreamed of becoming a journalist, and the podcast allows her to pursue that interest and combine it with her high-tech expertise.
“I love it,” Mendez said. “I get to network and talk with a lot of people, interviewing people with all different backgrounds.”
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