Meet David Rapisand

Director of Overhead Control, Financial Management, Lockheed Martin
BBA, 1976

David Rapisand

  Be an active alumni, not a passive one.

Could you tell us about your background?

I was born and raised in El Paso. I graduated from Burges. I was drafted by the Navy, but then I came back. I graduated from UTEP in 1976 after studying a double major in marketing and accounting. Afterwards I started working on oil and gas in New Orleans. I moved to Fort Worth in 1980 for a company that does not exist anymore. As they closed we were transferred into Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in 1986, and I have been there ever since.

How do you like it working at LM Aeronautics?

I like it. I am responsible for the overhead managing, forecasting, controlling, and affordability for over 2.4 billion dollars. It is all in numbers. I get to make decisions and set plans on how much to spend on different elements and how many people to hire.

I got hired as a specialist with experience and background. Working in oil and gas opened the door to get into managerial overhead. I got a Masters in finance, so that combination of finance with accounting and marketing has enabled me to do my job very well. Particularly, my marketing major helped me acquire very useful communication skills that I use in my everyday basis. In what I do, I have to say “no” to many people, and doing this in a positive way is essential. My job demands my personality to be extraverted. In business, when a problem is not a technical issue, most of the time it is due to poor communication.

What are your plans for the future?

I look forward to retiring in about 6 years!

What can you say about CoBA?

I was at school here in 1976. I can say that it has gone a great transformation. The students are better prepared today than they were back in 1976. This college has a very good Dean who is very active. He is making sure students are being prepared for the global environment that awaits them outside.

My advice for the students is that they need to capitalize on the opportunity in education which UTEP offers them. It is important for them to see their education as an investment and take advantage of the resources and staff that are offered. If they do this, they will be successful.

Another advantage of the College of Business in UTEP is that here, teachers care about their students. A one on one relationship exists. If a student needs anything they can go talk to their professors, a thing which maybe would not occur in a bigger university.

Once you graduate, you become alumni. Do not ever forget where you got your education from, and give back to help educate those who come after you. Before, education was something that was nice to have, but nowadays it is a must. Donate. Be an active alumni, not a passive one.

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