Meet John Duran

MBA, 2007

John Duran

  Be open-minded about the opportunities available.


Tell us a bit about your experience in working for Lockheed Martin and how it changed your perspective on the real-world workforce.

Lockheed Martin is such a large organization, a worldwide operation—it’s a lot more in depth and expansive as far as the type of work and areas we cover. It's very detail oriented. A lot of the work that I got in my classes relates to the work I’m doing in my current job.

Were you well-prepared graduating from UTEP to pursue the business world?

There was a bit of a transition period as far as learning what culture they have within the company and the way they do specific things. By that I mean, there are certain areas where you take the basic knowledge like finance and accounting from school and relate it to work.

What did you study at UTEP?

My undergraduate degree was in Accounting and Marketing and I also received my MBA from UTEP.

How is being a financial analyst for an Aeronautics department different from other departments?

Since we are Aeronautics, we get to see how our finance impacts certain programs. So we see where that money goes to fund our projects, as opposed to working with stocks where you are not seeing specifically what you are working towards.

What do your projects consist of as a financial analyst?

I do financial reporting for overhead aeronautics. Our department works with all the overhead funds for the company and I report to various departments and track their spending. I analyze and verify that they are charging correctly and standing appropriately within their budget.

Besides the responsibilities you have at Lockheed, what do you like most about your job?

I think it’s the flexibility—we aren’t micromanaged at all. Our supervisor says what we have to do and we go off and do it. We are pretty open as far as flexibility and being able to do the work we want and trying new things. There’s a lot of chance and opportunities to do what we would like to.

Back when you were attending CoBA, how worthwhile do you think it was to be part of an organization?

I think being involved with organizations will help as far as working in team projects, because a lot of the work they do revolves around multiple team members. So being able to work on various projects where you are doing more than one thing at once helps. And as far as the relationship to CoBA, I think it gives you a broader knowledge of the type of work you could be doing.

What was a lesson you learned or the most important thing you grasped from your time at CoBA?

Well, obviously it is not something new, everybody knows about being able to meet people and have new contacts because it’s all about who you can meet and finding more opportunities.  That’s actually how I got this job, because in my position at the College of Business, I helped put up the career fair for the college and my current business was the one that took my resume and I was able to get a job. I think just being around employers and being around when they are having these opportunities is the best way to get started.

Did you always have an MBA in mind or did that decision come along the way?

I decided to pursue that when I was a senior in my undergrad and that was just something I wanted to do personally, because I thought now is the best time for me to get this. I just felt that if I wanted to get this done now, I had to do it then and not take a break for awhile, and that was my state of mind to continue with my MBA.

Did you have this company in mind before your job offer?

I graduated in May 2007 and in February I hadn’t decided at all where I was going to be working and then the next month was when I first met with Lockheed. So it came up very, very quickly in the last few months.

What keeps you motivated with your current job at Lockheed?

I think it’s the ability to do another job, if there’s something down the line that I want to do—working with the skills I have and the job I do currently—which could make me more marketable, with a more in-depth knowledge with the type of work I do. Industries now are a lot different, where you aren’t going to stay with one company for your entire career. And if I’m not in my current position there is always flexibility in the company as far as transferring into other departments and having a knowledge base and seeing what the company prefers for you to do in different jobs within the organization. So, you can make yourself broader and knowledge based as far as what you know.

Where do you see yourself in the future or as far as your plans go?

Hopefully I can start working on some marketing-related jobs or some research... advertising which is part of my undergraduate studies but that is down the line. And getting another degree besides my Masters since the company offers benefits as far as being flexible in the systematic area.

What comments or suggestions would you give to undergraduate students?

I would say, just be open-minded about the opportunities available. For me, I was studying accounting and marketing as my undergrad and I’m doing a finance job.  Just to be aware that even if you’re not specifically looking at something right now there might be an opportunity there that you can take away that will be beneficial to you. Keep your options open.

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