By: Cheyann Peters
Mrs. Kandy Roy, Newnan High graduate, Class of 1985 and third generation NHS alumni, was invited to visit Mr. Scott Barnett’s two algebra classes in early September.
Mrs. Roy stands alongside Mr. Barnett, her brother, during her visit to his math classes.
She came to NHS to discuss her role with Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, an U.S. government contractor headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. She shared her experience as the Human Resources leader for several large International programs and her role in providing human resources support to employees who are experts in math and science. She specifically encouraged students to always remember what they do in math and science class matters.
After graduating from NHS and earning her degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Resources from the University of West Georgia, Mrs. Roy held several HR Management positions with various local companies before relocating to New England as the Human Resources Manager with Raytheon.
Raytheon is one of the largest defense contractors producing and selling military weapon systems across the globe. Mrs. Roy is celebrating 10 years of working with Raytheon, having started her job there on September 11, 2006.
Before Raytheon, she worked in human resources right out of college and began gaining valuable experience from various industries before landing a role with Raytheon. She currently supports billion dollar programs located throughout the Middle East.
Speaking to groups of mainly high school juniors, she encouraged students to consider finding jobs in math as well as science. She commented playfully that while most jobs start out at seventy-five thousand per year in the Northeast, Engineers can easily earn a six figure income. Women specifically should not ignore the opportunities in this field.
Mrs. Roy stressed how companies like Raytheon want people of diverse backgrounds, specifically women, to apply for jobs in math and science to not only bring different ways of thinking to the workplace but also to increase the diversity of their workforce.
Looking toward the future, Mrs. Roy explained how Cyber engineering will transform the workplace in most large companies, and companies will be in need of hiring people who are able to create firewalls and fight off cyber attacks. There are many job opportunities other than engineering with companies like Raytheon. One good thing to keep in mind, as Mrs. Roy explained, “a degree in business works in any industry.”
“If I could go back and re-do anything it would be to get my MBA,” she explained. Her current role requires her to travel to the Middle East several times per year and has given her the opportunity to learn about other cultures, business practices and build key relationships around the world.
Besides encouraging students to think about their futures, when going to college and what career they pursue, Mrs. Roy also gave valuable advice to students about avoiding things that could negatively impact their ability to get clearances when working for a company like Raytheon.
While it’s important to maintain good relationships and network with others both personally and professionally, Mrs. Roy noted the importance of watching what you post on social media. She described the balance between being socially connected and being professional, “you have to have a good people side and a good business side.”
Among many of the stories that she shared with the classes, Mrs. Roy talked about her company’s involvement with shooting down an old satellite that was threatening to come out of orbit. A team of engineers worked together with the U.S. Navy to safely bring the satellite down. The engineers were in Massachusetts, while the Navy ship was in the Pacific. The satellite was over the Indian Ocean at the time of launch. All of this coordination took math, and lots of it.
Working amongst so many math and science professionals, Mrs. Roy anecdotally noted how her brother inherited all of the math genes in their family and how she will probably not be giving the order to take down an old satellite any time in the near future. “I have no skills in math what-so-ever,” she said. “My brother got all of that, but it is very awesome to work with people who are that smart.”
Additionally, Mrs. Roy shared some of her company’s history and inventions that play an integral role in our day-to-day life here in America. She told the story of an Engineer who worked in a closed laboratory trying to develop radar sensors in the early years and how everyday his chocolate bar would melt in his front pocket.
At first he was frustrated with this but soon discovered that what he had been working toward is what we now find in every American household called the “Microwave.”
Mrs. Roy reminded students not to miss out on life-changing opportunities and remain open to different career paths awaiting them in their futures.