Victoria Tagarelli protects against cyberattacks
When Victoria Tagarelli ’13 says she works in cyber, she often qualifies it by saying, “No, it’s not what you’ve seen on TV.”
“I usually have to start by saying what I don’t do. I’m not trying to hack a federal government system in 30 seconds. I’m actually trying to protect systems.”
She’s an information assurance engineer with Lockheed Martin, based at the company’s plant in Owego, N.Y. The Rotary and Mission Systems area supports all branches of the U.S. military and has a portfolio including helicopters, integrated air and missile defense, electronic warfare and cyber solutions.
Tagarelli focuses mainly on helicopter mission systems, working with hardware, software and specialty engineers to ensure full compliance with all security requirements.
“In this job, technical skill is very important, but emotional intelligence cannot be underestimated,” she says. “Because everyone is working in teams, you really have to be able to get along with people. This is such a fast-paced environment, and you have to adapt quickly to situations. I really love it. This is why I got into engineering.” Victoria Tagarelli protects against cyberattacks
As a senior at Binghamton, she volunteered for Lockheed’s Women in Engineering Day, which helped her make connections that propelled her into the company’s Engineering Leadership Development Program. She has had four different jobs so far, each exposing her to a different part of the business to build a diverse skill set and position her for higher leadership positions.
“Looking to the future, I’d like to keep my foot in the door technically, but I’m interested in being more involved in the people side of the business. I’ve become drawn to it and definitely see it as a continuous goal in my career.”
Because she’s based in the Binghamton area, Tagarelli is active on campus, advising and mentoring students. During spring semester, she was a guest speaker at an Alumni Association Cool Connections, Hot Alumni event.
“I think it’s important to get people into the STEM pipeline, especially females,” says Tagarelli, who was the student speaker at her Watson School Commencement ceremony. “I’m a strong feminist, and think females really need to support each other.”