Finding the Right Ingredients for Career Success
Lauren Porter’s first job after graduating from Auburn University took her to Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida, first as a manufacturing planner and then as a subcontract manager. “I worked on a program that produces F-35 fighter jets for the US military and other countries,” she says.
In her most recent role, she managed procurement and the performance of subcontractors. While some people might be satisfied with the ins and outs of aerospace and defense, Porter ultimately decided it wasn’t the right fit for her. Despite the excitement of the work, she wanted to pivot toward a commercial supply chain role.
Relocating to Knoxville in 2021, she joined a cohort of Haslam MBA students. “I came for the strong supply chain program, and it’s exceeded my expectations,” Porter says. “We have a lot of support from the program office and career management team, and I’m inspired by my high-performing fellow students.”
Porter is involved with several campus organizations including the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA), the Tennessee Organization of MBAs (TOMBA), and Grads to Golf. She’s just getting started with Grads to Golf (brainchild of alumna Janet McKinley), but is excited about learning the game and how it intersects with business.
When she’s not engaged in academics, Porter enjoys cooking and baking, going to farmers’ markets, eating at new restaurants, and trying new foods. “I’m a foodie,” she says. “Since coming to Haslam, I’ve already carved a name for myself as The Baker. I like an audience, so I often bring baked goods to class and share them with others.”
Porter also enjoys music, particularly Broadway shows and concerts, and takes the opportunity to travel whenever possible. She ventured out on a solo trip to Greece last summer between ending her job at Lockheed Martin and starting the MBA program. “I was able to explore Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete,” she says. “Everyone was very friendly, and I met a lot of people. It was a wonderful experience.”
Looking toward the future, Porter hopes to work in supply chain management for a commercial technology company. “While I enjoyed my time in aerospace and defense, I realized I’d do better in a more commercial environment, which is a little more free-wheeling and autonomous,” she says. “I’d love to go deeper into supply chain management and find an opportunity at the intersection between manufacturing and logistics.”