general atomics

missile defense

project management intern | summer 2018

a memorable summer collaborating with the U.S. Army to develop the next generation of electromagnetic rail gun systems. under the project management office, I assisted the engineering team to deliver a hi-fidelity prototype for a three-year project with a  $40+ million annual budget, evaluated r&d proposals, and worked on several other projects. 

highlights: learning how to fly an unmanned drone, margarita mondays with my intern cohort, and visiting our state of art facilities in the high desert 

01 process improvement

[ overview ]

project management isn't easy...but it can be easier when you are maximizing the available tools and following best practices in the industry. 

“when I first started as a project manager here it felt like I…was being thrown into an ocean without knowing how to swim. I’ve been here for ~2 years now and I’m still learning the ropes. ” -- q, 29 yrs old

[ solution ] 

to standardize common practices for project management, I spent 10 weeks conducting ethnographic studies + interviews with the team and presented my final research and suggestions to upper management executives for feedback and implementation.


unfortunately due to NDA, i can't share any specifics but the main improvements included changes to the onboarding process and the creation of shared resource drive.

[ phase 1 ]



master schedule

plan checkpoints, schedule interviews, and track progress 


interviews + 

ethnographic studies

observe how project managers conduct their daily tasks


secondary +

comparative research

how do others in this industry practice project management?


synthesize + 

analyze data

transfer raw data -> usable data  and define problems

[ phase 2 ]


discuss + 

ideate solutions

share findings, brainstorm solutions, discuss feasibility


low fidelity


early representations  of the shared resource drive + onboarding process


share findings 

with executives

presented research and suggestions to president and upper management


feedback + 


discuss additional research questions  and next steps for team