Erin (Ramsey) Walton was born and raised on the south side of Chicago in 1981. She graduated from Tennessee State University in 2003 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is currently the Sourcing Manager at one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, United Technologies Aerospace Systems, a United Technologies company. Her interest in engineering sparked in 7th grade after having a conversation with her friend’s brother. He told her that there weren’t too many women or minorities in engineering because engineering was hard. That’s when she decided to prove him wrong and show him that it could be done. Eleven years later, by the grace of God, Erin has proven that it can be done. Erin understands that there would be hurdles and failures in life, however, she is a firm believer that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to as long as you are willing to learn and work hard. Erin is happily married to her college sweetheart, Thamar Walton. They have a five year old daughter named Cameron.
HOW DID YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN?I prayed about difficult situations and looked at every situation with the mindset that I will not be defeated by it. I kept my mind focused on my end goal.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE STARTING OUT ? I did not always recognize the value I brought to the table. I always compared myself to the older engineers. I wanted to be just as knowledgeable and bring the same contributions to the team. It took me a long time to realize that what I brought was a different perspective, a willingness to learn and ask questions. By doing those things I brought value to the team and was able to grow and develop in the process.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? My former dean, Dr. Decatur Rogers. Although I didn’t always agree with his approach, he tried to pull the best out in all of his students. He focused on giving back and helping each another out. These are all things that I focus on now, getting kids to consider STEM careers.
WHAT IS VISION FOR YOUR FUTURE? I want to continue to work with children and young adults who struggle with math and science and help them build their confidence. I am a firm believer that children can do whatever they put their mind to as long as they are dedicated to learning and giving 100 percent.
ADVICE FOR GIRLS:
On ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS
Always strive for excellence in everything you do. Cherish your successes and failures. Let every experience be a lesson to learn from and grow. Even our failures help mold us into better individuals. Most importantly don’t give up and stay focused on your dreams.
For GIRLS IN ENGINEERING
Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to succeed. Don’t be afraid to excel.
On DEFINING YOUR OWN BEAUTY
I believe the world is starting to embrace diversity. Initially, I used to think of diversity as strictly race but diversity is so much more. It is about embracing the differences in people. How boring would the world be if everyone looked exactly alike? I know it is easier said than done but beauty starts with accepting and being proud of the way you look because God made you.
On LIVING LIFE BEAUTIFULLY
I pray that God gives me the strength to get through the chaos and to handle the situation the way He would want me to handle it.
ADVICE TO YOUR TEENAGE SELF: Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.
LEAVING YOUR MARK: I want to be known for dispelling the myth with kids that math and science are hard or that they can’t “get it.” I want to help the youth reach their dreams and open their eyes to the opportunities out there.