UTEP, Lockheed Martin Announce Resource Planning Academy

Last Updated on May 03, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published May 03, 2017

By Daniel Perez

UTEP Communications

The University of Texas at El Paso and Lockheed Martin announced plans to collaborate on a revolutionary business management program that will give students a competitive edge in the workplace.

UTEP, Lockheed Martin Announce Resource Planning Academy

The Lockheed Martin Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Academy will give students an application-oriented view of ERP systems, which integrate data management to enable acquisition, administration and implementation of resources and could involve such core business processes as procurement, distribution, accounting and human resources, to name a few.

The 12-credit course curriculum is being developed by UTEP’s College of Business Administration (COBA) faculty and Lockheed Martin employees. Students will be exposed to SAP, the world’s leading business software, as part of the academy. Those who complete the courses will earn certification.

Robert Nachtmann, DBA, dean of the College of Business Administration, called this the latest step in the University’s collaborative journey with the Fortune 500 company. He said the academy, which balances academic advancements with enhancements to the effectiveness and optimization of organizations, will be a win-win-win situation for students, faculty and industry. He likened big corporations to puzzles and an employee’s field as a piece of the puzzle that must dovetail with other pieces to be effective and successful. He said the bigger the organization, the more necessary it is to utilize a unifying information control system such as SAP.

“It’s a deepening of what we feel is a critical dimension of the modern business school and that’s tight corporate integration,” Nachtmann said. “If you are involved in professional education … it must be the case that practice and academia have to come together to advance the quality of life.”

Along with academics, the program will feature a speaker series of ERP experts, and chances to tackle real-world ERP applications. Academy participants also may join in site visits, mentorship opportunities, and prospects for paid internships.

The concept enticed Devany Serrano, a junior finance major who was among the two dozen or so students who attended the launch announcement. She planned to apply for the first academy cohort. She is familiar with Lockheed Martin, having served as a 2016 summer business development intern at the company’s space systems complex near San Francisco, California. She leaves soon for a second summer internship as a price cost analyst with the company’s aeronautics team in Fort Worth, Texas.

“When I see opportunities such as the academy, I go for them,” said Serrano, who was interested in the SAP training and real-life challenges the academy would provide. “That experience will differentiate yourself from your peers in the competitive job market.”

Rick Horvath, Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth-based vice president and controller, called the academy’s launch an exciting time because the interface between the company and UTEP always sparks new developments. He said he looks forward to the enhancements his company will experience through this new collaboration.

During a question-and-answer session, Horvath told students that Lockheed Martin always is looking for new talent in a wide variety of disciplines, but he stressed that the company is focused on recruiting quality individuals with a strong work ethic. He advised students to participate in programs that will enhance their skills and give them an edge against those they will compete against for jobs after graduation.

“People learn by doing,” Horvath said. “(The ERP academy) will give you that vantage point before you sit at your desk on the first day.”

Among the other speakers was Ayde Garcia, one of the 200-plus UTEP alumni who work for Lockheed Martin. The 2010 marketing graduate said she was thrilled about the new initiative.

“I feel a little jealous that you have this opportunity,” she said to the students in the room. “It is such a great program that will allow you to be ahead of the game.”

This is the latest COBA/industry collaboration. The college and ADP started the HCM (Human Capital Management) Academy in fall 2016 to extend the understanding of theory and practice of HCM. College officials are in discussions with other industry partners to create similar academies focused on high-profile fields.

Ben Gonzalez, UTEP’s vice president for asset management and development, said such academies developed with industry add value to the education students receive before they graduate and are hired by these companies.

“Understanding the needs of the global workforce and tailoring our curriculum to meet those needs creates a successful symbiotic relationship,” Gonzalez said.

To learn more about the Lockheed Martin Enterprise Resource Planning Academy, contact Krista Snow, director of COBA Corporate Partnership Programs, at 915-747-8636 or klsnow@utep.edu.