On Oct. 27, a former NASA employee touched base at Weber State University. Business students gathered around the lecture hall in the Wattis Business Building at noon, anticipating the weekly launch of the Ralph Nye Lecture Series.
Ron Dittemore, former shuttle program manager for NASA, came to speak to the students about what he believes are the key points of having a successful career. Dittemore currently serves as the president of the company ATK Launch Systems Group in Brigham City, Utah.
Instructor of business administration Charles Kaiser said that Dittemore’s experience would bring “a unique (perspective), because he is not a typical business person. He is in a field that is far outside where most of our business majors are going to end up.”
Dittemore shared his experiences with NASA, particularly in regards to leadership, communication, education, creativity and learning to bounce back from mistakes in the professional world.
“Number one, don’t screw up. Number two, when you screw up, fix it. Fix it professionally, fix it technically, fix it personally. Do not ignore it. If you screw up, you just can’t walk away and think it will fix itself…Number three, just have fun and enjoy the journey. It is so much fun to do,” Dittemore said during the lecture.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn practical skills that help them build a career,” Kaiser said about Dittemore’s lecture.
“I think that there is nothing more important right now than to speak to students who are at the beginning of their careers,” Dittemore said. “They’re just starting their journey through this business world, and I think if I can share with them some lessons learned and some principles, I think that would help them along the way.”
The lecture series features different speakers every week who provide insight they’ve learned in their careers. Concerning what students learn throughout college, Kaiser said, “This class teaches them that it’s probably not what they’re going to experience, so don’t get too worried about it — there are some universal concepts that we’d like them to start doing while they’re still in school that apply out there.”
The class primarily focuses on seniors graduating in the business program at Weber State University in order to teach them about the outside experience from professionals who have been out in the business field for several years.
“There’s a lot of opportunities out there, a lot of different fields that you can be good at,” Dittemore said. “Don’t self-eliminate, take some risks, follow your passion, and you’ll have an enjoyable career.”