Live Event: March 30, 2017 at 1:00pm Eastern (US)
Andre Thornton is currently CEO of Whitman Consulting, LLC and is a former engineering director with Lockheed Martin. He uses his engineering background to create effective professional development methods in his current position. We asked him a few questions about himself and his path through a STEM career to get to know him and his work a bit better before his live event.
Learn More About Andre
What are your favorite hobbies or activities you do for fun?
Travel with friends and family, watch movies.
Do you play any sports or do any athletic activities?
Played football and ran track through college. I just exercise now
What is your favorite non-science book, magazine, or blog?
Everything I read is scientific in some way
What’s your favorite song?
Player’s Ball by Outkast (old school)
Who do you look up to and admire?
Jerry Acuff, CEO of Delta Point Inc
Highest degree attained
Masters of Business Administration
Virginia Military Institute (undergrad)
Georgia State University (grad)
Favorite classes/coursework in elementary school, middle school, high school, college
Math, Math, Math, differential equations
What educational accomplishments are you most proud of?
Attaining a full scholarship to attend VMI
What kinds of challenges did you overcome during your education?
The VMI Rat Line
Whitman Consulting, LLC. I also serve as the Industry Co-chair for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Working Group, am Chairman of the Board for a non-profit called Excel to Excellence Inc, am Co-Founder of a mentoring program called Unified Need for Courageous Leadership and Empowerment (UNCLE), and support JASON Learning to help build business partnerships.
Years in this organization/position
What does your organization do?
Change lives by helping people reach their full potential
What is your role in the organization?
Responsible for creating effective professional development methods to use and growing the company to impact as many lives as possible in a very deep and meaningful way
Describe your work environment
Home office with just me and my 1-year old son from time to time.
What tools and/or techniques do you use in your job?
I combine proven leadership development techniques with experiential ones that I am creating
Describe a typical day in your job
Phone calls, writing curriculum, face-to-face training/coaching, sometimes speaking engagements or networking receptions
How is the work you do important to society?
It helps people become better versions of themselves and thus improve the world around them as a result
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your current role?
Having someone tell me that they look at their life differently after experiencing some of my training
What projects or goals are you currently pursuing?
Pursuing writing a book
What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
Marketing the business to new potential clients
Previous employers and positions that have lead to your current role
I was with Lockheed Martin for 18 years. I went from being an entry-level engineer to an engineering director and had several different positions along the way, to include selling airplanes.
Other positions not necessarily related to your current career
I cleaned office buildings while in high school
Best job you’ve ever had and why
My current job is the best. It fulfills me because it is directly aligned with my values.
Worst job you’ve ever had and why
Cleaning office buildings. It did not require much creative thought.
What were you like as a kid?
As a kid I was shy.
What were your favorite books/shows/movies when you were a kid?
My favorite movie was Beastmaster.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up at age 12? At age 15? At age 18?
At 12 I thought Veterinarian
At 15 I thought Engineer
At 18 I thought Engineer
When did you know you wanted to pursue your current career, and what drove you towards it?
I knew I wanted to be an engineer when I was 15 in the 10th grade. What drove me towards it was I learned that engineers figure out how things work and create things. My desire changed to pursue developing people in 2012 after a mission trip to Niger Africa and I came back feeling called to change lives using what I had learned as an engineer.
Who inspired you on this path?
Charlie Luck, President of Luck Stone Companies, inspired me by sharing his company’s Values Based Leadership model. Ever since I defined my values I have been pursuing living my life by them every day. This has been an extremely fulfilling way to live my life.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what other career(s) might you have pursued?
I might have pursued continuing to be an executive at a large company like Lockheed Martin
What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your career?
To be patient and willing to put in the hard work. Find a way to enjoy the process of learning and not be discouraged when you don’t know something. You just don’t know it “yet.”
What advice would you give students in general?
To follow your interest and passion and you will never work a day in your life.
What are some interesting places you’ve traveled?
Tunisia, Africa (work), Australia (work), United Kingdom (work), Canada (work), Dominican Republic (personal), Niger Africa (personal)