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Life and Work with Brianne C. Martin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brianne C. Martin.

Brianne is the oldest of three to a single-mother household from the Southern Gulf Coast of Texas.
Since the age of two, Brianne knew she wanted to be a famous singer in order to connect with mass audiences, to entertain, connect, and share her passion for the stage. That passion for being on stage started at three years old and still continues today. Ms. Martin has sung on countless stages all over Texas including major staple fairs, County Opries, and rodeos. Her love for people and connection now transcends stages and industries as a speaker and engineer.

In grade school, she took quite an interest in her studies receiving multiple awards for her academic achievement in the classroom and on standardized tests: notably Math & Science.

Brianne started her engineering career her freshmen year in college with a summer internship working for the city as a civil engineer intern driving around her hometown grading streets to advise the city council on how to allocate funding.

The following summer, she landed a job working as an Engineer Technician doing helicopter repairs and maintenance for the US Army supporting the UH-1 Huey, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, the UH-60 Blackhawk, the Seahawk, and the AH-64 Apache. Ms. Martin loved the internship so much, she continued the following year as well.

During her senior year, Brianne had the opportunity to work as a Design Engineer intern for a global supplier of engineered systems, equipment, and services for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Her last summer – as a super senior – the people engineer found herself relocating and working as a Tooling Engineer intern for an international aerospace manufacturing company. The company extended her a full-time offer before her internship term ended to which she accepted and took on after graduation.

Her time at this company paid dividends as Brianne was able to create her own rotational program starting out as a Tooling Engineer, Liaison Engineer, and finally moving to the Marketing and Sales department as a Customer Account Manager overseeing Africa, Middle East, Southwest Asia, and India. Her last year, she was able to travel over 100k miles all over the world visiting customers, hosting technical reviews, and reviewing fleets of international aircraft.

At a time of misfortune of being laid off at 26 years old, Ms. Martin achieved her life-long dream of establishing her own consulting firm. Eight months after starting her company, Brianne was approached by an automotive manufacturing company and happily runs both her business and serves as an Advanced Manufacturing Engineer.

Throughout her college and post-graduation career, Brianne has mentored her peers, friends, and strangers into helping build confidence, preparing for interviews, career fairs, conferences, and presentations. The overachiever that she is, Brianne has always enjoyed professional, personal, and leadership development and is eager to help share the knowledge, resources, tips and tricks she’s learned along the way.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all. Not only did I grow up without a dad and constantly sought male attention and validation, but I was physically and sexually abused by father figures before the age of ten. I suffer from PTSD in the forms of severe anxiety and depression and throughout my 20s, a very poor sense of self of worthiness.

Work-life balance was something I struggled with. Being a Latina Engineer with a disability, I’m a triple minority and feel the need to prove myself. I lost my sense of self from my passion for singing to need to prove I was capable of being an engineer.

I’ve constantly struggled with needing external validation. I’ve yearned for the sense of belonging and acknowledgment of my worth. No father figure was invested in me. My romantic relationships failed over & over with the guys cheating on me every single time. Engineering professors laughed at me thinking I was capable of learning complex math and critical thinking.

It wasn’t until I found myself as a workaholic and alcoholic that I realized I needed help. At 24 years old, I started seeing therapists to work through my unresolved issues of daddy issues and lack of self-esteem.

Taking that first step of admitting I needed help was difficult; I realized I was investing in everything but myself – I had to be willing to put my ego aside to try to listen to what my mind and body were telling me was an incredibly humbling experience.

My advice for other women is to acknowledge the power you have within yourself. Everything in life is a choice. We choose what our priorities are. We choose what we invest our energy in. We choose how we respond to the world, society, and our own circumstances. Take ownership of the only thing you are in control of – yourself!

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m an Engineer, Musician, and Speaker. I’m known for my ability to approach people problems in a very systematic engineering fashion. The second we step back to look objectively at a problem, the more clarity, and resources we’re able to identify. Through my efforts of teaching, mentoring, music, and simple connection – I let people know they’re not alone and that anything is possible. Overcoming adversity is a choice – a choice not to give up on you, yourself, or your dreams. I’m proud of the life-changing difference I’m able to make simply by telling my story. There are so many strong beautiful souls in the world that feel so lost or broken or unworthy just because they haven’t had someone believe in them, provide any kind of encouragement or support. I provide that support. Whether it be a ‘behind the scenes’ vent session of my daily life of an engineer or a Sunday afternoon reflection of life and gratitude my story of pain and suffering is not in vain. I’m not just an engineer, not just a musician, not just a Latina, I’m a person who can’t be defined by a box or category. We’re all complex deep growing learning creatures and I honor that – I support that – and help facilitate that in people.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
The unrealistic expectation of meeting all the societal ‘checkboxes.’ For leadership, you’re supposed to be confident and a risk-taker. As a woman, we’re supposed to be kind and gentle. As an engineer, we’re supposed to be aggressive and okay with failing. Yet, as a woman in the industry, we’re evaluated on performance rather than potential like our male counterparts. The harsh unattainable judgment bestowed on women and their ability or attempt to lead is devastating. No matter what approach or style we’re always wrong. If a strong personality – we’re labeled “too aggressive” or “arrogant” – if nice and collaborative we lack authority and executive presence. It’s a losing battle and we’re not cultivating the best a person can be if we’re asking them to constantly jump between Jekyll and Hyde. Grading a fish on how well she may climb a tree makes no more sense than asking a bird to compete in burrowing.

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