Workforce Development Month Spotlight: Diana Ghulami, Lockheed Martin Vocational Scholar

September 16, 2022

Diana Ghulami is one of five NOVA students to receive a 2022 Lockheed Martin Vocational Scholarship. Ghulami, is working toward a computer engineering degree, with a focus in cybersecurity. After NOVA, she plans to transfer on to complete a bachelor’s in this field. 

Lockheed Martin established its Vocational Scholarship Program in 2020 to support students of all ages with skills-based training in engineering, technology and advanced manufacturing. The Vocational Scholarship Program is a critical component of Lockheed Martin’s investment in workforce development and education. The program awards up to $5,000 to 150 students nationally to cover the cost of courses. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:

I am a first-generation student to attend a college in the United States. It is a true honor and opportunity to attend school, as it may be a challenge sometimes. 

I am pursuing my studies in the STEM field, and I am majoring in computer engineering. I plan on transferring to a university after my last semester at NOVA, to continue my studies and receive my bachelor’s degree. 

What brought you to NOVA?

I wasn't in an ideal place to attend a 4-year institution after I graduated high school. I was in a tight position because I was undergoing a health/dental procedure that required me to stay at home to attend many frequent appointments and undergo many surgeries and procedures. I was told about the flexible opportunities at NOVA and went on to continue my studies here, while going through my dental procedure process.

What are you studying or plan to study at NOVA?

I am studying engineering at NOVA, with a focus on computer engineering and a minor in cybersecurity. 

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA; i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met 

 My experience at NOVA has been a wonderful and fortunate experience. I am very blessed to have shared this learning endeavor and experience with NOVA. I was able to meet a lot of wonderful professors, counselors and advisors. They were all very helpful and supportive in my journey at NOVA, as they provided encouragement and understanding, resources and counseling. 

My calculus instructor, Professor Raposa-Tibung, was a wonderful professor and practiced a wonderful teaching style that encouraged me to learn a lot from her. I have taken her classes many times further for my different math courses. In addition, I was blessed to have two wonderful counselors throughout at my time at NOVA, Ms. Coleman-Proksch and Mr. Smith. They were very sympathetic and reassuring when I came to them for help or felt lost or stuck at times. My best piece of advice would be don't be afraid to ask questions or to reach out for help.  

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?

Something I would tell a student coming to NOVA is, to use your resources. And my best piece of advice would be don't be afraid to ask questions or to reach out for help. NOVA has a lot of wonderful supportive people and information that may offer the student knowledge you never knew you’d need. From my personal experience, if I never asked the questions, I would have never learned something new. No matter how simple or difficult the question may be, don't be afraid to ask because you never know what you may learn. 

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?

After my last semester at NOVA, I am planning to transfer to a 4-year university to continue my interest in majoring in computer engineering with a focus in cybersecurity to earn my Bachelor’s. After graduating with a bachelor’s, the goal is to continue my studies and earn a master’s, and to work for a contract company or the government. 

In addition, my passion has always been fashion. It has been my true interest and creative form of expression, so I am focusing on creating an engaging and inspiring platform such as a blog or social account, where I hope to promote a positive community of creative fashion artists who express themselves.

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