Fall Term Begins August 28 – Second Round Application Date July 18     Apply

Rensselaer at Work - Alumna Feature: Nayleth Ramirez '24

woman in college graduation garb holding a diploma upThe first time Nayleth Ramirez wondered, “Where do I go from here?”, she was in middle school, taking part in career programs that introduced her to engineers working on rockets and missiles for RTX, a major employer in her hometown of Tucson, AZ.

Years later, she was drawn to STEM programs and more exposure to RTX engineers who mentored projects she worked on. This ultimately led to admission to the University of Arizona.

Majoring in Systems Engineering with minors in Spanish and Cyber Security, Nayleth was the first of her family to attend college. At university, she quickly found new family within the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and became actively involved. By her sophomore year, she won a scholarship to the national SHPE conference in Kansas City, MO, where, in the airport, she was approached by an RTX recruiter who quickly arranged an interview during the conference. Hired as an intern, she ended up working with some of the same professionals she’d met in her high school STEM programs.

A few years later, after working every summer for RTX, graduation approached and Nayleth once again asked herself, “Where do I go from here?” Employment as an RTX engineer was a given, of course, but graduate school also beckoned. Thinking back on her experience as an undergraduate, Nayleth was initially hesitant about grad school given the time commitment and uncertainties about applicability that research-based programs represented. At the encouragement of her RTX mentors, Nayleth was looking into programs at Arizona and Arizona State when an email arrived from a school she had never heard of: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Drawn to the online, project-based, and mentored programs that would enhance her work, she applied and took the bold step of asking her future employer for tuition reimbursement months before she was scheduled to start. Given the culture of learning and development at RTX, management agreed and Nayleth started her graduate studies at RPI a month before her full-time employment began in 2021.

While Nayleth’s day-to-day work as a Systems Test Engineer at RTX relies heavily on her undergraduate degree, her Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering and Technology Management at RPI covered areas relevant to her career including elements of project management, systems modeling, and evaluating organizational performance.

Subject to the strict limits of her security clearance, she incorporated her work at RTX into her course projects and the insights she gained provided meaningful results. As she continued to make great strides in her career, Nayleth also continued to support the same high school STEM program that launched her journey as well as the SHPE program that connected her with RTX.

At the RPI bicentennial graduation ceremony in May of 2024, during their first-ever visit to the Troy, NY campus, Nayleth’s proud family celebrated their first family member with a bachelor’s degree becoming their first with a master’s degree.

For Nayleth, once the festivities had died down, the question came back, “Where do I go from here?” and while that answer has yet to be written, it includes management and leadership and branching out into related and unrelated technical fields, supporting the family that brought her this far, and reaching out to middle school kids who have never met someone with a college degree, let alone two, and opening their eyes to the possibilities of their own futures.

Back to top