Leslie Lock

If you visit the new Binghamton University Pharmacy School under construction in Johnson City, you may find Leslie Lock, putting her Civil Engineering Technology degree to work.

Lock, who graduated from SUNY Broome in 2016, works as a materials testing technician on the construction site. As a woman in a largely male industry, she’s accustomed to questions from those who find her career choice unusual, but she hasn’t let it hold her back.

When she’s not at work, she’s taking a few extra classes at SUNY Broome – this semester, in English and psychology – that will allow her to transfer into a four-year school.

“I want it to be within the structural engineering side of engineering. I enjoy it more than the soils side of engineering,” she explained. “I’d rather work with buildings.”

Lock didn’t always envision herself as an engineer. The Queens native originally wanted to become an architect, but found that she enjoyed engineering while taking classes at Broome. She found support from her professors, including Engineering Technologies Chair Joe DeAngelo.

Her SUNY Broome connections also helped her land a job in her field. As a student, she underwent career counseling with Ellie Rivera, a staff associate with the Technical Career Connection, who helped her with job interviews; Lock had three lined up in a week.

Being one of a handful of women in engineering classes ultimately prepared her for the realities of the workplace.

She offers this advice to women pursuing fields considered non-traditional for their gender: “Stand your ground. It’s a matter of gaining respect. And be sure to project the professionalism you always have.”

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