Claire Ryan Hagar’s drive for success

October 27, 2023

By Lydia Roop
English ’24

Claire Ryan HagarIf Claire Ryan Hagar could be described in one word, it would be “driven.”

Claire’s collegiate involvement as an athlete on Trine’s softball team, a member of Eta Kappa Nu (honor society for electrical engineering), the secretary of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and a residential assistant prepared her for her various responsibilities after graduation.

Nevertheless, her passion for her work, education, and interests has never diminished. 

“I started working full time at BAE Systems while completing about 20 hours a week of class work and had more free time than I did in college,” Claire said. “Luckily for my husband and I, we were both engineering student athletes at Trine… so balancing all our responsibilities is like muscle memory.”

Claire graduated from Trine University in 2020 with a degree in electrical engineering and was accepted into BAE Systems’ three-year Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP), based in New York. She completed the program in May 2023 and accepted an offer in the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) department at BAE.

Creating her home away from home

“I knew I found my new home,” Claire recounted feeling after her first tour of Trine. However, Claire discovered through her move to New York, far from friends and family, that finding that “new home” after graduation isn’t always as easy. 

Claire’s advice to any college student “who finds themselves in either a new place or even an old place without friendships nearby” is that “one of the most important things to do, in order to make [that] place feel like a ‘home’, is to get involved and make friends.”

“For myself, I found my ‘people’ at a local CrossFit/weightlifting gym,” Claire recalled. “Some of the friendships I’ve made at this gym are unlike any others in my life.”

“Prior to these relationships, my husband and I weren’t sure how long we’d stay in the area, away from our families. Since then, we’ve made our own families. And better yet, there’s nothing we love more than hanging out with our best friends every morning before we even go to work.”

Leading the next generation

Claire Ryan Hagar weddingClaire’s experience in the ELDP program consisted of several leadership development opportunities, a technical development curriculum, and four rotational assignments in various engineering disciplines.

“In our technical development curriculum, the first two ‘semesters’ are built like college classes with a four-hour lecture taught by a subject matter expert or chief engineer,” Claire said. “I like to call it [the third ‘semester’] ‘Senior Design on Steroids,’ where the class of ELDPs complete a project for the company with senior engineers as fake customers.”

Her rotations were in the departments of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), Engineering Assistance for Production Support (EAPS), Rapid Prototyping, and a fourth back in EMI. After completing her rotations, she asked the EMI team if she could come back permanently.

“I was very pleased when I received a quick and loud yes from the team!” Claire said.

In reference to her current job, Claire said, “When we have recent college graduates start working with us, many of them ask what the most important items are for them to learn. Besides the technical items needed for the role, the answer is almost always time management skills and the ability to ask questions.”

Claire added, “both of these aspects were ones my time at Trine prepared me for.”

“For now, my long-term career plans and goals are focused on becoming a team lead,” Claire said. “I really enjoy teaching and mentoring; it’s one of my passions. I also very much enjoy the technical work I get to study and complete as an EMI engineer.” 

“Goals and plans are always fluid,” Claire emphasized, “[but] right now I’m focused on learning as much as I can about the EMI subject matter and ultimately be able to be in a position to teach the next generation of engineers.”

News Information


Claire Ryan Hagar
BAE Systems
BSEE 2020

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Trine-Built Story

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