Thriving Ambition
LaKiesha Tomlin

LaKiesha Tomlin

Hello, I’m LaKiesha!

As an engineering career consultant, speaker and founder of Thriving Ambition, Inc, I help engineers become world-class leaders and help companies looking for engineers attract the exceptional candidates.

After graduating with a Masters degree from Johns Hopkins University, I quickly rose from entry-level engineer to a mid-level manager in less than 18 months and increased my salary over 37%! After that, I was recruited by a major technology company in Silicon Valley. From this, I was able to 2x my engineering management salary. This allowed me to pay off her student loans and travel to a new city every month.

My expert advice on engineering careers, leadership and networking has landed me a spot on the Coaches Council, American Express Open Forum, Blog, Technology Expresso Podcast, Saint Louis University, National Society of Black Engineers – Saint Louis and many more.

Get instant access to the free career development workbook that helped me get promoted at:

My Backstory: How I Got Into Engineering 

I started my career in “Corporate America” as a high school intern in the communications department at a local utility company in Saint Louis, Missouri. At that time, I wanted to do something that involved computer aided design. A mentor at the utility company, Ron, introduced me to engineering. With his help, I joined a local NSBE-PCI chapter (National Society of Black Engineers – Pre College Initiative).

Later, I got another internship through INROADS (an intern placement organization). I met an INROADS representative when I was in high school. They told me to give them a call when I got to college.

I was relentless. I contacted them again once I was halfway through the first semester of my 1st year of college. I met some of the staff and attended information sessions. I signed up, interviewed, went through their of training sessions and was matched with The Boeing Company in Saint Louis.

My First REAL Engineering Position

As a Mechanical Engineering student at Saint Louis University at the time, this was a perfect fit. I interviewed and got the internship. As a teenager in this large organization, I was a part of an engineering group that created drawings for the F-15 and F-18 fighter jets!

None of my friends were working at a multi-national Aerospace Company and getting PAID to experience all of the cool things I was a the time.

After that internship (and a series of others), people in my network of friends and family started to take notice. They wanted me to give them advice on: getting a job, resume writing and interviewing. I was also asked to speak at schools on career panels and share my experiences with NSBE-PCI. I really enjoyed helping people accomplish their personal and professional goals and motivating the next generation of leaders.

introduce a girl to engineering slu 2014-8304

Saint Louis University – 2014

Fast forward to more than a decade later and…

I’m a mid-level engineering manager at Northrop Grumman. I’m STILL helping friends, family and acquaintances develop their careers in all types of industries.

People often say:

“You seem to know what you are doing…can you mentor me?”

“Can you help me with my resume?”

“What you think about going in to ________?”

“What was your experience like when you worked in ________?”

“Can you speak about ________ at our conference?”

Continued Learning…

I’ve spoken at schools and conferences, participated in a number of leadership development programs, read countless books on leadership and personal development, interviewed numerous people, from coworkers to Vice Presidents in various industries.

Through out this journey, I’ve had many successes and coupled with many failures. Despite the bad times, I never gave up…although, I may have bitched my way through, haha. I always went back to the drawing board to learned from my mistakes — perfecting my approach. I started because I’m here to help ambitious professionals who are looking to move into a leadership role. I want to help you move up the corporate ladder by: sharing my journey through speaking to organizations and at events, providing valuable content, and offer one-on-one career consulting.

I’m not special. If I can do it, you can too!

Go to to learn more.

Talk soon,


10 Facts About Me

  1. I absolutely love travel! I’ve lost count of the number of trips I’ve taken ever since I’ve been bit by the travel bug a couple years ago…solo international travel, conferences, birthday parties and meeting up with old friends. I like to stay connected. So thankful for flextime and 3-day weekends.

    Kiesha Paris Part Deux July 2016

    Paris, France – 2016

  2. I’m not super-religious. I consider myself to be more spiritual. I believe in God/ Jesus. Connecting to God through prayer, appreciation of nature/life and expressions of gratitude. I also believe in: living a life of optimism, progressive thought, and simplicity.
  3. My diet is mostly pescetarian. It’s like being a vegetarian but you can eat fish and seafood. I say mostly because I live very far from the water and good seafood is hard to come by. I cheat and eat chicken every now and then to make sure I’m getting enough protein.
  4. I’m always listening to music. I love Jazz, R&B, Gospel, some Rock and tons of old school music. Think: Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Earth, Wind and Fire, Alanis Morissette, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Maroon 5, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Katy Perry, India.Arie and many, many more. Got caught lip-syncing and dancing in my seat a work too many times!

    kiesha Mammoth Lakes CA January 2016

    Mammoth Lakes, CA – 2016

  5. I don’t watch much TV. I’ll catch a few seconds if I’m walking through the cafeteria at work but that’s about it. I can go weeks with out. I ditched my cable years ago and got Netflix. On occasion, I’ll binge watch some shows but that’s more of a I’m-doing-laundry/ironing or wintertime thing when I hibernate LOL.
  6. I love movies. My favorites are: action movies, the classics (black & white) and stuff that makes me laugh. Give me a good fight scene and tons of explosions over a sappy “romance” movie any day!
  7. I am a super nerd and total book lover. Usually, I’ll have a list full of chores to do on the weekends. Instead of cleaning or whatever, I’ll spend my time finishing a book. I’m a huge fan of non-fiction books based on: psychology, auto/biographies, business, leadership and personal development. Shocking, I know, haha.

    Kiesha Copenhagen Denmark August 2016

    Copenhagen, Denmark – 2016

  8. I am a minimalist. I got into it a few years ago when I was going through a separation and then divorce. Very long story short, I realized that lots of material possessions only complicate life; especially since I moved 3 times in 2 years. I focus on QUALITY vs QUANTITY. I started with my closet and then the rest of the house. I still cull things from my life that do not bring me happiness, including personal relationships.
  9. I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I have lived in Southern Maryland and now in California (Los Angeles County). My goal is to save up enough money to travel the world for 1 year primarily in Europe and Asia. I have a few more years to go!
  10. I am an extrovert! I love hanging out with people, making new connections and being sarcastic and silly (with friends). After a long day of talking to dozens of people, I unwind by kicking off my shoes and pants, grabbing a snack and firing up my computer to recharge.
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