Victor Letbetter (’88 B.S. computer science) visited with a company recruiter while at OSU and it turned it into a career developing simulation software for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and supported both avionic hardware labs and pure simulation and demonstration labs for the F-35 Lighting II combat aircraft.
1. Tell us a little about your background.
While I was born in Kansas, all of my formative years were spent in Oklahoma. I graduated high school in the small town of Red Oak in Latimer County. After four years at OSU, I moved to Fort Worth to pursue the start of my career at General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin Aeronautics).
2. Tell us a little about what you are doing now.
I have worked at the same place for over 31 years. My career started supporting the F-16 program at Lockheed Martin. In 2002, I began supporting the F-35 program, working on simulation test environments for aircraft avionics. Most recently, I have become a cyber security engineer supporting many different aeronautics platforms and products.
3. Why did you decide to attend OSU?
While in high school, I visited the campus in Stillwater and had the opportunity visit with faculty members. I still remember that visit and the positive impression it left on me. When my application was accepted, I was determined to find a way to go to OSU. We didn't have a lot of resources as a family, so I had to work to get through school, but I knew Stillwater was where I wanted to be.
4. What is the most important thing you learned while you were at OSU?
In short, hard work is worth the effort. College was not easy for me academically. I had to learn to study and plan in a way I had never had to before. But the lessons I learned in college have stayed with me my entire career.
5. How did your education at OSU shape your career path?
I learned of General Dynamics due to a campus visit from a company recruiter. It was OSU's placement services that opened the door to the relationships that eventually led to my employment. I've always felt as though I owe someone a big "Thank You."
6. Why did you decide to pursue computer science at OSU?
ComSci was an easy choice for me. I have enjoyed computers since I was introduced to a personal computer in the early '80s. OSU had an evolving computer science department with some experienced faculty and a broad range of platforms to work with. The faculty were very accommodating to my interests and guided me well.
7. What do you remember most vividly about OSU?
The people at OSU are what I remember the most. Even in my freshman year, I met people that became my friends. There were always group activities and things to do away from class. I found classmates to work with and friends that lasted long after college is over.
8. What are some accomplishments that you are proud of since leaving OSU?
I have been fortunate to watch my career grow in responsibility and opportunity. I have traveled around the country and internationally. In 2002, I married a fellow engineer and we have a daughter that is a senior this year (yes, OSU is on her list!).
9. What does being a Cowboy mean to you?
A Cowboy understands that hard work is a necessary component to success. Challenges are inevitable, but it never means you stop. Show up every day and encourage everyone near you to do the same.
10. Anything else you would like to share?
While you reach for the stars and every opportunity, remember your relationships. At the end of the day, that is what you will value the most.