Erica Lockheimer, ’00 Computer Engineering, vice president of Engineering for LinkedIn Learning was featured recently as part of the California State University system’s Made in the CSU 2019 campaign. The CSU campaign highlights alumni who are leading the way in every industry, from agriculture and engineering to hospitality and entertainment.
Lockheimer gave the Charles W. Davidson’s College of Engineering Commencement speech in spring 2018, in which she encouraged new alumni to “pay it forward” and described helping others as a morale obligation.
“We are counting on you to build the best products, the best teams to build the best world,” she said during the speech.
Lockheimer credits her parents with teaching her about grit and hard work – both were raised by single mothers. Her father began working at a meat company at age 16 and took over the business by age 20. Lockheimer’s father spend his free time on math and electronics and dreamed of being an engineer, but instead chose to focus on making ends meet for his family.
After a few years in community college, Lockheimer enrolled at SJSU. She said her dad was so proud, he would visit campus to pay her enrollment fees in person. But she soon found herself struggling in classes.
“A classmate asked if I needed help,” she said. “That was the beginning of many long nights until 1 in the morning in study rooms. To this day, I still have very close relationships that have lasted me two decades.”
She recalls in her speech that she was one of the few women in her classes and she has devoted both her professional and personal time to increasing diversity in technology. Lockheimer serves on the advisory board for the Silicon Valley Women in Engineering conference, where she has also been a speaker who encourages female engineering students to aim high. She is responsible for LinkedIn’s Women in Teach (WIT) initiative that is focused on empowering women in technical roles within the company.
Lockheimer has worked for LinkedIn for more than eight years. Before moving into her current role, she was senior director of engineering in charge of the Growth Engineering team, where she focused on increasing growth in new members and deepening engagement with members across LinkedIn’s products. She started the Growth Team from the ground up and built it into a high-performing 120-person team. Prior to joining LinkedIn, she worked for a company called Good Technology for more than nine years.