BTS Behind the Scenes is a chance to showcase the people who are making things happen at BTS and give you a “behind the scenes” look into their worlds. In this month’s feature we’ll talk with Mid All-Source Intelligence Analyst Lauren “Scham” Schamburg, and talk cosplay, career paths, and the superhero team known as BTS.
Let’s cut to the chase. Cosplay. Tell us how you got into it!
I first got into cosplay back in 2015. I was stationed at Ft. Bliss and I noticed that there was a flyer for the Sun City Sci-Fi Convention. My boyfriend at the time was the one who got me into cosplay. He said that if we were to go that we would HAVE to dress up. Since it was last minute, I bought a very cheap Harley Quinn costume from Spirit Halloween along with cheap makeup and we went to the convention as Harley Quinn and The Punisher. We got lots of thumbs up and high fives while we were there. And I immediately fell in love with cosplay.
Have you ever come to your day job in full cosplay?
Absolutely! I have come to work on multiple occasions in full (work appropriate) cosplays. I once came into work dressed as a female version of The Crow, Ada Wong from Resident Evil and Abby from NCIS. I also dress with flair at work and the running joke is, “What is Scham going to wear?”
Although you’re focused in the intel analyst space, you didn’t set out on this career path to begin with. Tell us about the journey that brought you to BTS.
I got into intel on accident. When I was joining the Army I originally wanted to go into the medical field. My recruiter was pushing for me to go intel because he said that I had a high GT score. I eventually caved and decided to join intel and am so glad that it all worked out in the end! BTS came to me after the previous contract at CENTCOM had expired.
How has your BTS experience been so far?
I love it and couldn’t be happier with this company! Within the first month of being hired I had already met my project manager AND the CEO of the company. I have never had that with any previous company (granted this is my second contracting company). I truly feel that everyone looks after everyone and BTS has that family aspect of running a company. I love that Dan and David are very straightforward and to the point and I feel that they look at everyone more as who they are vs. a number in the system.
If BTS were a superhero team, who would it be?
I feel that BTS is like the Avengers because they are very technology and software-based. I say this mostly because David Tohn reminds me of Iron Man with how BTS operates.
What’s the most rewarding part of your current role at BTS?
I like to feel that I am “Wonder Woman,” meaning that I am saving lives every day. Even though I am not on the front lines, I am helping with strategic planning so commanders can make decisions to the guys on the ground. I know that what I’m doing isn’t just sitting behind a computer all day reading report after report. I have to look at multiple types of reports and link them together, much like putting a puzzle together. I also retain a lot of information so when anyone asks a question I am able to answer them without hesitation.
Any advice you would give to those who might be considering a career in this space? Especially if they went to school for something completely unrelated?
My advice is to just go for it, but you must be able to handle stress. My degree is in Public Relations/Mass Communications which really has nothing to do with intel (however it does). You have to be able to write reports and speak publicly which is something I do every day at my job. As long as you come in with your head held high and the willingness to learn, you will do just fine in the intel field.