Career, education and family – it’s sometimes difficult to find a balance between the three. But for systems engineer Vincent Hodges, Northrop Grumman has made life’s balancing act easier – for 13 years to be exact.
He came to Northrop Grumman in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree. Since then, he’s earned a master’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He took advantage of Northrop Grumman’s Education Assistance Program, which paid for his tuition in advance and allowed him to enroll in classes. His learning opportunities flourished from there.
Vincent’s learning opportunities extend well beyond the university. He credits Northrop Grumman leaders with equipping him with much of the knowledge he needed for his current role as a modeling and simulation systems engineering manager, working on AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) and Air Mission Defense Radar (AMDR), two model assimilation programs at Northrop Grumman.
“While everyone's career is their responsibility, the leaders I’ve been exposed to have actively participated in my career growth by understanding my short- and long-term goals,” Vincent says. “Most importantly, they have an open door policy, and I felt comfortable going to them.”
Northrop Grumman has also given him opportunities to explore new areas that interest him. Although he believes he didn’t have the advanced skills to model threats or detect operation conditions of radars, Northrop Grumman believed in Vincent’s growth and development, enrolling him into a cohort program.
“Northrop Grumman is paying for my participation in the Stevens Institute Systems Engineering Cohort, which is taught at the company’s site,” says Vincent, noting the classes are taught by industry professionals at an accelerated pace. “The program management classes – which cover topics from system design to the acquisition process – spurred my interest and guided me down the path to my current role as an engineering manager.”
“There are generations of families at Northrop Grumman, and I want my family to be one of them.”
He’s also thankful Northrop Grumman gives him a chance to be active in his family life. A father and family man, Vincent – who highlighted his career at a career day at his son’s school – says Northrop Grumman allows him to give his family a positive image of where he works. He aspires for his children to invest in their career at Northrop Grumman, considering that he believes his co-workers have been supportive since he started his family.
“I want my son to have the same positive experience during his career, and, if he chooses to work at Northrop Grumman, it will be another aspect of our lives that we can bond over and share,” Vincent says. “There are generations of families at Northrop Grumman, and I want my family to be one of them.”
Vincent believes Northrop Grumman’s commitment to confronting challenges and respecting employees is why people have a zeal for their Northrop Grumman careers. When Vincent isn’t working on major radars, spending time with his family or leading a team of 50 employees, he prides himself on staying healthy and fit at the gym with a personal trainer. On the nights he can’t make it, Northrop Grumman’s gym is a step away.