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From Intern to Manager: Internship, PDP Program Lay Groundwork for Successful Career

Finding an ideal workplace can be challenging for many millennials, but Adam Broton’s decision was easy: Northrop Grumman. While in college, Adam recognized that Northrop Grumman provided multiple opportunities to work with innovators of cutting-edge technologies.

When he completed his systems engineering internship almost eight years ago, he was confident Northrop Grumman was the right place to grow and thrive in his career. Adam believes his internship prepared him to work in large, fast-paced environments and allowed him to develop time management and critical thinking skills.

“Throughout my internship, I frequently met with leadership who provided overviews of our products and insight about how Northrop Grumman impacts the lives of so many people,” Adam says. “Early on, that instilled a tremendous sense of pride and significance in the quality of our work.”

Although his systems engineering internship was enriching, he knew he wanted to expand his skills to prepare for future roles within the company. Northrop Grumman’s Professional Development Program (PDP) was the perfect place to do that.

The three-year rotational training program provides recent graduates with an opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of areas before making a commitment to a specific position. Adam’s PDP focused on industrial engineering and manufacturing and provided him with networking and advancement opportunities to grow as a professional.

During Adam’s PDP, he helped develop a production review board (PRB), which was used to collect data on program costs, and he assisted with metrics for various programs.

“Being able to find trends and interpret big data has been advantageous in every role I’ve had."

“This opportunity introduced me to the wide range of data we collect and how we can take that data to drive meaningful improvements in our process,” Adam says. “Being able to find trends and interpret big data has been advantageous in every role I’ve had.”

With an internship and PDP experience under his belt, Adam’s next endeavor was landing a role as a program and supplier quality engineer, coordinating program compliance and leading major production programs. He also managed supplier compliance using on-site evaluation and analyzed defect trends, corrective actions and risk evaluations.

His ability to lead continuous projects helped him secure a leadership position as a manager of receiving assurance at Northrop Grumman’s Rolling Meadows site in Illinois. Adam believes the secret sauce to his success is constantly seeking avenues to engulf knowledge.

“In your career, it is important to take on new challenges, expand your network and continuously learn from every experience,” Adam says. “Extending myself to new opportunities has helped me develop professionally and personally.”