Family, education and career development — it's difficult to find a balance between the three. But for systems engineer Vincent Hodges, Northrop Grumman has made life's balancing act easier — for more than 15 years.
Vincent 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 on a schedule that fit his life as a student, employee and family man.
Mentoring at Northrop Grumman
Vincent's learning opportunities extend beyond Johns Hopkins. 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 always felt comfortable going to them.”
Career Development at Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman also provided opportunities for Vincent to explore new areas of interest. When he didn't believe he had the advanced skills to model threats or detect operation conditions of radars, Northrop Grumman encouraged Vincent's growth and career development. To equip him with cutting-edge, technical knowledge, Vincent was enrolled in 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.”
Work Life Balance
It isn't just about education. Northrop Grumman also encourages employees to be active in their family lives. A father and family man, Vincent — a proud participant of career day at his son's school — says Northrop Grumman helps give his family a positive image of where he works. He hopes his children will one day invest in careers at Northrop Grumman, in no small part because of the support his co-workers have shown since he started his family.
“I want my son to have the same positive experience during his career,” he says. “If he chooses to work at Northrop Grumman, it will be another aspect of our lives to bond over and share. 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 such 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 nights he can't make it, Northrop Grumman's gym is a step away.