By Suzanne Kubler
Anahi Solis started her journey at Northrop Grumman right out of high school in 2011. Every day she would head to Northrop Grumman’s El Segundo, California, campus to clean restrooms, empty garbage cans and dust desks.
From the start, Anahi felt a connection to the F-18 and F-35 aircraft the company helps manufacture.
“When I would come to work at Northrop Grumman, I was in awe of the hardware and the assembly line. Seeing how so many different parts are used to create these majestic airplanes amazed me and I wanted to learn more,” said Anahi.
Now, 12 years later, Anahi is a logistics management analyst for the F/A-18 retrofit kitting team and has earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with company support.
“It’s a huge deal. I feel so excited and honored to be at the company I love,” said Anahi.
Anahi said her path to get where she is today has been tough but fulfilling.
After a year of housekeeping, her Northrop Grumman journey took another step forward when a third-party supply chain company hired her to work with the aircraft parts as a contractor in Northrop Grumman’s El Segundo warehouse.
“It was such an honor getting to provide the mechanics with the parts being placed on the planes,” said Anahi. “I love connecting the dots and tracking the parts from the supplier to the warehouse to the customer.”
Anahi continued to work hard and five years later, she got the opportunity she had been waiting for: she was offered a full-time position at Northrop Grumman. Even with all her career milestones and educational accomplishments, she still sees that moment as the highlight.
“I was so filled with joy and nervous at the same time. I wanted to prove they made the right choice by picking me,” said Anahi.
Anahi said she is grateful for the benefits offered by Northrop Grumman — particularly EdAssist, which she said was key to her decision to pursue higher education — but it’s the mission that she appreciates above all.
“We all have a small role in what we do for the aircraft Northrop Grumman builds. Without any one of them, the pilot would not be able to fly. Everything that happens here and what we stand for is something far greater than just me; it’s for the security of our nation. I am proud to say that I have a part in that effort,” she said.
As a first-generation Mexican American and the first in her family to pursue higher education, Anahi knew she was setting an example for her young son, Jayden. He's now eight and has been with her throughout her educational and professional journey.
“I was motivated to keep working toward my goals and a better future for both of us,” said Anahi, remembering how she and Jayden used to work on their homework side-by-side. “My son makes me want to be a better person, to show him what life can give you when you are dedicated, work hard and know the importance of getting an education.”
Anahi’s last name — Solis — is a Spanish word derived from the Latin word “sol,” meaning sun, which is fitting for Anahi. She has been referred to as sunshine by her colleagues and one of her favorite things is to bring happiness to those around her.
“I believe that a simple acknowledgment, smile or wave can brighten someone’s outlook,” said Anahi.
And she always makes a special point to spread that cheer to the people who now clean her work area at Northrop Grumman.
“I want to encourage them and be an example. I want to make sure they know to never give up — whatever their dreams are. At Northrop Grumman, anything is possible,” said Anahi.