Rob is a Talent Acquisition Director with Northrop Grumman in San Diego where he currently leads successful military hiring programs for the company. At Northrop Grumman, 20% of our employees are veterans, with another 1,600 reservists on our team. Having personally experienced the transition from the active duty force into the private sector, Rob proivdes support to today’s veterans seeking civilian employment.
How long have you been with Northrop Grumman?
I joined Northrop Grumman in 2017, so I’ve been with the company for about three and a half years. Over the course of my career at the company, I led several Talent Acquisition teams, starting with a team in San Diego, then moving onto our Sourcing Team, and then into my most recent role as the Director of Talent Acquisition for Research, Technology & Engineering.
What is your military background?
I was commissioned via Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in 1997 and was immediately assigned to the Armor Officer Basic Course (basically tank school) at Fort Knox, Kentucky. I went on to serve four years on active duty, and currently continue my service in the Army Reserve in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. When I initially transitioned from the active duty force, I possessed over four years of management experience as a combat arms officer in the Army, had experience deployed as a Platoon Leader, and had completed my active duty service obligation with distinction.
What was your experience transitioning from active duty to the private sector?
My transition from the military to the private sector was not exactly seamless. It came with apprehension, anxiety, fear of the unknown, and lots of uncertainty. It forced me to get outside my comfort zone, and I am sure that today’s veterans also undergo the same experience. However, in today’s world, there are several tools and resources available in the job market for veterans who are making a similar transition. I encourage those transitioning to civilian employment to explore which organizations and programs make the most sense for their individual transition experience and lean upon them to provide assistance along the way.
What resources does Northrop Grumman offer to veterans transitioning from active duty force into civilian employment?
Northrop Grumman offers an entire website dedicated to military transition, job search and resume tips specifically designed for veterans transitioning into civilian careers. My team currently leads Northrop Grumman’s partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD) SkillBridge program, which allows active duty service members to participate in a 3-6 month fellowship with Northrop Grumman before the end of their service obligation. The team started its own internal program at the beginning of 2020 and has since set the stage as a leader in industry for the government. This opportunity allows participating individuals to be paid their active duty salary while gaining valuable industry experience with a civilian company. We have made a 90% hiring commitment to the government with this program, but thus far have a 100% intern to full-time offer conversion rate.
In addition, Northrop Grumman’s Operation IMPACT (Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition) is a unique, award-winning diversity program focused on assisting severely wounded service members as they transition from the military to a private-sector career. The program not only provides support to the injured service member, but if he or she is not able to work, we offer the same career support to the individual’s immediate family member who will act as the primary wage earner. If support is provided to a family member and the service member becomes able to work, support will then be extended to him or her.
What other resources are available that could help transitioning veterans?
Once an employee with Northrop Grumman, the company continues to support veterans throughout their career. We offer several opportunities for employees to volunteer, give back and provide charitable donations in support of our veterans, service members and their families. In addition, various Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) are available for employees to participate in – specifically, the Veterans, Employees and Reservists Inspired to Act and Serve (VERITAS) ERG is committed to recognizing and supporting active duty, Reserve, National Guard and veterans through community outreach and networking programs that are aligned with business objectives. There are chapters located across all of our Northrop Grumman sites, so the support really continues even after the career transition.
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