Homeward Bound

Project Management Manager Evelyn Sobierajska’s career journey ultimately led her home.

By Jillian Wright

“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.”

These are the words of Marie Curie, the Polish-born, two-time Nobel Prize-winning scientist. Project Management Manager Evelyn Sobierajska remembers her father reciting this quote when she was young; it’s stuck with her throughout her life, including during her 18 years with Northrop Grumman.

“Dad also told me not to be afraid to ask questions and to go for whatever I want in life,” she said. “I’ve carried his words with me ever since.”

Born and raised in Kielce, Poland, Evelyn was fascinated with the English language. She watched American films and shows, wanting to understand the dialogue without subtitles. Starting at age 12, she took English classes and dreamed of living in an English-speaking country.

“The more I learned, the more captivated I became,” she said.

One month after earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting in June 2001, Evelyn moved to New York City for au pair training, and then moved to northern Virginia working full time. She enjoyed living in the United States so much — especially time spent exploring Hollywood, Las Vegas and multiple national parks, including the Grand Canyon — that she stayed on a student visa, earning a second bachelor’s degree. Shortly before her student visa was set to expire, she was selected for a green card.

“Around the same time, Northrop Grumman hired me,” she said. “For the first time in my life, it felt like all the puzzle pieces were coming together.”

A New Chapter

In January 2006, Evelyn embarked on her career journey in accounting. The puzzle pieces fell into place when she became a business manager supporting financials for human resources while using EdAssist to earn her master’s degree in finance.

“I had this great job working for this awesome company; I'd never dreamed of returning to Poland,” she said.

One day, Evelyn read about Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS). This integrated air and missile defense command and control system connects sensors and shooters never designed to work together into one system — allowing warfighters to quickly see and act on data across the entire battlefield when needed. In 2018, Poland became the first international country to purchase IBCS.

“I became really interested in the program, obviously because I’m Polish, but also because the mission intrigued me,” Evelyn said. “It was a complete 180 — suddenly I wanted to go back to Poland to support this program.”

Considering her financial background, Evelyn sought to gain program experience first. In 2019, she was matched with a mentor through the company and, supported by her mentor, transitioned to a program control analyst job supporting an international portfolio for Australia and the Republic of Korea.

“By using the resources our company offers, I established valuable connections, helping me gain international program experience,” she said. “I was grateful for the opportunity to learn from scratch.”

The Journey Home

Evelyn relocated to Poland in February 2022 to join the IBCS WISŁA offsets execution team, created following Northrop Grumman’s contract award for IBCS production for the first phase of WISŁA, Poland’s missile and air defense system. Today, Evelyn oversees multiple projects supporting the program.

"I learned on the job," said Evelyn, who has established strong relationships with her engineering colleagues. "I go to work every day feeling proud, knowing the work we do here has a real impact."

When asked how others can make their career dreams become reality like she did, Evelyn said her father’s advice has served her well.

“Don’t be afraid; stay curious and always ask questions. How else can you learn and succeed? If you put your mind to it, you can be whoever you want,” she said. “Nothing can stop you; simply go for it and never give up.”

Life at Northrop Grumman

Your work at Northrop Grumman makes a difference. Whether you want to design next-generation aircraft, harness digital technologies or build spacecraft that will return humanity to the moon, you’ll contribute to technology that’s transforming the world. Check out our career opportunities to see how you can help define possible.

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