How did you find yourself at Northrop Grumman?
My path to Northrop Grumman began with an email from the career and development services at Alabama A&M University. The email highlighted an opportunity to attend the Northrop Grumman Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Invitational. I immediately applied and a month later I received my official invitation to attend the event. Attending the HBCU Invitational was an amazing experience, because I got to learn about the company and their culture. I was able to meet many successful people and hear stories from people like me who were once in my position as an engineering student. I also had the opportunity to interview for an internship and I received my offer letter a few weeks later.
What projects are you are working on?
As an intern, my role is to be a part of the team and learn the job of Global Hawk engineers and technicians in order to understand their daily responsibilities. Working on the Global Hawk, I experience life on an active flight line. I get hands on experience with system test engineers and aircraft technicians who maintain systems as well as the overall structure of the aircraft. On any given day, I could be testing aircraft navigation systems, working on developmental test procedures, or maintaining hydraulic systems.
As an engineer, it is important to understand the various aspects of the aircraft and the work that goes in to delivering quality products to complete the mission of our team. Before my internship at Northrop Grumman I did not know much about the Aerospace industry, but the team I joined trained me, taught me and gave me tools that will help me have a successful career in engineering.
How has your experience been so far?
It can be tough coming in on your first day as an intern. Having to meet so many different people and figuring out your place in the company can be stressful. My defining moment was when I first arrived, I immediately felt like I was part of the team. Some may have the perception that interns might only be there to observe or do the task that nobody else wants to do, but at Northrop Grumman, I was treated like an equal and was encouraged to contribute to the team. I was able to freely ask questions, bring new ideas, and participate in all projects as a team member, not just an intern.
Does Northrop Grumman support your passions in and out of work?
I have always had a passion for cars and almost anything in the automotive industry. Coming into the Aerospace world was an adjustment from what I was used to, but as I learned more I was able to take what I knew about cars and translate it. Working at Northrop Grumman has introduced me to a world I have grown to love and probably would not have been introduced to if I didn’t take the chance and apply. This is my first internship and I am happy that I was able to gain an eye opening experience in a field that interests me and challenges me to grow as an engineer.
How have you seen science, technology and engineering merge?
In my opinion, you can’t have one without the other two. You can’t have technology without the science behind it, and you can’t have technology without engineers to design it. All of the work on the Global Hawk that I have been a part of comes with official “technical data” which I would consider to be the science. The engineer uses that science to fix, modify, or test technology – which is the aircraft. Northrop Grumman has shown me how all three work hand in hand to create something special.
What has surprised you most about Northrop Grumman?
My time at Northrop Grumman has exposed me to many new technologies and inventions that I did not know existed. Many years ago, not many people would think that we would have been able to develop unmanned aircraft that need little to no human interference to perform complex missions. I did not know that this technology existed on such an advanced level until my time at Northrop Grumman. The company has successfully explored the limits of what is possible and will continue to do so.