My name is Stevie and I studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2020. On joining Northrop Grumman I spent 6 weeks on a team building project before moving to the product team where I started developing Java web services for our customers using the most up to date CI/CD techniques. After that I joined a project implementing new features and bug fixes on a legacy codebase, which I still do today.
Half way through my program, and for the past year, I have had one day a week to focus on upskilling myself in any area I feel I need to. Just that single day a week has enabled me to increase my skillset tremendously and has aided in the transition between university and full time work.
My advice to any graduate first and foremost, is don’t panic! At Northrop Grumman you’ll be surrounded by senior engineers who are more than happy to help you out if you have questions, and don’t be afraid to tell someone if you’re too far out of your comfort zone. Your goal is to progress as an engineer, move at your own pace and speak out whenever you need to, don’t feel you need to be on the same level as everyone else. Most likely a number of the engineers you work with would have been programming longer than you’ve been alive so don’t expect to have their knowledge from the start.
On a typical day, after answering emails, I’ll have a morning meeting with my team to update each other on our work and take the time to catch up and chat. I’ll then jump straight into programming, I like to think of my job as 90% finding the problem and 10% fixing it. My mind’s constantly engaged and looking for new and improved ways to make my job, and others easier.
Through the Northrop Grumman graduate programme I’ve learnt that I am capable of so much more than I could have imagined! Many times I’ve been in situations where I’ve thought I wasn’t good enough to finish, but some encouraging words from a senior colleague and a push in the right direction makes all the difference!