Dominique Parham Sub-Integrated Product Team Lead for Northrop Grumman’s Communications & Payloads team.
How long have you been with Northrop Grumman? How did you hear about us?
I’ve been with the company for eight years and was the Veterans, Employees and Reservists Inspired to Act and Serve (VERITAS) vice chair in Palmdale, California for a year.
What is your military background?
I have 20 years combined service in the Army and Army National Guard. I started as Signal Communications Soldier, traveled the world, then I went to college and became an officer. During my tenure as a Signal officer, I have been a Battalion S-6 Signal Officer in Charge, Signal company commander, brigade S6 Signal communications integration officer, and a division communications network operations officer. I was recently selected for major and plan to retire at the end of this year.
How did your military background set you up for the role you are in now?
First and foremost, I would say the military set me up for success in my civilian career by teaching me to be mission-minded and to not accept defeat. I will find a way to conquer any challenge or roadblock placed in my and my team’s way. In addition, I have had to adapt, overcome and empower my team to rise above challenges during missions.
The military taught me the importance of diversity and respect for people’s various backgrounds, preferences, and ways of thinking. I was raised in Palmdale, California, where growing up, all of my friends walk, talk and have the same ideas as me. In the military, I have worked with great professionals from all different walks of life, which taught me to be a stronger leader by understanding other opinions, ways of thinking and approaches to challenges. I have to be honest and say that I have learned a great deal from making bad decisions here and there, or doing something incorrectly, and not taking action as early as I could have. The military provided me the opportunity to lead, make mistakes, learn from and become a better leader from those situations. The diverse teams I have been a part of taught me to respect and empower the leaders on my team.
What was your experience transitioning into Northrop Grumman as a veteran?
I came into the company on the B-2 Spirit program. Six months after joining, I became a manager and supervised people on four different shifts. I found my military leadership to be extremely helpful in showing respect to a team that had experience working in their field for 10-20 years and who were truly the experts in their craft. My military experience also gave me the confidence to set goals and hold the team accountable in achieving them. It was a rewarding experience to learn from my team and to support them through their growth and development.
From there, I was promoted into a leadership role on a different program and continue to grow as a leader. I owe my success to being mission-minded, genuinely caring and respecting my teams, and the fact that I never give up.
What do you hope to gain from your new role?
In my role, I hope to learn how to support others in being successful and meet a program’s cost, schedule and technical performance goals. I have learned that one can be great individual contributor at any job, but if you can make others great at that job, or even better than I was at it, then it shows a good leader. I used to say that I liked to drive execution on a program, but the better way to look at it is that I help support others’ successes. By helping to make others successful, we can make the program successful.
What advice would you give to other veterans interested in a career in Northrop Grumman?
Northrop Grumman is a great company. I am honored to work beside many of the 1% in our nation who have stepped up to the call of serving our country. If you can take the leadership values you learned in the military and apply them to your craft, you will be incredibly successful.