Katie is an Integrated Product Team Manager on Special Programs at Northrop Grumman. Since joining the company in 2014, she has held roles of increasing responsibility within the Quality organization and program management. Her previous Northrop Grumman assignments include B-2 Production IPT & Replacement Test Aircraft Program Manager, B-2 Deputy Program Quality Manager, Depot & Modification Center Quality Manager, and Quality Engineer.
How long have you been with Northrop Grumman? How did you hear about us?
I’m working toward my seventh year with Northrop Grumman. I became aware of the company just by working in aviation while in the Marine Corps. Marines talk; we’re tight knit, and over the years as others get out of the service, they come to work for Northrop Grumman or our competimates. Those that chose Northrop Grumman always spoke very highly of their choice – and come on, the chance to work on the B-2 is awe-inspiring. It’s an amazing beast!
What is your military background? How did your military background set you up for the role you are in now?
I did just shy of 10 years active duty in the Marine Corps. My military occupation was as a Huey and Cobra (Bell AH-1W/Z, UH-1N/Y) Flightline Mechanic where I progressed from plane captain to quality assurance, and then ran the squadron’s phase maintenance department. I’ve deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and did a float on the USS Essex in support of the 31st Marine Expedition Unit (MEU).
There are not a lot of female Marines, and even less were aircraft mechanics. Add in age differences, people coming from different parts of the country, unique political and social views, and you get a very diverse group of people to lead. Getting everyone on the same page can be difficult, however the key is ensuring everyone understands what is needed to achieve the goal and adapting to various situations. That experience is what has helped me excel in many of my roles here. Things don’t always go as planned, but adjust and keep moving forward, or as we would say in the Marine Corps – “Adapt and overcome, Marine!”
What was your experience transitioning into Northrop Grumman as a veteran?
Honestly, slow and a little stressful. It’s a big change from military to civilian in general. From 2013-2014, you needed to be patient when being hired into Aerospace. It took me months of applying to various roles, but the patience paid off. Once hired, it has paid dividends, as I have been fortunate to have some great leaders who saw potential in me and helped me grow and excel in my career.
What do you hope to gain from your new role?
I hope to continue making a difference for those in the military even though I’m not in active duty anymore. What we work on and do here at Northrop Grumman is amazing. It’s not all unicorns and rainbows, its hard work and we put in long hours at times; what our company does is important to the military and helps those that I once served with, who are still in it, and for the next generation. I strive to help make those positive changes for them in any role I have here at Northrop Grumman.
What advice would you give to other veterans interested in a career in Northrop Grumman?
Apply, apply, apply… and be patient. It can get frustrating when you’re transitioning out of the service and any amount of waiting can be discouraging. Be open to locations, different jobs, and different experiences. It’s worth the wait.
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