By Carla Short
IMSE Undergrad Class of 2017
How I got my job: I applied through the Northrop Grumman website. I heard back in about a month and they asked me for a phone interview. I completed the phone interview, sent over some follow-up information, and received an offer within a week. One of the biggest keys to applying to NG is being a US citizen and being able to obtain a security clearance.
A day in my role:
My current role is in Global Supply Chain Strategy. I usually go in around 9-9:30am, however today there was some snow in the Baltimore area so I am working from home. I work 9 hour days and I get every other Friday off, provided I have worked 80 hours in the pay period of 2 weeks. My job is mostly data gathering and analysis, so working from home does not hinder my ability to do my job at all.
8AM: Since I am working from home today I started a little earlier than normal. I logged onto my laptop and checked my email. I usually get about 10 emails each morning from people all across the company. I spent about an hour looking through the data files I have been sent and replying to emails.
Northrop Grumman’s rotational program is very open to any opportunities you can find. I am not limited to a set of rotations, instead it is my responsibility to reach out to different managers and find an opening. In other words, as long as I can find a manager willing to take me, I can work anywhere I want. Each rotation is 9 months long, and I will be rotating in March. There are a total of 3 rotations. Many of the emails I have been sending and receiving involve potential 2nd rotations. I am hoping to find something in either manufacturing engineering or systems engineering.
9AM: My boss is online so I sent him several IMs asking if there was anything in particular he wanted me to focus on this morning. I have 5 objectives I need to accomplish this week, but I like to prioritize based on his needs. He gave me a few suggestions so I adjusted my schedule for the day.
One of my objectives for the day is to find out how much we spend each year on solar panels and QFN packages. I have been calling engineers and asking them to provide me with part numbers for these products. Once I finalize the list of part numbers, I will pull a data file which includes all of our purchase order commitments. I will then make pivot tables from this data file to show our biggest solar panel and QFN package suppliers and how much we spend with them. This information is then sent on to my boss and his boss.
9:30 AM: While setting my schedule for the day, I received an unexpected call from one of the data scientists. We talked for about 30 minutes and discussed the technical possibilities for integrating Tableau into my visibility tool. I maintain a supplier Wikipedia site (the supplier visibility tool) which is based in SharePoint. The core purpose of my role is to redesign the site, update the data, and market the site within NG.
I knew absolutely nothing about SharePoint when I started and I now consider myself to be a competent, basic SharePoint developer. I have created several pages for different divisions and people seem pleased with the results. SharePoint is a very useful skill and it is essentially building a web page using the Microsoft office toolbars instead of hard coding.
10AM: I compiled a list of supplier numbers and organized them by parent company. I then sent the information over to the data scientist who had called.
I have a call at 10:30 with someone from International Sourcing. I prepared for the call by gathering all the links to the relevant sites and the names of point of contacts. The call was 30 minutes long and we discussed the data sources for the information in the tool. After the call I sent over a follow-up email with contacts for him to reach out to.
11AM: Next, I called a software engineer to get an updated solar panel parts list. He got the list for me and I sent it on to my manager to verify that it was what he wanted. My manager then told me he wanted to pull three years of purchase orders for those part numbers, and he needed the file by the end of the day.
12PM – 2PM: I pulled the solar panel and QFN data files for my boss. This involved digging through a massive collection of files and downloading each year’s purchase orders. I then saved each year onto a separate sheet and narrowed the information down to the products I am interested in. Each of the data files had well over 100,000 lines per year, and I am working with 3 years of data. Everything is done in Excel and SharePoint.
I also began manually determining the Advanced and Core technology areas for our international proposals. To do this, I read through the summary of each proposal and determined what technologies are involved. I then entered this information into a spreadsheet, which when finished I will pass onto the international strategy team. This was done for our focus countries, which are US allies.
2PM: I had a call with a prospective rotation manager. I prepared for the call by reading through a feasibility study that he sent over to me. I am considering entering systems engineering since it is one of the most flexible fields here at Northrop Grumman.
The call went relatively well, but it brought up issue I’ve been continually running into here at NG. I am unable to enter most technical or engineering fields due to the fact that I have an industrial engineering degree. The managers always want to recruit people with a mechanical, chemical, electrical or computer engineering degree.