Veteran Spotlight: Meet U.S. Army Veteran Mineris

Mineris is a Principal Quality Engineer at Northrop Grumman. After 14 years in the U.S. Army, she joined Northrop Grumman with the desire to continue helping others. Hear how Mineris’ time in active duty helped prepare her for the transition to civilian work.

woman hiking

How long have you been with Northrop Grumman?

I joined the company in 2020 in hopes to help others. Upon joining, I worked with teams to create an event for individuals looking for a transition from active duty to civilian live and for us, at Northrop Grumman, to help facilitate an honest discussion about transitional obstacles.

What is your military background? How did your military background set you up for the role you are in now?

I was in the Army 14 years, all of which I served as Military Police. I was with the 10th Mountain (Ft. Drum, NY) and deployed to Iraq under the 18th Airborne Corps. I’ve also completed missions in Germany, where I helped provide security for world leaders. I’ve also completed security missions where I provided protection to President George W. Bush, musicians, and even WWE superstars. My experience helped me hone my skills, such as effective leadership, communication, planning/strategizing, accountability, team building, and negotiating, which in turn have helped me the most in the role I am currently in at Northrop Grumman.

What was your experience transitioning into Northrop Grumman as a Veteran?

I transitioned out of the Army to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Shortly after graduation, I was in the recruitment process for the FBI. I was offered a position, but unfortunately was involved in a vehicle accident where someone was texting and driving and collided with my vehicle. I sustained some physical injuries that disqualified me from the process. In many ways, because everything I planned was in hopes to get into the FBI, I feel like I am still transitioning and trying to figure out what’s next for me. Northrop Grumman has offered me an opportunity to use my investigative, deductive reasoning and interpersonal skills as a Quality Engineer through conducting Root Cause and Corrective Actions investigations; I enjoy bringing people together and methodically dissecting where we have opportunities to be more effective as a company. I’ve been placed in an environment full of willing veterans and mentors who are helping me understand and gain clarity on how to transition and figure out where my skills would be the best fit.

Additionally, and most importantly, after serving in the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it was very important for me to transition into a civilian company that fosters a safe environment for me to openly be a member of the LGBTQ community. Northrop Grumman has really been a place where I have been able to do that.

What do you hope to gain from your role?

woman paddling kayak in river

Professionally, I am all about growth, advancement and knowledge. I enjoy understanding how all of the pieces of the puzzle accommodate each other. I like challenges and am very curious, so I am hoping to be exposed to different roles that help accommodate my ambition and hunger for knowledge and growth that would ultimately lead to leadership roles. I wouldn’t mind making a few friends who like hiking and/or kayaking, either!

I am really hoping I can be placed into challenging roles that will allow me to help others. I’ve lived very interesting experiences, and there absolutely no reason for me to NOT pay it forward. I am currently a mentor to anyone who is willing to listen. Officially, though, I volunteer and spend my personal time as a Northrop Grumman IMAGE mentor, helping underserved UCF undergrads get ready for their careers. We conduct resume reviews, mock interviews, and career path planning. We also talk about money management, family planning, mental health, and anything they need so when they graduate they are able to transition as healthily as possible and with the tools to be successful in their careers. I understand that my role isn’t limited to my title at work. By being a mentor, I am growing by gaining insight of what my future co-workers are thinking about.

What advice would you give to other Veterans interested in a career at Northrop Grumman?

I wish I had some mind-blowing advice, I don’t. As the first college graduate in my household, I didn’t have someone in front of me to help figure things out. Not having that mentorship, was creating a vision deficiency for me.

When I arrived at Northrop Grumman, I felt like I was failing. After connecting with my mentor, I realized that it was more that I was failing because I lacked vision and self-reflection. My mentor heard me overcomplicating my thoughts, he stopped me and asked “What does Mineris want?” It stopped me in my tracks. Being a servant leader, it immediately made me realize that I had to find a balance between pouring into others and investing in myself as well. I am still figuring how to do that, but I now have reliable people that I can reach out to, run ideas by, and get some valuable advice based on their experience with the company.

So my advice: When you get to Northrop Grumman, get connected with others, find a mentor, know what you want for your career (and how to voice it), and be ready to be the reliable person the company is looking for when the opportunity presents itself; everything else will fall in place. There are plenty of opportunities here, you just have to know “What do you want?”

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