Veteran Spotlight: Meet U.S. Air Force Veteran Carli

Carli is currently a Principal Configuration Analyst at Northrop Grumman. She is a U.S. Air Force veteran with experience as a missileer and has also held several other high-ranking positions.

How long have you been with Northrop Grumman? How did you hear about us?

women in air force uniform

I have been with Northrop Grumman for eight months now and loved every minute. I previously interacted with contractors during my time in the Air Force, but never considered working as one until I was off active duty. The last Colonel I worked for called me and asked if I was ready to get back in the game. He gave me the contact information of a talent ambassador, and the rest is wonderful history.

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

I graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2011 and went straight to tech school to become a Missileer. It was the perfect career field for me. I finished as Distinguished Graduate from my (IQT) class and went on to be a Deputy Instructor, Commander Instructor, Commander Evaluator, Operations Section Chief, and Group Executive Officer. I was able to participate in the Global Strike Challenge twice! I worked harder and studied more than I ever had before, but it paid off. We won the competition and walked away from the experience knowing even more about dealing with stressful situations and pushing ourselves farther than we knew we could.

Here at Northrop Grumman, I work with the team sustaining the software for missile trainers. I get to travel to the operations bases, teach current missileers how to use the equipment and about all the new changes and upgrades as we add them. I feel so valued by the company and love being able to bring my perspective and experience to the team.

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

I had already transitioned out of the Air Force when I started talking to a talent ambassador at Northrop Grumman. We had interacted when I was on active duty, but it was through a mutual connection that we began to discuss my applying to the company. The talent ambassador was also a veteran and was available to me all the time to answer my questions – and to his credit, I asked a lot of questions! He was extremely helpful. Once I was in the system, other veterans began reaching out to me and offered support, and continue to do so to this day.

What do you hope to gain from your role?

I already have great job satisfaction and feel fortunate to have a role back in the missile community. I feel like I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I want to be the best at it that I can. I hope to give back to the missile community as much as I feel it has given me.

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

For me, it was all about networking. The more people you know, and who know you and your strengths, the greater the chances that someone will think of you when job postings come up. Don’t be afraid to figure out what you are looking for and to ask for it!

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