Being at the halfway point of my internship I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot about software engineering, Northrop Grumman as a whole, and how the working world operates – at least in California. It may have been like drinking out of a firehose or baptism by fire for the first couple of weeks, but now I’m more adjusted to working full time. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about what projects I’ve been working on, but I can say I was fortunate enough to be put in a very hands on project where I’ve been introduced to new software as well as corporate processes and procedures. Northrop has been great at providing me a mentor as well a two managers – an assignment manager and a functional manager. The assignment manager helps out with the projects and hands on roles and the functional manager helps with making sure interns are where they want to be in different programs, assimilating well into them, and helping out with any questions and concerns in the process. Both of my managers really want to make sure I learn as much as possible through this internship and seem to be very kind and supportive people. My mentor helps out with any additional questions (like different rotational programs, college to working life, etc) and is supposed to be more of a professional “buddy”. Usually mentors are younger and have graduated relatively recently, but still know a lot of helpful things about the company.
Adjusting from full time student who was on summer vacation to working full-time was an adjustment, mostly for my sleep cycle. As Northrop works a 9/80 schedule, which is 9 hours a day with every other Friday off, it was and still is difficult trying to maintain a steady work/life balance. I’m constantly asking my mentors and co-workers their tips for a healthy work/life balance and I’m learning that, because Northrop allows for flexible hours as well as being able to flex time (take off and make up time later during the same pay period), there are a lot of different ways to have a healthy work/life balance once entering on full time.
One of the things I love about the facility at Space Park is that it has the college feel as it was modeled after a college campus. All the buildings are walking distance from each other, with the cafeteria in the middle. This setup allows for more time outside in between going to meetings as well as easily being able to go to coworker’s offices that are in different buildings. It’s honestly such a nice setup!
Looking forward to my last half of my internship, I’m focusing on learning as much as I can about the different departments within Northrop Grumman to see where I fit best. It’s been a lot of fun so far and I’m looking forward to the next five weeks!