Fergie Idrovo graduated with the Bachelor of Science in Spaceflight Operations and her Master of Science in Systems Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach Campus. Fergie now works as a Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman.
Discuss your current role at Northrop Grumman and how you obtained your position.
Hi, my name is Fergie Idrovo and I have a B.S. in Spaceflight Operations and an M.S in Systems Engineering from ERAU Daytona Beach, FL. Currently, I am a Systems Engineer working for Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) in Redondo Beach, California. I had the opportunity to intern with NGC for three summers during my college career. After interning with Northrop, I was offered a full-time job after graduation in December 2018. As a system engineer, I get to work with space telescopes, spacecraft and very cool projects that make a difference in people’s lives every day.
How did your internships assist you in your current role and why would you encourage students to participate in these experiences?
Obtaining an internship during my college career was the best decision I made. The internships allowed me to explore the company culture I want to work with, the aerospace industry as a whole and also to have a taste of what being a full-time professional would look like. The internships definitely helped me to network with professionals in the industry and it opened my eyes to the actual work I will be doing after I graduate. In my opinion, the chances of getting a full-time offer after you had an internship with the company are pretty high. It will really depend on your performance reviews and the network you were able to build during your internship.
How did all of your involvement on campus assist you to be successful in your career?
I was very involved during college. I always held about 2 or 3 leadership positions every year since my sophomore year until I graduated. I always loved connecting with people and learning from others so what better way of doing that than getting involved. Some of the roles I was involved with were Resident Advisor for Housing and Residence Life, Student Government Association, Career Services, McNair Scholar, Volunteer Network, Student Activities and more. I think my involvement definitely helped me with my interpersonal skills, professionalism and leadership growth. These are qualities that will benefit tremendously in the workforce. The company you will be working for is probably going to expect that you take leadership on some tasks and show a great amount of professionalism on what you do. Get involve! it will help you to understand how you interact with others and learn about yourself even more.
What are some of your tips for successful networking for students/alumni?
I think networking used to be not an easy thing to do. You do have to get out of your comfort zone sometimes and get out there and start connecting with people. However, nowadays you can network even through professional platforms like LinkedIn so I will definitely take advantage of that. Having a well-rounded “email” that you can send to recruiters or professionals in the field describing who you are, what you are studying, what you are hoping to accomplish after graduation and how your skills can benefit the company you are trying to work for can get you pretty far. Also, I am a huge fan of National Conferences. There are so many of them‼ You can find professional national conferences for anything you can think of. National Conferences will allow you to connect with people with the same interested as you so you will have the change to connect with others like you. There are usually workshops, networking events and career fairs at these conferences. They are usually once a year in different parts of the country so you will have to plan ahead of time. Some of the national conferences that I have attended are the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineering (SHPE), HENNAC, Great Minds in STEM and more. If you are looking to attend others contact your Career Services advisor for more information on this.