Naval Acquisition Development Program graduates successfully balance professional, personal priorities
Maintaining work-life balance is foundational to a successful civilian career, said Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Sustainment Group Director Robert Kimble during a Naval Acquisition Development Program (NADP) graduation on Sept. 28. More than 35 NAVAIR Sustainment Group, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division interns graduated.
NADP is a two- to four-year program that provides training and educational opportunities to promote personal and professional growth for entry- to mid-level civilians who have demonstrated leadership ability.
In his opening remarks, Kimble congratulated the interns on their completion of the program and acknowledged the challenges they faced during NAVAIR’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Many of your program experiences weren’t traditional because of global circumstances over the last 18 months. Yet you endured, overcame and contributed to the mission,” he said.
During his three-year internship, NADP graduate and E-2/C-2 Airborne Command and Control Systems Program Office (PMA-231) Test Resources Manager Ryan Daniels credited his rotations with immersing him in a culture that called for a new set of leadership strategies. “I served in the military that has different expectations and relationships than the civilian sector,” he explained. “There are also other requirements and responsibilities that must be met to get the mission accomplished.”
Natasha Brown, a PMA-231 supply analyst who graduated from the program, said NADP taught her how to be proactive and advance her career. “The relationships built during NADP rotations are lasting and have served as great resources,” Brown said. “I’ve learned interns should reach out to mentors and others on their team and ask for opportunities.”
She realized a personal goal using that approach, which not only gave her better insight into her role as a supply expert, but also the needs of the warfighter. “I was able to visit Japan in support of the fleet,” she said. “That experience gave me a better understanding of its mission and how it relies on the program office.”
Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office Logistician Arturo Sanchez, an NADP graduate, also stressed the importance of relationships. “NADP interns should find not just one, but several mentors,” he recommended. “You can learn from their experiences and they can advise you on how to succeed.”
“Also, interns should strive to be contributing members wherever they are assigned by learning as much as possible,” he added. “This may mean that an intern is part of a team for up to six months, instead of cycling out of a rotation every one to two months, which is what the normal process is. I have found that additional time will increase how much a person knows and can contribute to an organization.”
Kimble advised the interns to balance their priorities. “You are embarking on a demanding career and we have high expectations for you,” he said. “But your job is only one part of who you are. Don’t forget to take care of your life outside of the work environment. Continue to develop yourselves personally as well as professionally.”