News Release, NAVAIR News
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.–Key relationships and a commitment to excellence are foundational to a successful career, according to three Naval Acquisition Development Program (NADP) alumni during a March 26 ceremony celebrating the program’s graduation of its 12,000th candidate. NADP is a two- to three-year development program for acquisition professionals.
“NADP and its predecessors have provided career development opportunities to entry-level and associate employees since the early 1980s,” Naval Acquisition Career Center Robert Praydis said. “Development programs challenge candidates and builds their confidence, leading to an engaged and proficient workforce. Our graduates have gone on to have impressive careers and currently hold many top leadership positions in the Navy and Marine Corps.”
Sustainment Group Logistics Management Specialist Jamie Matheny was recognized as the NADP’s 12,000th graduate at the event. Guest speakers Integrated Product Support/Operations and Support Cost Estimating Professional Development and Training Lead Douglas Monin, Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Branch Head Dave Volpe and Naval Air Systems Command Assistant Commander for Acquisition Gary Kurtz shared their experiences and offered career advice to more than 60 newly hired employees. All three, who graduated from NADP in its earliest years, stressed the importance of personal connections.
Graduates, according to Volpe, should purposely learn from their colleagues and supervisors. “NADP opened my eyes to the opportunities in government service,” he said. “Talk with people around you and establish relationships. I graduated 30 years ago and I still talk with my colleagues to resolve issues.”
“I’ve had some great experiences when I was in the program that I would not normally have as a cost analyst,” Monin said. “Anticipate the questions you will be asked and prepare an answer for them. Don’t simply do as you are told but research outside of your tasking so that you have a greater understanding.”
Kurtz recommended new employees have a personal roadmap for success and that everyone should have an individual development plan that lists career goals. “Ask yourself where you want to be in five years,” he said. “This is not about a specific job or grade but goals and accomplishments, both personal and professional. Think of yourself on a longer continuum and how you support the command. It’s a powerful tool.”
Relationships can help advance employees’ careers as well, Kurtz said. “Be open to learning new skills and adapt to change,” he explained. “Reach out to interns, graduates and others around you. Ask for feedback and their thoughts on professional development. People want to share their experiences.”