Updating Results

On the job at Northrop Grumman - Emily Ostler

Emily Ostler studied Bachelor of Business (Economics and Finance) at RMIT University in 2014 and is now an operations manager at Northrop Grumman.

What's your name and job title? 

Emily Ostler – Operations manager.

What did you study and where? When did you graduate? 

Bachelor of Business (Economics and Finance), RMIT University, 2014

Master of Strategic Studies, The Australian National University, ongoing  

Where did you grow up? Can you tell us about any work experience?

I have had the opportunity to live in both the country and the city. I grew up in a small country town near Tamworth and went to the local schools for both primary and secondary education. I moved to Melbourne for university, which exposed me to a range of different cultures and experiences. I started an internship with Deloitte while at university and before moving to Canberra. I always wanted to work in the defence industry and was excited when I obtained an entry-level role with Northrop Grumman Australia.

How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it? 

I began at Northrop Grumman Australia as a project officer, helping deliver complex cyber capabilities to the Australian Defence Force. Early last year, I was offered my current position running the operations of my business area. It has been a very exciting opportunity to gain exposure to the different functions in the broader global corporation. 

How did you choose your specialisation? Were you weighing up any other alternatives before choosing this specialisation?

I initially chose to study economics because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and it was a good general degree. I added in studies of finance, including business statistics and mathematics. While I was at university I discovered the military history, strategy and capabilities. I fell in love with all of the exciting technology like the F-35 planes and autonomous aircraft like the Global Hawk. I more recently decided to study for my masters in strategic studies because this enables me to learn more about the defence industry and further develop my skills.

What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?

When I was interviewed by Northrop Grumman it was a different and more professional process than any interview I had done before. The first contact I had was with the recruiter from the Human Resources team. They asked me a range of questions to determine my fit for the company. I then had a panel interview with the manager that I would be reporting to and another director in the business. I was asked a wide range of questions on the program and technical management. They also asked me about my understanding of the concept of program profitability, which was something I hadn’t previously thought about or had a lot of knowledge or experience of. Another question that I remember being asked was to discuss what books I had read recently in the area of project management in defence. Once I got through those rounds, I then had reference and background checks before being offered the job. 

What does your employer do? 

Northrop Grumman is a leading aerospace and defence company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, logistics and modernisation to customers around the world. 

What are your areas of responsibility? 

I am responsible for ensuring that the day-to-day operations of our Cyber and Intelligence team run efficiently and effectively. This involves undertaking a diverse range of activities, from scheduling reviews with our US counterparts to assisting in the development and execution of our business operations strategy, and everything in between.

Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?

I am an early riser and like to start my day with coffee and breakfast while reviewing the emails that I received overnight from the US. I review the meetings that I have scheduled for the day and prepare information for the day’s work. International meetings usually kick off in the morning, so I work on completing tasks during the middle of the day and have local meetings in the afternoon.  

What are the career prospects with your job? Where could you or others in your position go from here? 

I really enjoy working for an international company. It’s interesting to work with people across the globe on a daily basis. Operations are really exciting because it is a great way to be involved in and support a range of technology and engineering activities. There are so many opportunities because Northrop Grumman is a large business with cutting-edge technology that it’s constantly developing, from cyber to aircraft to space to maritime. The potential is endless.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now? 

Scuba diving instructor.

What do you love most about your job? What kind of tasks do you enjoy the most? 

I enjoy working with world-class technology and innovative people to develop the best defence capabilities. I am proud to help support the men and women who are serving to protect our nation and its interests. 

What’s the biggest limitation of your job? 

Every job has its challenges. Sometimes I find the restrictions on sharing information across different countries to be challenging. However, there are a lot of people who support me in finding solutions so that I can be effective in my job.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?

  1. Never accept work where you’re not learning.
  2. Make each day count.
  3. Happiness is a choice and everything else is a matter of perspective.