Posted: 05 Feb 2019 01:36 PM PST

Title: product lead, Headquarters Army Environmental System

Command: Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems

AAW Certifications/Qualifications: DAWIA Level III certified in program management and in systems engineering

Degree: M.S. in electrical engineering

What program or course did you participate in? Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF).

When did you start and graduate from it? July 2016 to May 2017.

What was your primary motivation for taking the program? I am constantly seeking opportunities to learn and continue to grow professionally and personally. DAU-SSCF offered a unique opportunity to not only expand my leadership knowledge, but to learn and network with peers from across the acquisition community who could share their own experiences and insights.

What were your perceptions of the course before starting, and did any of that change upon graduation? Prior to starting, I assumed the course would focus heavily on leader development, and be structured in a way that each participant would be allowed to craft his/her individual capabilities. I imagined there would be an emphasis on public speaking and a significant amount of one-on-one coaching and mentoring. Instead, the program was structured to be much more collaborative. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to engage with, and learn from, my peers. Many of us had similar jobs, goals and experiences, and were able to share lessons learned. I look forward to staying in touch with them and continuing to share and learn.

What were your top three takeaways?

Better understanding of the national security strategy, national defense strategy and the Army’s modernization priorities.

Mentoring and coaching methods for effectively preparing and growing future leaders.

Update on changes to acquisition governance/policy/process to enable Army readiness.

What skills and knowledge from the program do you apply most in your job or life? One aspect of the DAU-SSCF program that I thoroughly enjoyed was their emphasis on the importance of emotional intelligence when it comes to being an effective leader. Characteristics and skills such as self-awareness, active listening, integrity and the ability to build and sustain interpersonal relationships are just as critical to success as knowing the technical and functional aspects of one’s job.

How has this program shaped your acquisition career? The additional knowledge and insights I gained from the DAU-SSCF program have better prepared me to reach farther in my career and take on more challenging positions. In June 2019, I will take on a centrally selected product manager position for the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors. I am honored by the opportunity and believe that my participation in the DAU-SSCF program was instrumental in my being selected.

Who would you recommend this course to and why? I would recommend the course to those who can fully commit to immersing themselves in the experience. This program requires a significant time commitment to reap the most benefit. There were certainly stressful moments when the workload and travel requirements became difficult to balance with commitments at home. But this is a unique opportunity to reflect, network and grow professionally.

This Spotlight on Success appears in the January 2019 DACM Newsletter. With these profiles, the Army DACM Office highlights talented AAW professionals who have used their training and experience to launch themselves along their career path.

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