Our employee spotlight shines a light on one employee at a time. We value diversity and inclusion and welcome diverse thinking. It takes a village — through collaboration, living safely and driving innovation we realize our goals and help our clients achieve mission success. Our mantra is people first, mission always. In March, we’ll focus on Women History Month (WHM). Today’s Q&A is with Anna Watkins, Director, IT Project Management Office.
How did you come to join Amentum?
I joined EG&G in 1999 at the Dahlgren office as a software engineer developing code for unmanned vehicles.
What is your professional and personal background?
My professional background is IT project management, SBU financial business ops management, software engineering, and systems engineering. I am the oldest of four kids, went to a technical school, then to college after being hired at 19 years old by a defense contractor as a software engineer. I have four wonderful kids ranging from 30 to 18 years old and three cuddly pit bulls. About 1.5 years ago, I moved from the Austin area of Texas to Beckley, West Virginia to get back the four seasons, mountains, and a lower cost of living.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
In my current role, I oversee the delivery of project-based changes to the back-office functions of Amentum and monitor the realization of planned benefits from those project-based changes.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
I completed my bachelor’s degree and MBA while working full time and raising my four children. My proudest career moment was being selected as the program manager for the same EG&G contract for which I had been hired to be a software engineer.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
I enjoy the high caliber of my Amentum colleagues, my direct manager’s support and guidance, and the ability to work from home.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about the value I can add to Amentum.
What’s your career advice?
Seek to understand your direct manager’s and Amentum’s goals and objectives. Focus on what you can control and influence – and adding value every day.
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
Safety to me means ensuring I end my workday safe and healthy, and help my colleagues do the same. As someone who spends her day using a computer, my favorite safety tip is how to arrange your workstation ergonomically.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
In my opinion, the best inventions ever are vaccines and antibiotics.
What does this year’s IWD theme, #BreakTheBias mean to you?
We all have unconscious bias. Let’s all be intentional/purposeful in identifying those biases and eradicating them.
Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?
Soft skills matter. There is more power and influence to be had in asking probing questions than in making statements. Gather information about Amentum, Amentum’s leaders, and the industry Amentum operates in. Invest in yourself – read, listen to podcasts, and if possible get a certification or degree that would help you be increasingly effective.