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 February, we’ll focus on Black History Month (BHM). The next spotlight is this Q&A with Chukwuemeka Uba-Okonkwo of Amentum’s Strategic Growth Office.
How did you come to join Amentum?
I was recruited from business school for a legacy AECOM Leadership Development program. I cycled through various corporate roles, and Amentum (or Management Services at the time) was my last rotation, where I ultimately stayed.
What is your professional and personal background?
I trained as an electrical and systems engineer in college and worked for a major aircraft manufacturer, for several years. Post-MBA and currently, I primarily focus on corporate development, supporting Amentum’s growth.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
I am a director of strategic growth, and my focus is to support activities that help grow Amentum from a corporate view – activities can include mergers and acquisitions, market and competitive analysis. Growth is crucial for our business; it allows us to compete in the market and it gives stakeholders (including employees) the confidence that we can deliver on our promises.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
Being able to thrive after making multiple transitions in my life and career. I moved from Nigeria for college, worked for the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world as an engineer, got an MBA from the best business school (Kellogg) and transitioned into the corporate business world.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
I enjoy working with the people, especially having access to Amentum leadership.
What are you passionate about?
I love working with underserved children. I have worked with The Working Boy’s Center in Ecuador, and more recently, a D.C. Charter school through a non-profit organization. Time permitting, I hope to re-engage with the organization to support more kids, helping them grow and be future productive members of society.
What’s your career advice?
Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish! I believe this was from Steve Jobs and it stuck with me. If you are too comfortable in your current role, it’s time to shake things up…if not, you will be musty and will not grow.
What does safety mean to you, or do you have a favorite safety tip?
Safety to me is being able to go to work in the morning and being able to come back home in the evening the way I left in the morning – this should be all our responsibility.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
The internet, it paved the way for so many technologies we currently take for granted. I can go to any country in the world and act local, because I have so much information in the palm of my hands.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Throughout my life and career, I have had opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for past African-American struggles and sacrifices. I use this month to reflect on how my life would have been much different and to think about how I can pay it forward.
Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?
Expect the unexpected! This is a saying I picked up when I was a kid watching my favorite British TV series, Terrahawks. It is how I deal with personal and professional scenarios.