Employee Spotlight: Chaumping at the Bit

November 05, 2018

“We develop products that help keep our soldiers safe on the battlefield - there are very few companies that can say that. When the day-to-day grind gets tough, it’s important to take a step back and remind ourselves why we do what we do.” - Eric Chaump

Meet Eric Chaump. Eric first came to SNC as an intern in 2009. Today, he’s a business manager for EIS (Electronic and Information Systems) operations. We sat down with Eric to learn more about his journey over the last nine years.

Why did you join SNC?
I heard about SNC as a student at UNR (University of Nevada, Reno). They [UNR] offered an internship class during my final year of the Supply Chain Management program, and the director was helping students find opportunities at local companies. His first choice was always SNC and he was the one who helped me secure an internship here.

Tell us about your career journey at SNC.
During my internship, I worked with the Material Planning team for almost a year. After I graduated, I joined that team full time for another year. In this role, I worked closely with program managers, and it was something that really interested me. It’s what I wanted to do. So, I asked around and talked to people about the best way to transition into Program Management. Through those conversations and learnings, I found an opportunity with CNS (Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance) as a project analyst. After two years in that role, I joined the Telemedicine program as an associate program manager. I was then offered an opportunity to return to Operations as their business manager, which I have been doing for the last three years.

I’ve been with SNC for just over nine years now, and I’ve never felt the need to look outside the company for career growth. There have always been opportunities for me at SNC. Even today, my leadership team is helping me figure out what my future at SNC looks like and a plan to help me get there.

Working at SNC has also allowed me to take my education to the next step and get my Master’s degree. I’m infinitely grateful that SNC offers a tuition reimbursement program that gave me the financial support to keep the momentum going.

What is the most meaningful part of your work?
We develop products that help keep our soldiers safe on the battlefield - there are very few companies that can say that. When the day-to-day grind gets tough, it’s important to take a step back and remind ourselves why we do what we do. I admire our troops’ bravery and willingness to put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe. We owe it to them to keep them safe as well, the best way we can.

What do you think is key to building a great career at SNC?
Not to sound cliché, but it all starts with hard work and dedication, and building positive relationships. First, find a buddy.  A subject matter expert in your role that you can ask questions and learn from. Second, find an advocate. Someone that you have proven your worth to and is willing to support you. Finally, find a role model. Where do you want to be at the end of your career and who might be in that role at SNC currently? Observe that person and attempt to recreate those positive traits. 

Who has been influential in your career here at SNC and how has it helped you succeed?
Dawn Cross, business manager for CNS at the time, was my advocate and instrumental in helping me make the leap from material planner to associate program manager. Dawn saw qualities in me that I didn’t even see in myself. She brought me on to her team as a project analyst knowing I didn’t have the experience yet to be a program manager but trusted that I was a quick learner and took a chance on me. Working for her, I’ve developed management and leadership traits that I remember and use today.

What has been your most memorable moment at SNC?
The Telemedicine team I was supporting as an APM (Associate Program Manager) spent nine months designing and developing this system, which we then spent a week testing with the Nevada Army National Guard. I didn’t get to fly in the helicopter, but just being around the uniformed soldiers and flying helicopters was cool enough for me.

What was your first job? Or what did you want to be when you grew up?
My first “real” job was the SNC internship, but growing up I wanted to be a major league baseball player. I played baseball from T-ball through high school and was set on making it to the big leagues.

After I graduated high school, I had to decide whether to focus on academics or continue my baseball career. Continuing my baseball career meant going to a junior college and then moving up to a Division 1 school, focusing on athletics and not academics. During the summer after graduating high school, I tried out at UNR but didn’t make it, so I decided to let go of that dream and focus on my studies. It was the right choice because it brought me to SNC.

And, I still get to play ball. I’m currently the manager of our SNC Sparks softball team. We have a lot of fun and are pretty good!

Finish this sentence, “when I’m not at work I’m….”
Spending time with my growing family – my wife, two-year old daughter, and a son on the way. He is due on Dec. 23 – an early Christmas present – and the timing can’t be better since SNC gives us a full paid week off for the holidays.


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