REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 21, 2022) – When recruiters from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center visited Colorado Technical University, Isioma West almost did not attend the information meeting.
West was still deciding what she wanted to do with her life. While she had grown up “all over” as the daughter of an Army Soldier, she still did not know what type of job the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center would have for her.
“I debated whether I should attend, and I am super glad that I did because it changed my life and that is why I am here today,” said West, now a computer scientist.
West joined the DEVCOM AvMC team as an intern before graduating from CTU. She now splits her time between AvMC’s Colorado Springs location and the Missile Defense Agency, where she assists MDA in their small business and research innovation program. One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic was that she was able to finish a master’s degree in computer science in 1.5 years – and make all As – due to the world shutdown and “not being able to have a social life,” she said with a laugh.
While West says that she enjoys teleworking, like many who have transitioned into new jobs during the pandemic, she prefers a hybrid schedule for that happy medium where she is able to meet with her co-workers in person too.
“I found that maybe I am not that much of an introvert as I thought and I really like interacting with people too,” she said.
As part of the next generation of scientists, West said that she has appreciated that AvMC has invested in her development and training and how “AvMC sees the importance in giving us the tools to succeed and eventually become subject matter experts ourselves.”
What she enjoys the most about her job, West shared, is that she feels empowered to have the autonomy – and the support of her supervisor – to problem-solve on her own. She also feels that her office is open to new solutions and gives her the opportunity to present her ideas.
“I get to see innovation come into play, I get to offer insight,” West said. “I get to learn new things – emerging technologies. I get to be part of changing the future.
“What is very important is having the opportunity for growth. ‘Am I able to grow here?’ ‘Is this mission important to me?’ Part of having a fulfilling life and the pursuit of happiness is finding something that makes you feel like you are fulfilling that purpose. And AvMC is one of those places.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.