Justin studied accounting and technology management, but he wasn’t interested in working for just any business. He wanted to make an impact on things that really matter in the world. That’s why, when he found Textron—a leading manufacturer of things that “fly, hover, zoom, and launch”—he was sure that he had found a match.
What he found when he joined their Finance Leadership Development Program was that there was far more to the company than he could’ve imagined, and that his career—like Textron’s creations—truly could go anywhere.
Making Things That Move People, Protect Soldiers, And Power Industries
Justin wanted to make a difference in the world, and joining Textron’s rotational Finance Leadership Development Program was an opportunity to do that in a bunch of different ways. It was also an opportunity to live in different places and learn from a variety of industry leaders.
He started with Textron Aviation in Wichita, KS. The company is responsible for a range of incredible aircraft from sleek private jets to critical training aircraft for the military. In his next rotation at the company, he went to work for Bell in the Dallas/Fort Worth region of Texas. They’re the company responsible for building the first helicopter to be rated by a civilian aviation authority, and a ton of other incredible innovations since then.
In his current role, Justin works in Maryland for Textron Systems—a branch of the company that focuses on vehicles, weapons systems, and support technology for government entities like the military and emergency services. His current focus is ongoing project finance for an unmanned military program called the Shadow® Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System.
No matter what the product was, though, Justin found there was a unified culture in at least one way across these different business units: the company’s commitment to innovation for the end user. And that’s something he’s really proud of.
“When it comes to Textron Systems, we’re trying to innovate and build new products that align with the customer’s needs,” Justin explains. “And that customer can be the military.”
For example, Justin tells us, “We’re working on a new weapon that’s going to replace the gun that’s been used since the Vietnam era. We’re in the list of top three companies, and within two or three years, we’ll be able to say whether our NGSW will be selected. That’s really exciting.”
Diverse Projects, Diverse Experience
It wasn’t just a diverse array of products Justin got to work on in his Leadership Development Program. He was also exposed to a variety of functions and types of corporate finance. As the name suggests, programs like this prepare people for careers in senior leadership by accelerating the rate at which they learn about the breadth of the business and how it works.
He now works in a project management role, which deals heavily with compliance, record-keeping, and demonstrating continued value. However, when he started his LDP, he was in an operational finance role, dealing directly with the finance of the manufacturing of the products themselves.
“It was good for me to start as operational finance, because I got to touch the actual stuff, see the products, and see what the numbers actually mean,” he explains.
And even for people who aren’t in a Leadership Development Program, Justin tells us, this type of broad exposure is commonplace at Textron.
“Textron recommends for you to rotate around. Don’t stay in one role and get a sense of the whole business,” he says. “Each role you learn something new and you get to use that experience to do better in your next role. And the managers really support that.”
This was not only edifying, but freeing for Justin. He felt empowered to learn about a bunch of different sectors.
“You’re never stuck to one manufacturing industry. You can do planes, helicopters, and even military tech,” he says. “You get to meet a lot of people and learn a lot, which is great for your career in the long run.”
Want to see your own career fly, hover, zoom, and launch? Check out open opportunities at Textron on WayUp!