Editor’s Note: This was recorded in January 2022, which provides the context for Tom’s comment about 20 degree weather, the timing of litigation around federal vaccine mandates, and space telescope launches.
This episode features a conversation with Tom Bonsaint, who is currently the senior director for enterprise campaigns for the Northrup Grumman Corporation. He’s held successive roles in the defense industry after graduating from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts in 2002. Our conversation focuses on taking advantage of opportunities as a Scholar, lifelong learning, teamwork and leadership, and civic engagement as an alum. You can read Tom’s full bio and get a more detailed breakdown below.
Tom Bonsaint ’02 Lib is currently senior director for Enterprise Campaigns for the Northrup Grumman Corporation where he focuses on above plan growth opportunities across the company’s strategic enterprise campaigns. Tom is an executive sponsor for one of the Pride in Diversity Alliance employee resource groups. Before this, Tom was senior programs director for Land and Maritime Sensors business unit of Northrup Grumman Mission Systems. Additional roles he held at Northrup Grumman included senior director, strategy and global operations for the Advanced Defense Services division of Northrup Grumman Technology Services, and senior director, Business Development for the same division. Tom also served as director, Global Capture Management with the Northrup Grumman Corporate Global Business Development Office, reporting to the Chief Global BD Officer. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Tom held positions of increasing responsibility for 11 years at the Raytheon Company, primarily focused on global business development and capture in the defense, civil security, and cybersecurity markets. Tom is a 2005 graduate of the Raytheon BD Leadership Development Program. Tom brings experience working in the C4ISR, sensors, cyber, critical infrastructure protection, biometrics, and intelligence domains in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. Bonsaint previously worked for the U.S. Department of Defense Office of International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), all in Washington, D.C. Tom earned is BA in International Politics with Honors from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts in 2002. He also earned his MBA from the University of Rhode Island.
· The transition to the Schreyer Honors College from the University Scholars Program
· Experiences as a political science student
· The impact of September 11th, 2001 on University Park
· Interning at the Pentagon and getting the first job after college
· Leveraging employer benefits to pay for graduate school
· Utilizing the benefits of being a Schreyer Scholar
· The importance of lifelong learning and thinking beyond a specific degree
· Strategic thinking in a hectic world
· The differences between large corporations and smaller firms
· Leadership and teamwork lessons
· Taking on additional work to support diverse communities in a corporate setting
· Civic involvement outside of work
· Skills that Scholars should focus on regardless of major to succeed in the “real world”
· Stories from finding work life balance through the performing arts
· Insights from a unique career
· The importance of coaching and mentorship
· And a hot take on opinions on alumni swirl ice cream
Schreyer Honors College Links:
• Upcoming Events
• Scholars – Need Assistance? Book an Appointment!
• Alumni – Learn Why and How to Volunteer
• Make a Gift to Benefit Schreyer Scholars
• Join the Penn State Alumni Association
Credits & Notes:
This content is available in text form here.
This show is hosted, produced, and edited by Sean Goheen ‘11 Lib (Schreyer).
The artwork was created by Tom Harrington, the College’s Web Developer.
The sound effect is “Chinese Gong,” accessed via SoundBible used under Creative Commons License.
The theme music is “Conquest” by Geovane Bruno, accessed via Pixabay and used under Creative Commons License.