Recently hired civilian employee makes immediate impact

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A recent addition to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center workforce here is making an immediate impact, winning the Airman Leadership School’s competitive John L. Levitow Award last month during a graduation ceremony.

Julia Hovasse, who hails from Burlington, Massachusetts, joined the contracting team last August as a government civilian employee after attending a hiring event held by Hanscom AFB in May 2023. 

“I never imagined myself doing what I’m doing and working for the United States Air Force,” she said.

With a University of Massachusetts Lowell degree in liberal arts, and a concentration in education and studio art, Hovasse initially had reservations about her fit for roles with the Air Force. She had plans to become an art teacher.

Even though she initially left the hiring event uncertain about her prospects, she quickly returned for an encounter with her future division chief, who encouraged her to apply for a vacant contracting specialist position in the Digital Directorate.

“Stepping outside my comfort zone has been a rewarding experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a dynamic and supportive team,” she said.

Since joining the Foreign Military Sales Division, Hovasse has excelled and taken advantage of the professional development opportunities offered to her, including being selected to attend Airman Leadership School. 

“Despite initially feeling out of place as the only civilian among Air Force and Coast Guard personnel, the curriculum challenged me to develop essential leadership skills and taught me valuable lessons in teamwork and conflict resolution,” she said.

Adding that it was an honor to be recognized as the top graduate, Hovasse said she was grateful for the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.

In addition, she praised her supervisor and colleagues for their guidance and assistance, highlighting the positive work environment that has facilitated her smooth transition into federal employment.

“Julia has been a welcome addition to the FMS contracting team, her enthusiasm and willingness to step outside her comfort zone have proven to be effective in all that she does,” said Janet Maille, Contracting Branch chief. “She strives to do the best she can, which is evident in her winning the Levitow award in her recent Airman Leadership School course. She will go far in her contracting career.”

Looking ahead, Hovasse is enthusiastic about continuing her professional development and pursuing further education. With plans to begin a master's degree program in September 2024, she aims to expand her skills and expertise in the contracting career field.

“Working alongside experienced professionals has provided me with hands-on learning experiences and mentorship that have accelerated my growth in the contracting field,” said Hovasse.

Her journey serves as a testament to the opportunities available for individuals willing to step outside their comfort zones and embrace new challenges.

It also underscores the installation’s commitment to providing support and resources for its workforce to excel and grow professionally.

As base officials prepare to host another hiring event May 23 at the Sheraton Boston Needham Hotel in Needham, Massachusetts, Hovasse's experience serves as an inspiration for prospective candidates, highlighting the potential for career advancement and personal growth within the Air Force community.

The recruitment and hiring event will be open to all interested in civilian positions with the U.S. Air Force, including recent college graduates, experienced professionals, veterans, military spouses, and anyone interested in a career working to support our servicemen and women.

Positions are open in a wide range of fields, including program management, engineering, child care, information technology, and contracting, among others.

Updates for the hiring event will be available at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center hiring website.