When asked about her early career aspirations, Honeyman fondly recalls her childhood interest in veterinary medicine, and a special knack for science and mathematics projects, which eventually led to the field of forensics. “I really enjoyed the science behind forensics but didn’t want to be that close to crime,” Honeyman said in a recent conversation. “I wanted to find an area of study that I would be passionate about.”
When Honeyman enrolled at the University of Mary Washington she initially planned on majoring in psychology, but several impactful business and accounting courses convinced her to pivot to a business major. A chance encounter with visitors from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) in those classes changed the course of her professional trajectory.
During Honeyman’s junior year, “contract officers from Dahlgren came to speak to the business department students,” she recounted. The objective for the visit was to introduce students to “contract acquisitions and discuss the Naval Acquisitions Development Program (NADP), an internship program for postgraduates,” according to Honeyman. By offering contract-specific classes through the university, NSWCDD presented students with an opportunity to learn about contract acquisitions and earn certifications in contracting.
“It just clicked for me,” said Honeyman. “After taking these classes, I immediately knew this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to work as a contract specialist for the Department of Defense.”
Honeyman applied for the internship program after graduating, and through perseverance and determination, was selected into the program. Within a couple of months, she began her three-year internship, which led to a full-time position at NSWCDD.
“Working as a contract specialist is such a great opportunity for me. I really enjoy what I do, learning new requirements and engaging with the people I work with,” said Honeyman. “Being part of the workforce at Dahlgren really feels like home, especially working with the team that I do.” As a naval contract specialist at Dahlgren, Honeyman expressed her enthusiasm and dedication to supporting the warfighter and the Navy.
Honeyman attributes her continued success in her field to her mentor, senior contract officers and department leadership. As a mentor herself, she dedicates time to provide guidance to interns and opportunities to learn and grow in the contracts acquisitions field. “Going through the internship program and having a mentor encouraged me to grow in my skills in communicating with technical customers, achieving expectations, document review processes and becoming more proficient in contracts writing systems,” she said. “It was a great environment to learn and grow, and I wanted to do the same in return.”
Honeyman plans to expand on her expert knowledge and continue developing her talents within contracts acquisitions. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in contracts management through the Naval Postgraduate School.