About the NCMA StudentsConnect Editor
Shene’ Commodore, CPCM
Welcome to the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) StudentsConnect Newsletter. We hope that you find this an enjoyable learning experience about the contract management profession.
I was first introduced to the contracting profession as a college student at the University of Dayton. I was a summer intern with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center as a financial manager intern.
Lucky for me, the position became an internship throughout the remainder of my undergraduate degree. Even better, when I changed my major from accounting to management, it was still a good fit. I even transferred schools and graduated from Wright State University. Because contracting is so diverse, I was still able to use many different skills learned in school and gained more responsibilities in contracting.
I went from an intern to a specialist to a regional contract administrator. After being laid off in 2002, I started my own contract consulting firm. The success of my firm led to me being asked to create and lead a national testing laboratory, Intertek, in their effort to begin a government sales department.
Regardless of your career, if you are serious about it, always stay in tune with what is happening in your field. If there is a professional certification, obtain it. I received my professional certification from NCMA and have advanced on an ongoing basis in my career. Most of my jobs have come from networking within NCMA. Also, as icing on the cake, I have also developed lifelong friendships.
Since joining NCMA, I have always had the benefit of great mentors and professional training. As a student, you should take advantage of this free opportunity to network and get real life experience in a career field where you can contribute greatly and negotiate better. Even the best cannot succeed without strong relationships with the right people. The real question isn’t why join a NCMA Student Chapter, but why not?
The Value of Student Membership in NCMA
Being a student member in NCMA is a phenomenal opportunity to establish and maintain your professional stature. Take advantage of the fact that, until July 2010, there are no annual dues for this membership class, and the initiation fee is waived. To qualify for this membership, individuals must be full-time students enrolled in an accredited, degree-granting institution, and not hold full-time employment in contract management or a related field. NCMA Student Members are entitled to all of the benefits of regular membership.
You may ask, what is a contract professional? They are those talented professionals who manage contract terms and conditions in order to manage supplier relationships when buying goods and services.
You may also ask, why be a contract professional? Because contract professionals are always needed in strong and weak economies. Many skills used in the contracting profession can be used to grow in other professions as well, such as business, engineering, project management, law, and English.
Consider also the salary range of contract professionals. Based on the 2008 NCMA Salary Survey from respondents, reported by Readex Research, the average starting salary for contract managers is $50,000. The median salary earned by those in the contracting profession was $90,000 per year, up from $85,800 in 2007. in addition, 38 percent reported salaries of $100,000 or more, while 16 percent reported salaries under $60,000.
Benefits of being a NCMA Student Member include:
· Networking opportunities with experts;
· Real-life experience in your field;
· Free training and great savings on advanced training; and
· The opportunity to have your work published in NCMA publications, such as Contract Management magazine and the annual Journal of Contract Management.
To sign up, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
If you know others who meet these criteria, please forward this newsletter to them and encourage them to join. Also, please feel free to send this newsletter to any faculty members who may be interested in learning more about contract management or NCMA. If there is enough interest, your school may be eligible to charter a Student Chapter and receive all of the benefits of a regular chapter.
2010: New Year, New Opportunities!
Happy 2010! Are you in need of some career goals/resolutions for the 2009 new year? If so, here are 10 resolutions aimed to help you develop a plan to achieve career success, expand your knowledge, and sharpen your skills in the new year!
· Get active in your NCMA Student Chapter,
· Write an article for publication with NCMA,
· Conduct an informational interview or some job shadowing,
· Attend a job fair,
· Learn time management skills,
· Attend a networking event,
· Learn new technology or computer skills,
· Update your résumé and cover letter,
· Give a presentation!
So, get your career goals/resolutions for 2010 in order!
By Ed Rinkavage, Fellow
For the past two decades, the number of acquisition professionals within the federal and commercial workforce has generally declined while the workload has increased. Between Recovery Act (ARRA) funding and new legislation, the workforce continues to be burdened, adding more intensity to an already overwhelmed contracting process.
However, a scan of the acquisition industry workforce begs the question, “Where will government and industry find the talent to fill these vacancies?” A new initiative, Strategic Partnership on Acquisition Recruitment Coalition (SPARC), just might be the answer.
By Sterling Whitehead
This is an important question because it is the first question you should ask. Generally speaking, contracting professionals have a single purpose—to obtain goods and services for a person or organization.
To get the things their bosses want, contracting professionals perform tasks like:
· Getting to know vendors and contractors. (At least remember their names or use your iPhone’s Facebook app to look them up.)
· Figuring out what your organization needs and wants. (Do you need 300 pencils and 40 Tomahawk missiles?).
· Comparing product prices. (This makes sure you don’t buy a $600 toilet seat like TIME reported).
· Negotiating prices and contract types. (Couldn’t think of a joke for this one).
· Following federal regulations. (Yes, there is a lot of it, but that’ll be covered in the future).
· Managing any issues that come up once the contract is awarded. (“The seat should be blue, not red?”).
Contract Management: A Knowledge-Intensive Profession
By Dr. Rene G. Rendon, CPCM, Fellow
As I was learning the ropes of my first contract management job, I remember my mentors telling me that “contracting is a knowledge-intensive profession. We will only be as effective and successful as the knowledge we have and can apply to our jobs to support our organization’s objectives.” As I continued throughout my contracting career, it became even more evident that contract management is not only being recognized as a growing profession, but that contract management is indeed a knowledge-intensive profession.
July 18–21, 2010
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
World Congress, NCMA’s premier annual event, promises a full agenda focused on the needs and challenges of the federal and commercial contracting industry. High-profile panelists and speakers, top-quality educational programs, and unparalleled networking opportunities address the leading issues and requirements that all contract professionals deal with daily.
HBCU Career Development Marketplace
October 28, 2010
A national conference designed to inform and educate new entrants into the workplace about diversity in today’s corporate America and to help Historically Black College and University students prepare for professional opportunities and greater productivity after graduation.
This section is dedicated to answering your questions. Definitions and basic contract learning tools will also be provided here.
· Contract—a written agreement that establishes a binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish goods or services and the buyer to pay for them; the clauses define the rights and responsibilities of each party.
· Term—part of the contract that addresses a specific subject. Examples may include payment, delivery, and warranty.
· Condition—a phrase that activates or suspends a term. Examples may include termination, late fees, or suspension.
Other Names Related to Contracting Professions:
· Contract officers,
· Procurement specialists,
· Acquisition services, and
· Supply chain management.
NCMA has established the Guide to the Contract Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK) as the prevailing guidance for how universities should align their contract management curricula. The guide provides the knowledge areas and competencies that are integral to the contract management process and the contract management profession. To view the Guide to the Contract Management Body of Knowledge (2nd Edition), please click here.
If you have any fun facts or funny stories to share about your life as a student, please send them in.
One of the greatest benefits you receive as an NCMA member is free access to our jobs board at www.ContractManagementJobs.com. This is the premier electronic recruitment resource for the industry.
Here, employers and recruiters can access the most qualified talent pool with relevant work experience to fulfill staffing needs. Active job seekers can showcase their skills and work experience to prospective employers to find the best job opportunities, while others can take advantage of networking, training, and career development services.
Whether you’re looking for a new job, or ready to take the next step in your career, you can take advantage of the networking, training, and career development services we offer. Whatever your career needs may be, we’ll help you find the opportunity that’s right for you.
If you have any questions, comments, or possible contributions to this newsletter, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. There can never be a shortage of brain power.
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In this issue:
· About the NCMA StudentsConnect Editor
· The Value of Student Membership in NCMA
· 2010: New Year, New Opportunities!
· “What do Contract Professionals Do?”
· “Contract Management: A Knowledge-Intensive Profession”
· Learners Corner
· Fun Facts
· Contact Us
· Important Skills for Contract Professionals
· Student Chapter Spotlight
· NCMA Student Chapter Facebook Group