National Contract Management Association
November 2010

Letter from the StudentsConnect Editor

 Hello and thank you for taking the time to read another edition of the monthly NCMA StudentsConnect. As we approach the end of the year, some are preparing for finals, some are preparing for the holiday season, and some are preparing for both. Remember to properly plan your time to avoid stress. Also, keep in mind that some government and private-sector jobs perform credit checks as part of your conditional employment. If you are interested in working for intelligence agencies, they often require psychological exams. So plan accordingly and take advantage of all the resources available to you, but pace yourself. Research has shown we lead more productive lives when we take care of ourselves physically, are financially responsible, and maintain mental wellbeing. 

Shene’ Commodore, CPCM, is the government contracts manager with Intertek Testing Services.

Interview Preparation
By: Shene’ Commodore

As we continue with our "Interview Preparation" tips, I thought it would be great to discuss some tricky interview questions. I say tricky because these tend to be the questions that stump most people. No worries, you will be ready.  

  • What are your major strengths and weaknesses? I’m sure you know never to mention any weaknesses you may have during an interview, but you should also be careful not to brag. It is okay, however, to discuss a past, work-relevant weakness and how you overcame the issue. Never mention a weakness without discussing how you worked to overcome it. 
  • How long do you plan to stay at our company? Where do you see yourself in five years? A few examples here: “I see a tremendous amount of opportunities here and am looking forward to experiencing all of them!” “I see myself as having become a significant addition to the staff here and a resource to the company with unmeasured value!”
  • Tell me about a time that you failed at something, and what you did afterwards. The purpose of this is to demonstrate your ability to recover from an adverse situation, the process you went through to rebound, and the lessons you learned during the process. Don’t bring up anything too negative or something you caused. Show the company you provide solutions, not cause problems.
  • Describe a time when you worked on a team project. What was your relative position on the team? Here is your chance to show your ability to be a team player and work with people whose backgrounds may be different than your own. In your example, be sure to talk about any leading, management, or milestones you completed with the team. This answer allows you to give specific examples of some of your past accomplishments and related work experience.  

Understanding Earnings Before Interest and Taxes 
By: Sonja Felder

A business owner or manager is confronted with making decisions every day and each decision directly affects the direction the business will take. Every decision a business owner or manager makes affects the financials of the business either directly or indirectly. Financial analysis is a tool used to measure the choices made for the business, and to assist business owners and managers with future business decisions.   

Read more >>>  

Federal Workforce Crisis
By: Wanda J. Corner

In my last article, I discussed the relevance of a career in the federal workplace in the global marketplace. Since that period of time, I have conducted scholarly research on the current state of the federal workforce. I was surprised to find out about their eminent talent crisis. A significant amount of federal executives and key employees will be eligible for retirement in the next several years. This is due to the mass exit of baby boomers. This article will address the challenges in overcoming this talent crisis and how future and current college graduates may find out more about career opportunities within the federal government.  

Read more >>>

Writing Tip: In the Heat of the Moment—If It Feels Good, Don't Do It
By: Stu Tanquist and Stan Berry

When we’re frustrated, irritated, or overwhelmed, we’re often tempted to respond in the heat of the moment. Though satisfying, that initial good feeling can quickly give way to one of deep regret. Many a relationship has been strained, opportunity lost, or career damaged due to a single off-the-cuff business e-mail. That’s not the way to get things done.  

Read more >>>


Government Contract Management Conference 2010
December 9–10, 2010; Arlington, Virginia

The 29th annual Government Contract Management Conference commences in less than three weeks. Register for the unique event that promises to educate and inspire you to make accurate and informed decisions in contract management. Attendees earn up to 12 continuing education hours (CLP/CEU equivalent).

Register Today!

Learning Corner

This section is dedicated to answering the questions you submit. Definitions and basic contract learning tools will also be provided here.


  • Executory Contract: A contract that has not yet been fully performed.
  • Estoppel: A rule of law that bars, prevents, and precludes a party from alleging or denying certain facts with a position that party previously took or admitted.
  • Market Intelligence: Information on your competitors or business trends operating in a particular marketplace or industry.

NCMA Resources:

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. Visit the NCMA Bookstore to learn more about the CMBOK and other NCMA publications.

Benefits of NCMA Student Membership include:

  • Networking opportunities with experts;
  • Real-life experience in your field;
  • 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.

Sign up for NCMA Student Membership!

If you know others who would benefit from an NCMA membership, 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.

For more information, contact NCMA Customer Service at or call 800-344-8096. 

One of the greatest benefits you receive as an NCMA member is free access to our jobs board at This is the premier electronic recruitment resource for the contract management profession.

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. 

NCMA University Outreach Committee Members 

Committee Member
E-mail Address
Angela Deren
Austin, TX
Crystal Glenn
Falls Church, VA
Edward Rinkavage
Brambleton, VA
Edward Velasquez
Irvine, CA
Ellis Hunter
Tucson, AZ
John Wyatt
Riverside, CA
Jonene Johanson
Morgan, UT
Joshua Carr
Reston, VA
Kerry McRanor
Fortville, IN
Laura Lovato
Rio Rancho, NM
Matthew Runyon
Indianapolis, IN
Patrick Walker
Newport News, VA
Peter Tuttle
Annandale, VA
Phyllis Walker
Canyon Country, CA
Rene Rendon
Monterey, CA
Richard Smith
Upper Marlboro, MD
Robert New
Los Angeles, CA
Russell Blaine
Clemsford, MA
Shene' Commodore
Powder Springs, GA
Walter Theodor Sparkuhl
Los Angeles, CA




In this Issue:
  • Letter from the StudentsConnect Editor
  • "Interview Preparation"
  • "Understanding Earnings Before Interest and Taxes"
  • "Federal Workforce Crisis"
  • Writing Tip 
  • Events  
  • Learning Corner 
  • NCMA University Outreach Committee Members

Contact Us:

If you have any questions, comments, or possible contributions to this newsletter, please send them to 



Get Connected:



2010 Federal Media and Marketing Survey:

Market Connections, Inc., a full-service market research firm, is conducting a new study to better understand the role that government contract specialists play in the approval and acquisition of products and services for government, as well as their individual media habits. This survey will only take about five minutes of your time. Your input is valuable and very much appreciated. Learn more and provide your input. 


21740 Beaumeade Circle, Suite 125, Ashburn, Virginia 20147 | 571.382.0082 | 800.344.8096 | 703.448.0939 fax


If you wish to unsubscribe, please update your preferences in your member profile.