Our employee spotlight shines a light on one employee at a time. We value diversity and inclusion and welcome diverse thinking. It takes a village — through collaboration, living safely and driving innovation we realize our goals and help our clients achieve mission success. Our mantra is people first, mission always. In September and October, we’ll focus on Hispanic Heritage Month. Today’s Q&A is with Andrea Ruiz, Sr. Contracts Manager, Diplomacy & International Development.
How did you come to join Amentum?
I joined Amentum in June 2021 through an application for a Sr. Contracts Manager.
What is your professional and personal background?
I have a JD from Los Andes University in Colombia and came to the United States to pursue an LLM in Common Law. After receiving my LLM, I worked with the Colombian Trade Office in Washington DC and the Colombian Embassy. I entered the world of U.S. government contracting by responding to a Washington Post job advertisement 15 years ago. Since then, government contracting has been an integral part of my career. I have cradle-to-grave government contracting experience, supporting pre-award, post award, and closeout contractual actions. I have supported drafting and negotiation of all types of government contracts, traveled to multiple countries to support contracts performance, and drafted and rolled out contracting tools, templates, and training supporting government contract implementation.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
Contract management is the pillar of the work we do – in the way we interact with each other, in the business decisions we make, and in our strategic decisions for the future. The work our team does on a day-to-day basis makes an impact, whether it is providing guidance and training to employees on contracts, responding to contracts concerns that have been raised by project management, or holding ourselves accountable and taking corrective action where we identify contract management gaps.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
I am grateful to have a career helping articulate contractual agreements under which our company implements work that supports the achievement of U.S. government strategic objectives. My proudest moment is knowing the tools and templates I developed are used to train and facilitate government contracting management actions that support contract compliance.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
Having the opportunity to implement work in different countries and working alongside colleagues all over the world, from different backgrounds, and with different expertise. Everyone’s life experiences bring different perspectives and contributes to having a different lens to solve challenges.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about living a balanced life. Making time for the things I have to do and the things I want to do.
What’s your career advice?
Be curious and ask questions.
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
Safety means taking action to remain protected or guarded from danger and reduce risks to the lowest possible level. Being always aware of your surroundings helps to take better notice of things that are out of the ordinary and this can increase the likelihood that you can take action to protect yourself or others.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
Electricity is the greatest invention in history. It opened people up to a new world. Without power, we wouldn’t have the innovations that we have today. We wouldn’t be able to turn on the lights, have power to connect our computers, refrigerators, heaters, and many other inventions we use and enjoy daily.
Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?
I was born in Ibague, the musical capital city of Colombia. I grew up in a valley surrounded by the Andes with music, folklore, storytelling, and the exuberance of the tropical forest. I belong to the first wave of women in my family that attended university, learned English, and came to the U.S. to study. Through this journey, I came to live in the U.S. and participate in the ever-changing definition of American culture.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
What a special time to celebrate the work and contributions of the Latin American community at Amentum. I am proud to be part of this community and look forward to sharing my experiences and culture with you.