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 May, we’ll focus on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Today’s Q&A is with Patricia Munchel, Chief People Officer.
How did you come to join Amentum?
I joined Amentum through the acquisition of PAE.
What is your professional and personal background?
I am the daughter of a career, 30-year Marine father and Taiwanese mother. I am incredibly proud of being raised in a home where not only multiple cultures were embraced and celebrated, but where we learned patriotism and the love for the United States, and everything our great country stands for. Growing up, I was fortunate to travel and live abroad. This experience enriched my childhood as we were challenged to learn and assimilate into new cultures.
Discipline, independence, leadership, and initiative were instilled in us on top of inclusion and respect for differences. I truly believe the influences my parents experienced ‒ in their upbringing, early years of marriage in the 70s, and career ‒ gave me incredible perspective that I continue to leverage professionally and personally as I raise three teenagers.
I was very active in student government in high school and college, where I was pre-law. I also interned on Capitol Hill my senior year in high school. Having a voice and influencing positive change have always been important to me.
My entire professional career has been focused in human resources, starting with recruiting. Soon after graduating from college, I joined an organization where I interned while in college. Building connections and networking through my internship were key in attracting me to work for MCI (later WorldCom) again.
I was fortunate to have many mentors and leaders who believed in me. With their support, I advanced into new roles that progressed my career faster than I would have anticipated—resulting in 22 of my 25 years dedicated to leading others. I spent most of my career in technology services, whether it was commercial or in the GovCon space. I joined PAE in 2014 because I was excited about the company’s strategy for growth, and I wanted to be an integral part of the people strategy initiatives to impact that growth.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
I champion our people. Everything I personally do and lead, enables our employees to come to Amentum to do their best work in an environment that supports them mentally, physically, personally, and professionally. Our team works with employees at all levels to support business outcomes. We are a services organization, and we provide talent. Our team facilitates the attraction, hiring, development and retention of this talent to better serve our customers.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
I have been involved in 17 different acquisitions in my career, which only includes those that were successfully executed. I’m proud of the lessons I’ve learned and have been able to apply with each transition. While it’s difficult to articulate an actual moment, I believe it’s incredibly rewarding to develop campaigns and strategies around culture and talent management then see them unfold.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
I am amazed and proud of the work we perform for our customers. I am especially excited to hear from employees about their pride. This company today evolved from many different organizations with programs supporting critical and important missions—I love talking about the impact our employees are making around the globe.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about making a difference. Whether it’s personally coaching leaders, mentoring colleagues, designing policy, programs, or innovative solutions—I get energized by progressing and influencing change.
What’s your career advice?
- Everything is in constant change. Embrace change because it means evolution. It starts with perspective. Find ways how you can personally impact change for the positive.
- I’ve never personally been satisfied with just doing the minimum or ‘required’. I strive to overachieve. Make performance excellence your professional brand—the opportunities for learning, growth and recognition will follow.
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
I expand the definition to include well-being. Sleep! (It’s a mantra lately for myself and my kids). We need to take care of ourselves, but particularly when we’re well-rested, we can focus and perform at our best. Lack of sleep can severely impact the safety of others given the various roles we serve at Amentum.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
The internet. It’s incredible what instant knowledge and communication at our fingertips has done for this world.
What does Asian Pacific American Heritage Month mean to you?
I am proud to be an American and I am proud of how the great contributions of my Asian heritage have enriched our country.
Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?
I remember very clearly my early childhood years and the feelings I had of looking and being ‘different’. Some of these feelings were exacerbated by personal insecurities or a definition of belonging driven by a negative perspective of difference.
We’ve evolved as a society to embrace differences, and as I watch my children learn to feel pride before insecurities, I am overwhelmed with how far we have come.
As an organization, it’s incumbent upon us to highlight those differences and diversity of thoughts, cultures, race, gender, heritages, and upbringing which gives us better perspectives as a team.
I’m committed as a leader to improve and drive inclusion at Amentum because it matters.