Employee Spotlight – Olivia Diehl
Tell us a little bit about yourself (include family info)?
I joined Northstrat in June of 2018 as the contracts manager. I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia. I moved to Northern Virginia in 2011, and my husband and I will soon move to Aldie, Virginia. In our free-time we like to spend time with friends and family at wineries and breweries in the area, enjoy the outdoors, and listen to live music.
I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 with a BS in Economics and am half-way through William and Mary’s online MBA program.
As a contracts manager at Northstrat, what is your daily routine like? Or is there one?
My daily routine varies, which keeps things interesting and makes the days fly by. I work with the leads to help track contract funds and ensure employee contract coverage, review and sign contractual documents, lead subcontract management and ensure contract compliance. I like the ability in a small business to wear different hats and expand my understanding of various functions around the company and how they all fit together to result in successful operations.
What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?
I especially like teaming with fellow employees and working with customers. Negotiating and helping win contracts is also very satisfying.
What do you enjoy most about working for Northstrat?
Having always worked for large businesses, I love working for a small business that is less bogged down with process and more focused on getting things done to enable mission. The owners have worked hard to instill a family culture throughout the company and focus on the importance of every individual. It’s great to be a part of that kind of culture.
What made you decide to specialize in contracts?
My first job was in Contracts with Newport News Shipbuilding. I learned that contracts present business opportunities that are an important component of the business lifecycle. Since then, I’ve continued to work in government contracts and, as my specialization grew, it became a niche that I have grown to love.
Did/do you have a mentor? Tell us about that person.
I have been lucky enough to have multiple wonderful mentors throughout my career so far, both formal mentors and informal mentors. I love to learn and have learned a lot from observing different leaders over the years, both my managers and others. My mentors have taught me a great deal about both government contracting and the kind of manager that I want to be one day. One of my mentors told me that he strives to provide more value to his company than that for which he is compensated. I think that is good advice for all employees.
Any advice for young people who want to pursue STEM?
If you are technically minded, STEM is a great vocational area to consider in your career pursuits. There seems to be a trend toward increasing opportunities and career paths and a decreasing number of qualified candidates for job openings.