Title: Senior Manager of Contracts
Company: Orbital ATK
Location: Chandler, AZ United States
As a young girl, Crystal Jaso always loved things related to engineering and science. She ended up pursuing a business degree, however, and began her career contracting in the defense and space industry. There, Ms. Jaso found the perfect combination of business and science. She is currently the senior manager of contracts at Orbital ATK, a company focused on the development and application of space technologies for practical benefits here on Earth. Their main products include machinery such as launch vehicles and related propulsion systems, satellites, composite aerospace structures, and armament systems. In her role with the company, Ms. Jaso is responsible for contributing to business strategies, understanding customer and program requirements, recommending changes to contractual documents in order to mitigate risk and maximize company objectives, and negotiating new business opportunities. She also works closely with program personnel, communicates regularly with both internal and external customers, and works to complete timely contract closeout by coordinating with other functional organizations at the completion of the program.
Ms. Jaso attests that, even though the industry is male-dominated, being a woman did not present many challenges. She did find it important to show rather than tell, but feels she had ample opportunity to grow. The field is very technical, so precision is necessary, but Ms. Jaso finds fulfillment in being able to see end results and figure out the best way to reach them. Her greatest accomplishment was managing the Lancet 8 Satellite Project from start to execution; the launch, closeout and handover made her very proud. The project even exceeded NASA’s expectations.
In the coming years, Ms. Jaso intends to work toward better communication, realize growth opportunities and provide well-executed projects. She prepared for her career by earning a master’s certificate in government contracting from George Washington University School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in business. Ms. Jaso hopes to be remembered for always doing the best she could with integrity and positivity.
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