PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Cynthia Wright is a contract specialist serving Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River.

Wright grew up in Texas, where she met her husband, Thomas Wright, Natural Resource Specialist at Public Works Department South Potomac, Indian Head, while attending Texas A&M University. They were married after graduation, and Thomas accepted a position with the Navy that took them to San Diego, California.

“We raised three beautiful daughters, and I enjoyed home-schooling all of them,” said Wright. “Additionally, I was privileged to have all three of them attend the College of Southern Maryland, where I taught both Communications and English classes.”

Wright was involved with the Australian Shepherd breed for over 25 years and was also involved with Australian Shepherd rescue and placement.

“Our family has enjoyed many activities with our dogs, from stock dog trials, obedience trials, and conformation shows, to scent work [and] therapy dog work,” said Wright.

Wright came to NAVFAC via the intern program to begin a “second career” in Contracting in 2008. She started at NAS Patuxent River, then transferred to Naval Support Facility Indian Head and gained additional experience before returning to Patuxent River where she worked on construction contracts.

“I was recently assigned to the service contracts team, where I have continued to gain new skills,” said Wright.

Wright was drawn to NAVFAC Washington because her husband worked for NAVFAC and he suggested she look into a contracting position. Although she was not fully aware of the magnitude of such a position, she applied and was brought on as an intern to see if there was a good fit.

“I remember with pride taking the civilian Oath of Office when I first came on board with NAVFAC,” said Wright. “To this day, I am both awed and humbled knowing that the work I perform is directly in support of the U.S. Navy and this country.” 

12 years into her contracting career, she is now on the service contracts team, although she continues to work construction contract actions, including unusual or challenging tasks. In addition, she was relied upon to develop training materials for in-house use.

“My teammates are typically competent, task oriented individuals with commitment to providing an excellent product for our clients,” said Wright. “I enjoy working with my technical counterparts and have learned much from them.”

Wright considers her strength to be communicating in writing. It is the key component of contract specialist duties, which she does well. She is also an engaged and active listener – whether interacting with teammates, clients, or contractors – which helps facilitate communications between key persons involved in a project. Wright’s advice to interns striving to be a contract specialist is to ask questions, take good notes and listen carefully. She believes interns should not lose sight of the big picture in the midst of all the little details, enjoy the work that they do and know that they are making a difference.

“I love the intricacies and dynamics of seeing a procurement go from planning to completion, and can appreciate the excitement of the client when they are enjoying the final product,” added Wright. “I wish I had found the Contracting field sooner.”

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