I graduated from the Sinclair Paralegal program in 1995 and started my paralegal career as a family law paralegal in Tacoma, Washington immediately after graduation. As a military wife, I needed a career that would provide me the ability to transfer to a new city and quickly find employment. Over a period of 10 years after graduation, the Air Force moved our family to four duty stations, but I was always able to find a paralegal job quickly. While stationed overseas, I completed my Bachelor’s degree, and upon return to the US, I was hired by Ferguson Enterprises in Newport News, Virginia as a corporate paralegal specializing in commercial contract law. I was privileged to work directly for the General Counsel of this global multi-billion dollar corporation and gain invaluable one-on-one experience and mentoring. While at Ferguson, my competencies with different types of contracts grew exponentially. I honed my skills in contract negotiations and began my path specializing in contract law. After returning to Ohio, I worked for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) as a Subcontracts Administrator managing government defense contracts. Managing government contracts has required me to become proficient in the complicated web of the US Federal Acquisition Regulations, and as a result, opened more opportunities for me in defense contracting.
While employed with CSC, I completed my Master’s degree in Business Administration from Wright State University and in 2015 I accepted a position with GE Aviation. I remain employed with the GE Aviation Legal Operation as a Senior Contracts Manager where I manage a full portfolio that includes contracts with the U.S. federal government, foreign governments, and in support of commercial access to space. I currently serve as the Subject Matter Expert on Foreign Military Financing for GE, which requires me to keep my legal research skills up to date.
During any job interview I’ve had, I always say that my degree from Sinclair is my most valuable degree because it gave me my career path, one that has always guaranteed me solid credentials and meaningful employment. My path has evolved over time into an area I had never considered while working in a traditional paralegal role. There are a lot of opportunities for trained paralegals to transition into even larger roles within companies that support the U.S. Federal Government, yet still stay under the legal umbrella and remain a paralegal regardless of the title. I even encouraged my younger sister to consider the same path and she has since enrolled, completed and graduated from Sinclair’s paralegal program, and she currently has a very successful career with Sinclair.
-Submitted by Jenna Beck, Program Director, Legal Studies Program, Sinclair College