Joan Cugell

Senior Manager, Department of State

When did you start working at MIL? Describe your career path.
I started working at MIL in August 2014 as a senior business analyst.

Describe your career path.
I was promoted to team lead in 2015 and managed two employees. Then, I was promoted to senior manager in 2020. The next year, I was promoted to director, and now manage eight employees, two of whom are team leads.

Did you further your education or obtain certifications while employed at MIL?
I obtained my Six Sigma Green Belt Certification while employed at MIL, which enabled me to better support my clients process improvement goals.

In terms of career growth, what is one piece of advice you would offer someone beginning a career at MIL?
Always sit at the table; have confidence in yourself and your abilities; communicate with confidence.

What is one professional highlight that stands out during your career at MIL?
The transition from the Travel Card Program Office to the Systems Coordination and Implementation (SCI) team at the Department of State. This transition enabled me to develop and more fully utilize my skills and experience.

What is one project from the past year that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of coordinating the Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Close for the Global Financial Operations directorate of the Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services at the Department of State.

What is one piece of career advice you would give a recent college graduate?
I think you ought to get three things out of a job. You ought to have a feeling that your job, whatever you do, is important and counts for something, otherwise it is not worthwhile. Second, you have to be in an environment where you are growing as an individual. Third, you should have a relationship with someone in the organization who cares about you. If you have those three things, you have nothing to worry about. Do not put up with a situation that does not give you those three things.

What do you love about your current position, and/or overall career at MIL?
I appreciate the independence that is provided to me to manage projects.