UCLA Extension instructor Vince Padilla’s career spans some of the most well-known aerospace companies in the business. Since 2010, Padilla has brought his deep industry knowledge to students at UCLA Extension, where he has taught more than 26 courses on topics in contracts and supply change management.
A Long Career in Contracts
During his career, Padilla has had a diverse set of jobs that help contribute to the depth of his experience. Padilla has worked in multiple disciplines at Honeywell and Boeing, and is currently Moog Aircraft Division’s contracts manager for OEM programs. He has worked in a variety of different departments, including contracts, legal, program management, and supply chain management.
“These positions have helped me developed a set of skills that are necessary to operate smoothly in uncertain business situations,” says Padilla. “I often joke that these jobs have qualified me to do only two things: fix broken processes/organizations or develop new business concepts/strategies.”
Padilla’s breadth of experience also helps him better prepare UCLA Extension students for business situations they will encounter working in contract management.
“My teaching for UCLA Extension has been shaped by my experience at my last three employers: Moog, Boeing, and Honeywell,” Padilla explains. “At Honeywell, I had major responsibilities for globalization and supply chain. At Boeing, I had the opportunity to negotiate and manage multi-billion contracts and contribute to the development of a new services business. At Moog, I’m restructuring our contracts department and modifying work processes to improve efficiency. All of these give me a large number of real-life examples to share with students.”
Start Your Career in Contract Management
Padilla has a lot of great advice for someone looking to get a contract management job.
“If possible, rotate among various disciplines in the same business,” Padilla advises. “The more you know about how a business operates, the better your ability to negotiate and manage contracts for your company.”
Another suggestion is to make sure you build a good reputation in your industry by doing the best job you possibly can on every task, no matter how small. You should build a name for yourself as someone who is reliable, willing to contribute, and a team player.
“Eventually, this will lead to invitations to participate and contribute in bigger ways,” Padilla says. “Sometimes what you do is less important than how you do it.”
If you’re looking to get your first job in contract management, Padilla offers the following advice:
“Start by looking for a position in the same company or industry, where you can leverage your current skill/knowledge base. The change in field will seem like less of a stretch this way.”
The Value of a Certificate
UCLA offers a six-course Contract Management Certificate program designed for new and experienced contract managers working in the government, public, and private sectors. The certificate is a great way to gain the skills to enter into the contract management field. For those already working in the field, a Contract Management Certificate can help you get the qualifications to advance your career. Courses are taught by experts, such as Padilla, with real-world experience in the subjects they teach.
Padilla believes that the Contract Management Certificate helps candidates distinguish themselves.
“I am currently in the process of hiring three new people,” says Padilla. “I’m looking for candidates who have a contract management certificate as an indicator of their technical proficiency. I’m also encouraging my personnel to pursue certificates to strengthen their technical skills.”
Take courses with UCLA Extension’s expert instructors and earn your Contract Management Certificate today.