Rising Stars

Samantha Kott Kouril: Undaunted by challenge

Samantha Kott Kouril

Although Samantha Kott Kouril had long been drawn to public service, she didn't know much about technology systems before interning at the General Services Administration. But for her, that made the prospect of working in government IT even more enticing.

"When you're solving something, there's going to be something that you don't know how to do already, and that's a challenge and that's just something that I enjoy in general," Kott Kouril said.

Now, as a project manager at GSA's Federal Systems Integration and Management Center and an FCW Rising Star, it's safe to say Kott Kouril is good at what she enjoys doing.

The 2013 Rising Stars

Read about all of the winners

"I've always been attracted to civil service.… Project management, financial analysis and contract writing or technical writing [were] particularly attractive to me, and it had this kind of underlying overall purpose and goals that I was supporting," she said.

As an intern in 2012, Kott Kouril took over contractual management of the Farm Service Agency's Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems initiative. Chris Hamm, deputy director of FEDSIM, said MIDAS is the largest and most complex integration of SAP's enterprise resource planning software suite ever attempted in the federal government.

Kott Kouril said that even though she essentially fell into IT, she sees herself continuing in the field — ideally with an organization that promotes sustainability or perhaps the Peace Corps.

"You can take most IT skills and move to any kind of project, program, organization, company," Kott Kouril said, "and use or modify those skills that you're learning in an IT environment."

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.