Working at Nava

A day at Nava as a capture manager

Eliza Young-Ferguson, a capture manager, describes her day-to-day work helping Nava build its state portfolio.

It’s hard to describe what a typical day at Nava is like because no two days are ever the same. Every day brings new projects, challenges, and opportunities. So we’re sharing just a glimpse of what work is actually like for different people at Nava. Here’s what Eliza Young-Ferguson, a client solutions/capture manager for our state portfolio, has been up to lately.

On a typical day at Nava

As a capture manager, my job is to generate revenue for Nava's state portfolio by winning IT service contracts with government agencies. This involves deeply understanding customer needs, pain points, programmatic goals, and budget constraints and working closely with subject matter experts to develop a winning technical solution.

No day is the same in my role, and that’s part of what makes the job exciting and fast-paced. A bid may drop (i.e. the government releases a request that fits our experience), we may get intel that changes our strategy, or I might get a call from a teaming partner, meaning another company that we’re bidding on a contract with. 

I usually start my day with checking emails and Slack (don’t we all?) and prioritizing my list of to-dos. Then, I’ll assess the most important opportunities to move toward and set 3-4 realistic goals. And of course, there are always little tasks that take precedence, such as sending rates over to a potential teaming partner, coordinating staffing for a bid, flagging a form that needs a signature, or escalating a blocker. 

The work is tough but rewarding. My colleagues on the business development team and I know that our success directly ties to people’s jobs, and we want to set the company up for success. 

On internal and external collaboration 

Collaboration is very important to capture management, as it’s an extremely cross-functional role. Internally, several of our teams at Nava rely on me to communicate business development needs and updates for our state portfolio. I also have the opportunity to work externally with a variety of people. On any given day, I could have a meeting with a state agency, a call with a non-profit, or a call with a teaming partner. 

On action-oriented solutioning 

A big part of capture management is connecting the dots for yourself and others. My favorite days are when I get to collaborate with subject matter experts (SMEs) to develop a solution that meets the client’s needs. This often involves taking an ambiguous vision and distilling it down into an actionable scope, complete with timeline, pricing, and staffing. I love the challenge of facilitating these sessions with colleagues that are much more technical than me. 

On past professional experience and transitioning to civic tech

Before joining Nava, I worked in business development, political and security affairs, and I was a teacher for five years. Whether I was teaching students with limited English proficiency, studying international economics, or writing a proposal, each of these jobs challenged me to think beyond myself and apply my talents to a meaningful cause. Transitioning to Nava felt like a no-brainer because I would have the opportunity to work for a mission-oriented organization while learning a new sector (tech) and a new role (capture/client solutions manager).  

On life outside of Nava

I am an avid member of my neighborhood book club (sometimes I even read the books!), and I enjoy walks around beautiful Fort Collins, where my partner and I moved last year.  

PublishedNovember 28, 2023

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