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Beyond the Uniform

Beyond the Uniform is a show to help military veterans navigate their civilian career. Each week, I meet with different veterans to learn more about their civilian career, how they got there, and what advice they'd give to other military personnel.
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 26, 2017

“I was 27 years old, 150 pounds, and I hadn’t played football in five years. And I decided that I wanted to go chase this dream [of joining the NFL]. Literally, people laughed at me. They said you have absolutely no chance - the odds are astronomically against you and you can’t do it.”
- Phil McConkey

Phil McConkey is the President of Academy Securities, our nation’s first and only post 9/11 military veteran and disabled veteran owned and operated investment bank and broker dealer. Phil has served in this capacity for the last 6 years. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for five years as a Naval Aviator. After his military service, spent 6 years in the NFL, with the Packers, Cardinals, Chargers and the Giants - where he won the Super Bowl.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Resilience - Phil's first career was in the NFL, where he caught a pass for the winning team in the Super Bowl; he went on to start his own investment bank of which he is now president. He talks about being cut from the NFL multiple times and fighting his way back, about having the tenacity to pursue one's dream no matter what that is.
  2. Finance - Phil's company, Academy Securities, employs many veterans through

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Resources
    • Veterans on Wall Street - Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) is an initiative dedicated to honoring former military personnel and employees currently in the National Guard and Reserve
    • 100,000 Jobs Mission - https://www.veteranjobsmission.com/
    • Man in the Arena - A speech that Phil kept with him at the NFL and has encouraged him to remain resilient through all adversities

Show Notes

  • 2:35 - Phil’s background
  • 3:40 - How Phil approached his decision to leave the military
  • 15:10 - How Phil transitioned from the Navy to the NFL
  • 19:45 - Phil’s advice to those pursuing professional sports or anything that seems like a farfetched dream
  • 23:08 - How Phil started his second civilian career in the world of finance
  • 25:52 - Phil’s advice to veterans seeking a career in finance
  • 28:50 - Advice for veterans seeking to start their own company
  • 37:45 - What life is like as President of Academy Securities
  • 40:48 - Recommended resources
  • 42:52 - What it’s like for a new veteran hire at Academy Securities
  • 44:42 - Final words of wisdom
Apr 19, 2017

“My job now is [compared to my time in the Marine Corps] so delightfully meaningless and inconsequential that the only way that I an look at sports and covering sports is that it is the silliest, most fun thing. It allows me, after the ultimate seriousness of combat in the Marine Corps, to laugh at anything, no matter how seemingly serious it is.”
- Matt Ufford

Matt Ufford is an Editor-at-Large and Video Host at SB Nation - a digital sports media brand and network of team sites built by and for the modern sports fan. He started out at Northwestern University, after which he served in the Marine Corps for four years as a Tank Officer. After the Marines he worked as a columnist at AOL Sports, as well as an editor at Uproxx Media, where he founded their sports and TV blogs.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Sports Writing - Matt set out to be a writer, and has worked his way up to a role where he now produced YouTube videos about sports. His story is inspiring, and is an example how through repetition and hard work, veterans can achieve any role.
  2. New Media - when Matt started out, Twitter didn't even exist. Now his role is all about YouTube. He talks about how the Sports and Media environment is rapidly changing, and what it's like to work in this constantly evolving space
  3. Perspective - I love the gratitude and perspective that Matt holds. He talks about how, compared to his military service, his job is stress free, and the gratitude he feels each day to be alive.

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 3:32 - Matt's background
  • 4:00 - How Matt approached his decision to leave the Marine Corps
  • 7:07 - What Matt does right now at SB Nation
  • 8:25 - What Matt's day-to-day life looks like covering sports at SB Nation
  • 10:23 - How Matt brings his videos to life on YouTube
  • 17:34 - Matt's journey from the Marine Corps to a career in sports media
  • 22:42 - How Matt started his own blog, which lead to his current career
  • 27:54 - Recommended resources
  • 33:42 - Final words of wisdom
Apr 12, 2017

“Navigating my way through school as a first generation college student, I made a lot of mistakes. I could have done things a lot differently if I’d had mentorship or guidance on how to make decisions. I believe that I went through that and found myself within the military higher education space over six years ago, really just wanting to be what I needed when I got out.”
Justine Evirs

Justine is the Senior Director of Programs at Service to School. She is a Navy veteran and Navy spouse, and has helped countless veterans find and be accepted to their ideal college and grad school programs. She started out as a Fireman in the US Navy, and has dedicated the last 6 years to transforming our active duty, military spouse, and veteran community through academic advising & program development. She has worked at ECPI University, the University of Maryland, and College of San Mateo in veteran services coordinator positions.
The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Education - Justine has spent over 6 years helping veterans find the right school (undergraduate or graduate) and program to accelerate their career. She's got extremely helpful advice about how to maximize your educational experience
  2. Entrepreneurship - Seth talks about starting a business, a brewery, and a foundation all at the same time
  3. Mentors - Seth does a great job of talking about how to find and learn from mentors as veterans pursue their civilian career

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Related Episodes - if you liked this episode, I would recommend you check out the following episodes:
    • Tim Hsia - Founder of Service to School
    • David Lee - used Service to School to go from the Marines to the Stanford Graduate School of Business
    • Alex Chivers - Army Ranger NCO to Dartmouth
  • Service 2 School
  • Veterati - Veterati is a free mentorship platform. Our mentors are professionals volunteering to serve those who have served our country.
  • Student Veterans of America (SVA) - Student Veterans of America presents groundbreaking research about student veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
  • American Corporate Partners - Founded in 2008, ACP aims to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
  • LinkedIn - essential for networking and very underutilized by veterans

Show Notes

  • 2:39 - Justine’s background
  • 3:47 - How Justine found herself unexpectedly facing a career transition far earlier than she expected
  • 8:00 - Justine’s road from the Navy, through higher education, to Service to School
  • 10:40 - Why Justine advocates education after military service instead of going directly into industry
  • 13:50 - An overview of Service to School
  • 21:30 - Some common mistakes that veterans make when applying to attending higher education after military service
  • 29:20 - How to start to uncover - while on active duty - what you may want to do afterwards
  • 35:10 - How to find the right school for you
  • 41:45 - Advice on pursuing education after the military vs. while on active duty
  • 46:00 - Recommended resources
  • 48:08 - Final words of wisdom

 

Apr 5, 2017

“I wanted to use something that I thought was special that was tied to my Marine Corps time, which is the celebratory nature of using beer as a way to give back. And I'm proud to say that this grew into a movement, and we're excited about the work that we do."
– Seth Jordan

Seth Jordan is the Founder & President of Dog Tag Brewing, a brewery that provides the highest quality crafted beers that deliver a message of gratitude for the selfless sacrifice of our nation’s military. Proceeds from Dog Tag Brewing sales are donated to causes determined by the families of fallen warriors.

He graduated from Clemson University in South Carolina and went to work for ESPN in New York City, but felt compelled to serve after 9/11. He served as an officer in the Marine Corps for nearly 10 years as a Naval Aviator and UH-1 Helicopter pilot with over 250 combat missions. He started Dog Tag Brewing after leaving the Marine Corps.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Support - Seth established a Brewery where all of the profits go to supporting veteran families and the causes they believe in. It's a great example of using one's career for a purpose greater than oneself
  2. Entrepreneurship - Seth talks about starting a business, a brewery, and a foundation all at the same time
  3. Mentors - Seth does a great job of talking about how to find and learn from mentors as veterans pursue their civilian career

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 3:45 - Seth's Background
  • 4:30 - Seth's decision to join the Military from the civilian sector
  • 5:22 - Seth's decision to leave the Marine Corps
  • 6:28 - When Seth first started to think about starting his own brewery
  • 8:04 - Seth's decision to donate all profits he makes to help veteran causes
  • 12:27 - What it was like to start a brewery and advice to other veterans seeking to start their own company
  • 16:52 - Advice for veterans seeking a mentor - how to find them and evaluate when to bring them on in a more formal capacity
  • 22:00 - How often Seth meets with this mentors and advisors
  • 24:16 - What Seth's day-to-day life looks like
  • 27:16 - Advice on finding work-life balance
  • 31:24 - The most valuable skill Seth took away from the Marine Corps that has helped him at Dog Tag Brewing
  • 32:12 - One skill that Seth had to develop since leaving the Marine Corps
  • 33:50 - What advice Seth would have given to himself when he first left the Marine Corps
  • 39:37 - Resources Seth recommends to all veterans
  • 44:00 - Final words of wisdom
  • 47:50 - Where you can find out more about Dog Tag Brewing and how you can support Seth and his mission
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