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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. www.beyondtheuniform.org
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Nov 18, 2016

“In a brand new, early stage startup, no one can be above doing something. As the months rolled on, I started to get an appreciation for just how much a startup was like my military experience. I really leaned in and relied on that experience in saying, “I’ve never done marketing, I’ve never worked in a CPG company, I’ve never worked in an e-commerce company, but what I have done is worked in a really chaotic environment without a lot of guidance and had to roll up my sleeves and get it done. So I might not know startups, I might not marketing, I might not know e-commerce or food, but I know how to operate in this environment. So trust yourself, trust your gut - you can do this."
 – Molly Laufer

Molly Laufer is the Director of Client Strategy in the Marketing & Advertising space with the Company, Oxford Road - which is the fastest growing full-service ad agency serving the Consumer Tech industry.
She started out at the University of Virginia, where she did ROTC and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Russian. Molly then served for four years in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, serving onboard the Frigate USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS as well as with DESTROYER SQUADRON 23. When she transitioned from the Navy, she was the first employee of the startup, NatureBox - a company that now has over 100 employees and has raised over $58M in funding. At NatureBox she started with Social Media and Content Marketing, and eventually became their Director of Customer Acquisition

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • How Molly used a career counselor to figure out what sorts of jobs she would be interested in and what sorts of problems she’d like to solve
  • How Molly approached her first job search and how she ended up as employee #1 at Nature Box
  • What it was like to be the first employee at an early stage startup
  • An overview of the different roles Molly held at Nature Box, and what her career progression looked like
  • Molly’s advice to any veteran thinking of working at a startup
  • And much, much more…


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes

  • 2:25 - Molly’s background
  • 3:46 - How Molly approached the decision to leave the military
  • 4:59 - How Molly considered the reserves
  • 6:59 - The biggest surprises in Molly’s transition to civilian life
  • 8:59 - How Molly used a career counselor to figure out what sorts of jobs she would be interested in and what sorts of problems she’d like to solve
  • 9:57 - Advice on how to find the right career coach to help with a job search or career change
  • 11:49 - An overview of the career coaching process
  • 12:39 - How Molly approached her first job search and how she ended up as employee #1 at Nature Box
  • 15:49 - How Molly thought about going to business school (while her husband was going to business school as well)
  • 20:16 - What it was like to be the first employee at an early stage startup
  • 23:59 - An overview of the different roles Molly held at Nature Box, and what her career progression looked like
  • 29:35 - What Molly liked most and least about her experience in an early stage startup
  • 34:59 - In what ways Molly felt ahead and behind her civilian peers based on her military experience
  • 38:37 - Molly’s advice to any veteran thinking of working at a startup
  • 41:04 - How Molly made the transition from an early stage startup to an Ad Agency, with Oxford Road
  • 44:24 - The day-to-day life of an Account Director at an Ad Agency
  • 47:05 - Molly’s final word of advice to other veterans
Nov 16, 2016

“Just being totally honest - you really are far behind. It's a better assumption that you're behind that you're ahead. It's not like  everyone else who didn't spend time in the military is out there playing Lincoln Logs. They've got a job and they're developing skills and they're learning. I went into my transition with the assumption that I was nine years behind every pedigreed person out there. And I feel that attitude helped drive my hunger to play a very intense game of catch up."
 – Brit Yonge

Brit Yonge is the Chief of Staff to the CTO at Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto based technology company that has raised over $2B in funding, and was co-founded by silicon valley legend, Peter Thiel.
Brit started out at the Naval Academy and served as an officer in the Navy for 5 years, where he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) supporting Special Operations Forces (SOF) in kinetic and non-kinetic operations. Brit transitioned from the military directly to Palantir Technologies, first as a Deployment Strategist and then as their Head of Asia ex Japan, where he lead Palantir's Asia HQ, and now as the Chief of Staff to the CTO.

 

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • How Brit, while living on a friend’s couch in San Diego, used the motivation of “one conversation a day” to search for his first job out of the military
  • How Brit would explain Silicon Valley and the ethos of startups to someone on active duty
  • How persistence and serendipity helped him land his first job (because he didn’t go through the front door)
  • How you can use interviews to better understand a company’s values and how well it aligns with your own
  • How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership in the military
  • And much, much more…

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

  • Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning essay: https://www.sonoma.edu/users/s/shawth/mans%20Search

Show Notes

  • 2:09 - Brit’s background
  • 2:57 - How Brit decided to leave the Navy
  • 4:32 - How Brit approached the Reserves and why he ultimately decided to not pursue the Reserves
  • 5:01 - The most surpassing aspects of Brit’s transition to a civilian career
  • 8:31 - How Brit, while living on a friend’s couch in the Bay Area, used the motivation of “one conversation a day” to search for his first job out of the military
  • 10:49 - How Brit would explain Silicon Valley and the ethos of startups to someone on active duty
  • 13:49 - How Brit found Palantir through his understanding of their product (and how to use the products you like to help in your job search)
  • 18:28 - How persistence and serendipity helped him land his first job (because he didn’t go through the front door)
  • 20:22 - How you can use interviews to better understand a company’s values and how well it aligns with your own
  • 22:12 - In the first couple of years out of the Navy, how Brit felt ahead and behind his civilian counterparts
  • 26:04 - The day-to-day life in a high-tech company in Silicon Valley
  • 30:47 - How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership in the military
  • 35:29 - How to prepare for a transition to the civilian world
  • 43:54- Final words of advice
Nov 14, 2016

“What a lot of people do in networking is they go in with the mindset of “what can I get from it.” The important switch i made was, “what can I give to this relationship that I’m looking to start.” Stop trying to figure out what’s in it for you. Give and it’s the law of nature - if you plant seeds of good and positive vibrations all the time, it’s going to come back to you."
 – Andreas Jones

Travis Collier is is the CEO and Principal Business Strategist and Leadership Consultant at Combat Business Coaching. Andreas served in the US Army for over 8 years, where he was as a Logistics & Supply Chain Manager. In his civilian career he has worked as: a contributing writer to Forbes and The Huffington Post; a Project Manager work at The Home Depot; and a Vice President of Procurement and Strategy at the Financial Services Company, the Sun Trust.
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In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • From the Army to starting his own business - what Andreas learned along the way
  • Advice on how to find a co-founder or initial team
  • Advice on how to learn and grow through networking
  • What day-to-day life looked like while starting a company
  • Advice Andreas would give to other veterans considering starting their own business
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:11 - Andreas’ background
  • 3:40 - How Andreas decided to leave the Army
  • 4:25 - How Andreas approached is initial job search and what he learned along the way
  • 7:01 - What Andreas does for a living, and what his life looks like on a day-to-day business
  • 12:40 - From the Army to starting his own business - what Andreas learned along the way
  • 15:10 - Advice on how to find a co-founder or initial team
  • 16:10 - Advice on how to learn and grow through networking
  • 24:24 - Other advice to help you start your own company
  • 25:10 - What day-to-day life looked like while starting a company
  • 28:24 - When Andreas started his own company, how he felt ahead of his civilian counterparts and where he felt behind
  • 30:23 - Advice Andreas would give to other veterans considering starting their own business
  • 31:05 - What Andreas has liked most and least about starting his own company
  • 32:15 - Other resources Andreas would recommend to listeners
  • 34:05 - The most surprising aspect of Andreas’ transition from the Army to civilian life
  • 36:40 - Final words of wisdom for veteans
Nov 11, 2016

“Really its a full time job to get a full-time job. Sometimes with veterans, we're bringing these unfathomable managerial skills to these organizations that we transition to. But we forget that stuff shouldn't just be handed to us... I'm the queen of the cold email now, and I wish that I would have had that confidence as I transitioned to try to find veterans at companies that I was interested in, and to hear what their transition was like."
 – Brooke Jones-Chinetti

Brooke Jones-Chinetti lives in New York, where she most recently served as the CEO of VetTechTrek - a startup that facilitates high-impact trips to leading tech companies for veterans and their spouses. She started out at West Point, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Portuguese and Environmental Engineering. She served in the US Army for over 6 years, during which she deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to Kuwait as part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Spartan Shield.
She also served as Senior Director of Human Resources and served as the executive officer for the Army's Chief of Signal, a 2-star general position. After her transition from the Army, she spent a year in the Financial Services industry with JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of their rotational Executive Development Program. She is currently studying at Columbia Business School.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Step-by-step advice on how to write cold emails to figure out what you want to do and get your foot in the door for a job
  • An over of the JP Morgan Chase rotational Executive Development Program
  • Brooke’s experience as CEO of an early stage startup at VetTechTrek
  • How leadership as CEO of a startup differed from leadership in the military
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes

  • 1:56 - Brooke’s background
  • 3:04 - How Brooke and her husband both decided to leave the Army
  • 6:15 - Evaluating the Reserves
  • 10:40 - The most surprising aspect of Brooke’s transition from the Army to civilian life
  • 13:15 - How to use cold emails to find other veterans, learn from their experience, and make connections
  • 16:25- Brooke’s first job search and what she learned along the way
  • 21:36 - Advice on how to manage the timing of your transition from active duty
  • 27:20 - Advice for how to better understand yourself and what you’ll enjoy in a career
  • 32:15 - An over of the JP Morgan Chase rotational Executive Development Program
  • 34:50 - Brooke’s day-to-day life while at JP Morgan Chase
  • 38:15 - Brooke’s decision to transition from JP Morgan Chase to Columbia Business School, and wy she chose an Executive Education program
  • 43:02 - Brooke’s experience as CEO of an early stage startup at VetTechTrek
  • 47:10 - How leadership as CEO of a startup differed from leadership in the military
  • 49:01 - How Brooke felt ahead of her civilian counterparts, and where she had to work to catch up
  • 51:33 - Final words of wisdom1:24 - Travis' background
Nov 9, 2016

“It's so unfortunate that veterans don't practice their new life, until they're in their new life. And really by then, you're behind the eight ball. So really any chance you get to take now while you're in uniform - look at it this way: the military is funding you as the R&D project to find the best life and the best way you can serve others. Finding those condensed opportunities to gain that experience, to gain that data. It's really traingulating - you're taking a fix on geography, income, occupation and fit. If it works it works, if it doesn't then you just keep trying something else."
 – Travis Collier

Travis Collier is a Journeyman Marine Inspector with the US Coast Guard, where he has served for the last 15 years. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Government and International Affairs from the US Coast Guard Academy, and a Master’s in Instructional & Performance Technology from Boise State University.
He is the author of the books "Command Your Transition" & “SCALE”, and works as a coach for military members with 8-10 years of service to implement an intent and strategy to transition out the military and achieve even greater success on the outside .

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Travis' advice of embracing a transition strategy really early in the transition process
  • How to set aside a budget for your own personal Research & Development and use sprints and "takeover weekends" to find your passion
  • An overview on coaching and how it can help veterans reach their full potential
  • How important sales is to any veteran
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:24 - Travis' background
  • 2:38 - A few curve balls Travis has experienced while in the US Coast Guard
  • 8:15 - Travis' advice of embracing a transition strategy really early in the transition process
  • 12:10 - How to set aside a budget for your own personal Research & Development and use sprints and "takeover weekends" to find your passion
  • 18:42 - Finding the lifestyle to live, serve, and be honored by
  • 26:04 - An overview on coaching and how it can help veterans reach their full potential
  • 32:42 - How important sales is to any veteran
  • 36:16 - Common roadblocks Travis sees for veterans
  • 38:18 - Final words of wisdom
Nov 7, 2016

“I was under the impression that theres this war for talent out there and everyone is trying to recognize talented individuals. My experience is that companies are looking for a round peg to fit into a round hole, and it doesn't really matter how awesome the peg is; if it doesn't fit exactly they're not interested. It doesn't matter how valuable a jack of all trades is - because they are - a swiss army knife is an incredibly valuable tool. But that doesn't help you get your foot in the door."
 – Eric Hulbert

Eric Hulbert is a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in their Atlanta Office. He started out at the Naval Academy, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History. After that he served for over 11 years as a pilot, Wing Asst Training Officer, Maritime Watch Officer, and ROTC instructor. After his transition from the military, Eric worked in the Finance Industry at Bank of America - as a Vice Principal of Strategy Analyst. Eric holds an MBA and a Masters of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Florida

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • What life was like balancing active duty as a ROTC instructor, a family, and earning two master's degrees
  • An overview of the Strategy Analyst role at Bank of America
  • How Eric's first salary out of the Navy compared to his Navy salary
  • An overview of the career progression of a Strategy Analyst
  • How Eric approached his second career search compared to his first, and how he decided on Management Consulting
  • What day-to-day life is like at the Boston Consulting Group
  • What sort of experience Eric has had in his first year of consulting, and how to navigate your options within consulting
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:38 - Eric's background
  • 2:42 - How Eric decided to leave the Navy and how he approached that decision
  • 4:48 - Eric's decision to pursue an advanced degree while still on active duty and the advantages of this approach
  • 6:42 - What life was like balancing active duty as a ROTC instructor, a family, and earning two master's degrees
  • 10:17 - What was most helpful for Eric at grad school in preparing for his civilian career, and what he wishes he had done differently
  • 14:50 - What drew Eric to the Bank of America and the world of finance
  • 16:50 - An overview of the Strategy Analyst role at Bank of America
  • 17:58 - The day-to-day life of a Strategy Analyst
  • 20:34 - Where Eric felt most ahead and behind his civilian counterparts in the first few years of his career
  • 23:15 - How Eric's first salary out of the Navy compared to his Navy salary
  • 25:20 - An overview of the career progression of a Strategy Analyst
  • 27:40 - How Eric approached his second career search compared to his first, and how he decided on Management Consulting
  • 31:06 - Advice on how to better understand oneself and find your ideal career
  • 34:07 - What it was like interviewing for consulting, and advice for those wanting to do the same
  • 38:40 - What day-to-day life is like at the Boston Consulting Group
  • 42:50 - What sort of experience Eric has had in his first year of consulting, and how to navigate your options within consulting
  • 47:58 - Indications that you may love life as a Management Consulting... and signs that you may hate it
  • 49:50 - The most surprising aspect of Eric's transition to a civilian career
  • 52:17 - Final words of wisdom
Nov 4, 2016

“I think that failure is such a scary word to anyone in a large organization, because generally in a large organization - like the military or government - they train you to not discuss failure openly. But in grappling with what you want to do next in life and coming to gips with who you are you need to develop a lot more candor. And you need to develop resiliency. It helped me to really reflect on how much sacrifice will I be willing to make in order to achieve what I want to achieve; and how will i talk about my failures to other people so I can help them."
 – Graham Plaster

Graham Plaster a Senior Adviser at the Defense Language and National Security Education Office. He started out at the Naval Academy, where he received his Bachelors degree in English. After that, he served in the Navy for 11 years as: a Surface Warfare Officer, the Assistant Dean of Students at the Naval War College, a United Nations Liaison Officer, a Foreign Area Officer, and a Navy Staff Officer for the OPNAV Staff. Since his transition to his civilian career he has worked as a consultant, author, editor, founder and advisor in a variety of capacities in the Washington D.C. area

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • How to embrace failure as a way to learn about yourself
  • How to find a community where you can add value and potentially start a business
  • The advantages of juggling multiple projects and how you can more effectively do this
  • How to use LinkedIn as a powerful tool for networking and advancing your career
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:38 - Graham's Background
  • 3:21 - How Graham approached the decision to leave the Navy
  • 5:02 - How Graham considered the Reserves and remained involved
  • 6:44 - An overview of American Corporate Partners - a FREE resource every veteran should consider
  • 9:50 - The most surprising aspect of Graham's transition to civilian life
  • 11:21 - Graham's advice on how to approach a job search
  • 13:22  - Some practical tips and tools to help with increasing your self-knowledge
  • 18:10 - Advice for using LinkedIn effectively for networking
  • 25:27 - How Graham started TheIntelligenceCommunity.com
  • 31:30 - What Graham's startup looks like on a day-to-day basis and what it's like juggling this with a fulltime job
  • 38:30 - Advice for veterans considering starting their own company
  • 40:10 - Advice for those seeking to juggle multiple jobs and side projects at the same time
  • 46:80 - What it's like working at the Defense Language and National Security Education Office
  • 49:40 - Final words of advice
Nov 2, 2016

“I think that startups - both sides, employers and vets - are a perfect match. If you think about what they ask you to do when you're a Junior Officer... I was a Truck Platoon Commander. They literally dropped me in Iraq and were like 'Go run convoys.' and I was like 'Well... I gotta figure this out.' Anyone that can do that, who has had those junior positions - either on the officer or enlisted side - can absolutely do what it takes to get something done, and quickly analyze the solution, make the best decision you can with 80% of the information or maybe less than that. So that's why I think it's an incredible fit."
 – Katie Horgan

Katie Horgan is a the Senior Director of Operations at Crave Crush - a very interesting New York based Health & Wellness startup. She started out at the University of Southern California, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After that she served for over six years in the Marine Corps, serving as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, and Operations Officer, spending time as a convoy commander in Iraq and serving as part of a crisis response force in the pacific theater.  When she transitioned from the military she went to Columbia Business School where she earned her MBA.  From Business school she went to the NY-based startup, Plated, first as their Director of Operations & Logistics, and then as their Senior Director of Operations & Logistics.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Barriers that veterans encounter when they apply to their first, second, and third job...and how to overcome them
  • What it's like to join a startup going through a period of EXPLOSIVE growth
  • The day-to-day life of a Director of Operations
  • Indications that you may love life at a startup... and signs that you may hate it
  • How Katie's salary at a startup compared to her salary in the military
  • How Katie thinks about a career in Operations and her career progression
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:48 - Katie's background
  • 2:58 - How Katie approached her decision to leave the Marine Corps
  • 3:38 - How Katie thought about the Reserves and decided not to participate
  • 5:30 - The most surprising aspect of Katie's transition from the military
  • 8:24 - Making the decision to go to school rather than work with recruiters
  • 10:30 - Advice for those considering applying to Columbia Business School (and Business School in general)
  • 12:03 - What Katie liked most and least about her time at Columbia Business School
  • 14:55 - How Katie went about finding her first job after Business School
  • 16:40 - Barriers that veterans encounter when they apply to their first, second, and third job...and how to overcome them
  • 23:20 - Katie does a great job explaining how her background is relevant to a Project Management job
  • 25:00 - What it's like to join a startup going through a period of EXPLOSIVE growth
  • 28:28 - The day-to-day life of a Director of Operations
  • 32:00 - In Katie's first years out of the military how she felt ahead and behind her civilian counterparts
  • 34:15 - Indications that you may love life at a startup... and signs that you may hate it
  • 38:40 - How Katie's salary at a startup compared to her salary in the military
  • 42:30 - An overview on Katie's current company, Crave Crush
  • 46:09 - How Katie thinks about a career in Operations and her career progression
  • 49:50 - Final words of wisdom
Oct 31, 2016

“I had been given good advice that it didn't matter the first job I did as long as I was learning from it and seeking out opportunities in the first job to be able to figure out what I wanted to do next. And so I went into it with the mindset that I would pick  everyone's brains who I worked with even if not on my team and build these relationships so i could figure out what the next step was."
 – RaeAnne Pae

RaeAnne Pae is a Client Solution Manager at Facebook, where she helps Financial Technology marketers grow their audience and business through Facebook. RaeAnne started out at doing ROTC at Morehead State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After that she served for over 7 years in the Army as an Intelligence Officer, where she was awarded the Bronze Star - the military’s fourth-highest individual military award - not once but twice: first for Combat operations in Iraq while assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division; second for combat operations in southern Afghanistan with assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. When RaeAnne transitioned to a civilian career she started out at the NYSE as an Event Marketing Specialist. She then worked as a Sales & Business Development member first at Tradecraft and then at Addy before joining Facebook.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Tradecraft and how to get an MBA equivalent experience in 3 months
  • How RaeAnne's transition straight to industry compared with her husband's transition to business school
  • Advice for those applying to Facebook and common veteran paths
  • Two concrete examples of explaining in a veteran background to a Facebook interviewer
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:31 - RaeAnne's background
  • 4:58 - How RaeAnne approached her decision to leave the Army
  • 8:26 - How RaeAnne and her husband approached the Reserves
  • 10:23 - The most surpsing aspects of RaeAnne's transition to civilian life
  • 13:45 - How RaeAnne approached her initial job search
  • 25:38 - An overview of Tradecraft
  • 35:00 - RaeAnne's second job search and how she improved - great advice to all veterans
  • 44:40 - Advice for those applying to Facebook and common veteran paths
  • 47:00 - RaeAnne explains why her background is applicable at Facebook - this is a great example of how veterans could explain their story in an interview
  • 49:33 - RaeAnne explains how her background relates to sales and relationship building
  • 51:45 - How RaeAnne's journey directly to industry compared with her husband's choice to go to business school
Oct 28, 2016

“If you're going to be working that many hours, that means that's how many hours you're learning too. So in the course of one year of working Investment Banking you're effectively getting two years of work that you might get somewhere else, in terms of the shear amount of time you're exposed to these key business problems."
 – Lee Haney

Lee Haney works in Business Operations & Strategy for the COO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He graduated in the top 5% of his class at the Naval Academy, and served in the Marine Corps for five years as a Human intelligence Officer, with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. After transitioning out of the military, Lee attended the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he graduated with honors. Since getting his MBA, Lee has worked in the Finance Industry with Goldman Sachs as an Investment Banking Associate, before transitioning to HPE. Lee is also the CFO for Service to School, which regular listeners will remember is the non-profit organization that I have a love affair with - they provide FREE service to any veteran to help you get into your ideal college or grad school program

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • An overview of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program and why it's such a great fit for any veteran interested in finance
  • An overview of Goldman Sachs and the Investment Banking world
  • The day-to-day life of an Investment Banker
  • What Lee liked most and least about his time as an Investment Banker
  • How Lee made the transition to Hewlett Packard Enterprises
  • And much, much more…

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:17 - Lee's Background
  • 2:30 - How Lee decided to leave the military
  • 3:40 - Choosing to not join the Reserves
  • 5:33 - The most surprising aspect of Lee's transition from the Marine Corps
  • 7:58 - An overview of Lee's experience and advice on the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • 17:15 - What drew Lee to the world of finance
  • 20:00 - an overview of the Veterans Integration Program and why it's such a great fit for any veteran interested in finance
  • 22:25 - An overview of Goldman Sachs and the Investment Banking world
  • 24:50 - the day-to-day life of an Investment Banker
  • 32:30 - Signs that you may be well suited for Investment Banking... and signs it may not be the best career option for you
  • 33:59 - Advice on applying to Goldman Sachs
  • 36:00 - What Lee liked most and least about his time as an Investment Banker
  • 39:10 - In what ways Lee felt ahead of his civilian counterparts in Investment Banker, and in what ways he felt like he had to catch up
  • 42:00 - How Lee made the transition to Hewlett Packard Enterprises
  • 45:00 - What Lee's day-to-day life looks like at HPE
  • 47:22 - Advice from Service to School
  • 49:45 - Final words of advice
Oct 26, 2016

“People always said that I was going to take a giant pay cut when I got out of the military and I thought, 'Nah - there's no way, I'm going to go into Wall Street... there's no pay cut.' There is a pay cut! I started off and had no experience in finance so I took an analyst role. And I took a significant pay cut. And I was paying for my own health care and my own taxes... it all adds up."
 – Vic Perez

Vic Perez graduated from the Naval Academy with a BS in Economics with Merit. He served in the Navy for 6 years - first as an officer onboard nuclear submarines as part of the crew of the USS Cheyenne, and after that as an instructor at Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Victor somehow found the time to earn his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an emphasis on Finance. Not only did he do that while teaching at Notre Dame…he did it in just two years instead of the traditional 3. Vic now works in the Financial Services Industry with Wells Fargo as part of their new Veteran Internship Program. His current role is as a Credit Derivative Swap Trading Analyst

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • F
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:30 - Vic's Background
  • 2:33 - How Vic decided to leave the military
  • 3:39 - How Vic chose to join the Reserves, and what that experience has been like
  • 5:10 - The most surprising aspect of Vic's transition to civilian life
  • 6:58 - Vic's experience at the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • 9:50 - Advice on applying to Chicago Booth School of Business (or business school in general)
  • 10:57 - day-to-day life of working at Notre Dame and attending the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • 13:21 - what Vic liked most and least about his experience at the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • 14:53 - common paths people take to get into Wall Street
  • 17:52 - An overview of a Trader
  • 23:18 - Signs that you may love life as a Trader... and signs you may hate it
  • 29:04 - Typical career progressions in the world or trading
  • 31:08 - Trading vs Investment Banking
  • 36:40 - The team environment of the Trading role
  • 38:12 - An overview of the Wells Fargo Veterans Internship Program
  • 41:03 - Where Vic felt ahead of his peers based on his military experience, and in what areas he felt behind
  • 41:58 - Advice to those on Active Duty on how to best prepare for their transition
  • 42:55 - Final words of advice
Oct 24, 2016

“A lot of stress goes into the transition and thinking about what's next. Trust in the system that being a high performer and having a positive attitude and getting things done is going to work out. You're going to hit a lot stumbling blocks along the way and face a lot of uncertainty, but if you maintain that positive attitude you're going to be fine."
 – John Pontrello

John Pontrello graduated from the Naval Academy and served for 9 years as a Naval Aviator as part of the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron. After getting out of the Navy, he attended Harvard Business School. After receiving his MBA from Harvard, he entered the Oil & Energy industry as part of Cameron - a publicly traded company with over 10k employees. John started as a Corporate Development Manager and then progressed to a Plant Manager. John then returned to Harvard, where he is currently earning his Master of Public Administration at their Kennedy School of Government.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Choosing to go straight to Business School at Harvard Business School rather than to industry
  • Advice on using the GI Bill
  • How John decided to enter the Oil & Energy Industry with Cameron
  • An overview of the Corporate Development Manager
  • An overview of a Plant Manager
  • What career progression looks like in the Oil & Energy industry
  • What it's been like at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:19 - John’s background
  • 2:06 - John’s decision to leave the Navy
  • 2:58 - Choosing to not join the Reserves
  • 3:32 - The most surprising aspect of John’s transition to civilian life
  • 4:16 - Choosing to go straight to Business School at Harvard Business School rather than to industry
  • 4:57 - Advice on applying to Business School and Harvard Business School in particular
  • 9:03 - What John liked most and least about his time at Harvard Business School
  • 10:30 - Advice on how a veteran might cover their weakness in advance (or as an alternative to business school)
  • 12:13 - Advice on using the GI Bill
  • 13:20 - How John decided to enter the Oil & Energy Industry with Cameron
  • 15:44 - An overview of the Corporate Development Manager
  • 19:25 - In what ways John felt behind his civilian counterparts, and in what ways he felt ahead.
  • 21:50 - An overview of a Plant Manager
  • 24:50 - What career progression looks like in the Oil & Energy industry
  • 30:00 - What are signs that you may enjoy a career in the Oil & Energy industry... and signs that you may not like it
  • 31:30 - What it's been like at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • 33:30 - Final words of wisdom
Oct 21, 2016

“Because we were in Haiti, our wash-down was in Guantanamo Bay, so I actually did my first call interview from a call center in Guantanamo Bay in Haiti, which led to my first  in person interview the third day I was in New York, which then lead to me starting a month or two later. It was a crazy road and super smooth transition. And part of that was creating my own luck, but a huge part of it was dumb luck too."
 – Ian Folau

Jason Mangone works at the New York City Department of Veterans' Services, where he serves as their Director of Public Private Partnerships and Development. He started out studying Political Science at Boston College and then served as a Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps. After leaving the military he was a Research Associate at the Think Tank, The Council on Foreign Relations for one year, prior to going to Yale for his Master’s in International Relations. After that he joined the Aspen Institute and was their director of The Franklin Project - an initiative to start a national discussion around a year of service for all citizens.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • What it's like to work in a Think Tank
  • Yale and a Masters in International Relations
  • How General Stanley McChrystal led to Jason's work at the Aspen Institute
  • Jason's experience at the Department of Veterans' Services and what he's learned
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:40 - Jason’s background
  • 3:00 - Jason’s decision to leave the Marine Corps and how he approached that decision
  • 4:19 - How Jason approached the Reserves and his decision not to join the Reserves… and why he may come back
  • 6:44 - The most surprising aspect of Jason’s transition to civilian life
  • 8:50 - An overview of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Think Tanks in general
  • 10:32 - How Jason went about finding his first job and how he ended up at the Council on Foreign Relations
  • 15:38 - Yale and a Masters in International Relations
  • 18:22 - How General Stanley McChrystal led to Jason's work at the Aspen Institute
  • 20:28 - What day-to-day life is like at the Aspen Institute
  • 21:50 - The difference between leadership outside of the military and inside of the military
  • 24:30 - In what ways Jason felt behind his civilian counterparts, and in what ways he felt ahead
  • 28:50 - Jason's experience at the Department of Veterans' Services
  • 34:10 - Advice Jason would want to provide to veterans based on his work in New York
  • 38:45 - Advice on how to find your ideal job
  • 41:50 - Where veterans can find resources to help them in their search for benefits
  • 43:20 - What life is like in the Government Services industry
  • 44:30 - If you're on active duty, steps you can take right now to prepare for your civilian transition
  • 49:50 - Final words of wisdom for veterans
Oct 19, 2016

“I was able to throw together some website and it was bringing in enough leads that we were able to fill everybody's houses and it just really took off for me. And it was my first venture, and ever since then I was hooked. The idea that I can make more money than my paycheck was exciting for me - the fact that I can provide something that someone will pay even a dollar for motivated me beyond what I could imagine."
 – Ian Folau

Ian Folau is the Co-Founder & CEO of the New York based startup, GitLinks. However, this wasn't Ian's first startup. Ian started founding companies while still on active duty in the Army, where he started his first of multiple startups. Ian studied Systems Engineering at West Point after which he served in the Army in multiple capacities before returning to West Point as an instructor. After departing the Army, he attended Cornell Tech to obtain his MBA, and during which he co-founded his most recent company.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Steps you can take right now to start your first company (even if you're on Active Duty)
  • Resources you can use to start learning and growing as an entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneurial mistakes that Ian made and what he learned from them, and the importance of failing fast
  • Advice on how to tease out who might be a better Co-Founder
  • What Ian's day-to-day life looked like when he first founded GitLinks
  • How leadership as an entrepreneur differs from military leadership
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:39 - Ian’s background
  • 2:40 - Ian's decision to leave the Army
  • 6:26 - Deciding to not pursue the Reserves
  • 7:20 - The most surprising aspect of Ian's transition to civilian life
  • ** 9:39 - Ian does a fantastic job of explaining his background in a way that is relevant to the listener. This comes up time and time again in interviews as a really crucial skill
  • 12:45 - Advice on how to better explain a veterans history to a civilian
  • 15:10 - Ian's experience starting companies while in the Army and how he got started
  • 21:30 - Resources to consider to help in your own entrepreneurial journey
  • 28:11 - Entrepreneurial mistakes that Ian made and what he learned from them, and the importance of failing fast
  • 33:10 - Advice on how to tease out who might be a better Co-Founder
  • 38:52 - Cornell Tech, and how it supports entrepreneurs
  • 40:52 - Advice on applying to Cornell Tech, and other programs to consider
  • 43:10 - An overview on Ian's current company, GitLinks
  • 46:15 - What Ian's day-to-day life looked like when he first founded GitLinks
  • 48:56 - How leadership as an entrepreneur differs from military leadership
  • 51:19 - Actions you can take right now to start an entrepreneurial journey (even while on Active Duty)
  • 53:19 - Final words of wisdom
Oct 17, 2016

“Something that was surprising [about the transition to civilian life] is that not everything is really laid out for you. In the military a lot of things are laid out for you; you go through specific trainings and checklists, you have a criteria on how you’re going to grow your career and take the test to advance and everything is defined by points and very structured in the military. When you get out, it’s nothing like that. You’re as successful on the outside as you want to be. you have to be hungry for those opportunities and seek them, because nothing is really laid out for you."
 – Tony Zamora

Tony Zamora is the Director of Human Resources at Ipsos, a company with over 17,000 worldwide employees. Tony started out as an Electronics Tech in the US Navy, and also served as an Electronics Repair Technician in the Coast Guard. He has worked in Human Resources roles at the Sierra Nevada Corporation and The San Jose Group.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • An overview of Human Resources and why you might find it appealing
  • What it’s like to be a Director of Human Resources, and what day-to-day life looks like
  • Common mistakes that veterans make in their transition and job search
  • How to improve your resume
  • What someone on active duty can do right now to start preparing for their transition to a civilian career
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes

  • 1:20 - Tony’s background
  • 2:25 - Tony’s decision to leave the military and how he approached it
  • 3:31 - How Tony researched what he wanted to do outside of the military
  • 5:41 - An overview of Human Resources and what appealed to Tony about this career
  • 7:01 - What it’s like to be a Director of Human Resources, and what day-to-day life looks like
  • 11:10 - In what ways Tony felt ahead of his peers in Human Resources, and where he had to catch up based on his military service
  • 13:07 - What was most surprising to Tony about his transition to civilian life
  • 14:40 - Advice to veterans based on Tony’s experience in Human Resources (HR)
  • 16:35 - The best advice Tony received about how to transition to a civilian career
  • 17:40 - Advice on how to network
  • 21:45 - Common mistakes that veterans make in their transition and job search
  • 22:16 - How to improve your resume
  • 23:50 - What someone on active duty can do right now to start preparing for their transition to a civilian career
  • 27:35 - Final words of advice to veterans
Oct 14, 2016

For the podcast, while I normally interview veterans about their civilian career, today I wanted to mix things up. One of the recurring themes of my show has been the importance of networking. Today, I take you through a 5  minute video overview of powerful - and free - tools you can use to take your networking and outreach to the next level.

Related Links:

  • LinkedIn for Veterans - a must have tool for everyone in the galaxy
  • Rapportive - Provides social profile info for emails, and is helpful at guessing emails for cold outreach
  • Boomerang - lots of helpful tools here, but the one I reference is reminding you if the person you email does not respond within a set time period
  • Assistant.to - cut down on all the back and forth of scheduling with Assistant.to; it's like having a virtual assistant, but for free
  • Beyondtheuniform_email_help_for_veterans - a free excel spreadsheet that will help you identify the top 9 most common email formats
Oct 12, 2016

"Open your eyes, be receptive, try to learn about what's unknown to you, in addition to what you're already aware of."
– Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe is a career coach, author, and columnist. He is the author of OUT OF UNIFORM -- Your Guide to a Successful Military-to-Civilian Transition, as well as a columnist of 11 years for CivilianJobs.com. Tom has over 29 years of experience in the Career Development industry. Tom is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer and Admiral’s Aide.

In this interview we discuss:

  • Stereotypes about veterans - how to use stories in interviews to reinforce the positive ones, and preemptively combat the negative ones
  • Common mistakes veterans make - like being too humble or understated in an interview
  • Job hunting techniques (like using informational interviews to see if you’d like a career and potentially get your foot in the door of an organization)
  • Using Filters for your job search so you can avoid boiling the ocean when looking for your ideal job
  • Using a career coach as a personal trainer for your career
  • Tactical exercises you can use to improve your self knowledge as part of a job search
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [3:10] - Tom’s background in writing and career coaching
  • [4:10] - The most common mistakes Tom sees veterans make in their career transition
  • [13:27] - Stereotypes - how to reinforce the positives and preempt the negatives
  • [24:26] Reasons why veterans get rejected in interviews
  • [27:00] - A surefire way to succeed in an interview
  • [28:33] - How to gather information about what you want to do as efficiently as possible
  • [33:18] - Using Informational Interviews to figure out what you want to do… and potentially get your foot in the door
  • [36:12] - How to use filters to simplify your job search
  • [43:20] - 1/2 of veterans end up working for a company they weren’t aware of at the start of their search..how to broaden your search to be aware of broader opportunities
  • [47:50] - A personal trainer for your career - Career Coaching
  • [57:03] - Using mistakes to learn in you job search
  • [58:32] - Where you can learn more about Tom’s work
Oct 12, 2016

This episode is a break from my normal format - rather than interview a veteran about their civilian career, I interview TWO veterans about their advice based on their work in helping other veterans. This episode is FULL of helpful hints, resources, and recommendations that would benefit any veteran.

In this interview I meet with Johannes Schonberg and Maggi Melina. Johannes enlisted in the navy as a Nuclear Machinist Mate, before attending the Naval Academy with a degree in English. He served as a Surface Warfare Officer in San Diego for five years before transitioning to civilian life. He has done work in Politics and as a consultant, helping companies like T-Mobile and Facebook hire veterans. Maggi Air Force ground radar systems journeyman, deploying to Kuwait. After her transition, she completed her bachelors degree, went to law school, and worked as a lawyer for seven years. After practicing law, she worked in politics, as an electrician, and then as a founder of a startup.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Practical tips and tools to use as a veteran to help in your networking
  • Coding academies and other efficient resources to help educate you for a specific job
  • What companies like Facebook and T-Mobile look for in veterans
  • And much, much more...

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Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:30 Intro and background info Johannes and Maggi
  • 7:12 What people on active duty may not understand about civilian life.
  • 12:30 What is “networking” and advice for veterans about how to get started
  • 17:10 Education - taking a proactive and efficient approach to education, and specific resources to consider
  • 21:00 How a veteran might approach “networking” in a way that is more authentic and natural to them
  • 23:26 A few other resources to consider for education
  • 25:20 Common mistakes that veterans make in their transition to civilian life
  • 29:50 An overview of Code Schools and Coding Academies
  • 34:58 What veterans should know about applying to companies like Facebook and T-Mobile
  • 43:40 Other advice and words of wisdom for veterans
Oct 10, 2016

“And I think sometimes that was hard to admit to ourselves and to others in the military: it was a little scary looking out there at the job market and trying to figure out how am I going to make this work and make this happen? It is not that bad - and I would encourage folks to be confident in themselves and their skills. You've been equipped with the skills to land pretty much any job out there."
 – John Vardaman

John Vardaman is a Senior Construction Manager at Tesla. He started his career in the Construction Industry at DPR Construction, where he served as a Project Manager. While at DPR Construction, he earned his Masters in Sustainable Design and Construction at Stanford University. In the military, John served as a Human Intelligence Officer in the Marine Corps, and graduated from the US Naval Academy.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • How John used multiple recruiters over the course of a year to find his ideal job
  • What it's like to be a Project Manager, and how the military prepares you for this role
  • The benefits of pursuing advanced education once you have civilian working experience
  • How to explain your background to an employer in terms that will resonate with them
  • How to approach the job search with confidence and humility
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [2:00] John's Background
  • [2:48] Making the decision to leave the Marine Corps
  • [4:54] Evaluating whether or not to join the Reserves
  • [6:30] Choosing his first job, and working with Recruiters (and the pros and cons of Recruiters)
  • [9:18] Starting to work with Recruiters one year from separation and the advantages of more time for interviews
  • [12:30] What drew John to Construction and Project Management
  • ** [13:20] John does an amazing job explaining his past as it would help in a Project Management role. I thought this was a great, tangible example of how to sell your background for ones desired role
  • [16:20] John explains how he would explain his military background in a Project Management role
  • [19:27] Day-to-day life of a Project Manager in the Construction industry
  • [22:40] Where John felt ahead of his peers based on his military service... and where he felt behind
  • [25:48] The most surprising aspect of John's transition to life as a civilian
  • [31:23] How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership in the military
  • [34:18] Pursuing a Master's at Stanford while working, and how John benefited from having experience before pursuing advanced education
  • [39:37] John's experience working at Tesla, and how great it is to work at a company aligned with your values
  • [44:44] Final words of advice for military personnel and other veterans
Oct 7, 2016

"We underestimate the incredible experience and leadership skills that we bring to the table, and I think that veterans don't appreciate the magnitude of it when they're in the thick of it."
– Tom Spahn

Tom Spahn has spent time in his civilian career as both a Corporate Lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell, as well as a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Co. He has a collection of degrees - he received his JD from Stanford Law School while also obtaining MS in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford at the same time. He also holds a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. Tom graduated from the Naval Academy, served on submarines with the crew of the USS Chicago (SSN 721).

In this interview we discuss:

  • Why Tom chose to remain in the Navy Reserves
  • Advice for veterans considering Law School
  • What day-to-day life is like as a Corporate Lawyer and as a Management Consultant
  • What the typical career path looks like for both Corporate Lawyers and Management Consultants
  • How the military prepared him for Corporate Law work... and where he had to catch up
  • What it's like to interview for a Management Consulting firm
  • Signs that you may like a career in Management Consulting... and indications that you might not enjoy it
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [1:44] - Background
  • [3:22] - Deciding to leave the Navy
  • [4:08] - Choosing to remain in the Reserves
  • [6:37] - Choosing to get another Master's Degree, and choosing Law School
  • [8:12] - How the military prepared him for Law School... and where he had to catch up
  • [10:45] - Advice for those considering Law School
  • [12:15] - Why Tom chose Corporate Law
  • [14:31] - Applying to Law School, and applying to a Corporate Law Firm
  • [19:15] - Day-to-day life as a Corporate Lawyer
  • [23:00] - How the military prepared him for Corporate Law work... and where he had to catch up
  • [23:47] - What a typical career path looks like for a Corporate Lawyer
  • [25:40] - Choosing to switch to Management Consulting
  • [27:10] - What it's like to interview for a Management Consulting firm
  • [32:45] - Day-to-day life as a Management Consultant
  • [37:43] - What a typical career path looks like for a Management Consultant
  • [41:18] - Signs that you may like a career in Management Consulting... and indications that you might not enjoy it
  • [46:34] - The biggest surprise about the transition to civilian life
  • [48:18] - Don't sell yourself short as a veteran
Oct 5, 2016

"I think military people assume that when they get out the military their skills and abilities are going to put them in a job that is paying them more than when they were in the military. I think that's a misconception - once they get out they have to realize they have to prove themselves again. That could take one month or four jobs, but you have to realize that your'e starting fresh."
– Noel Gonzalez

Noel Gonzalez - grew up in Cuba, emigrated to the United States, and eventually became the Commanding Officer of the USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. While on Active Duty, Noel founded three different startups. The most recent - and one we discuss most during the interview - is a company built to help Veterans in their transition to civilian life (SkillMil). In this interview we discuss:

  • The mistakes Noel made and learned from in starting his first two companies
  • Steps that active duty military personnel can do right now to fill in their business knowledge gaps
  • What day-to-day life is like as an entrepreneur
  • The importance of mentors and coaches as part of the transition process
  • How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership within the military
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Stanford Ignite - also there is a Veterans Ignite every summer
  • Sloan MIT Online Courses - all online courses, easy to understand
  • SkillMil - help veterans translate their experience in the military to employers in the civilian world
  • SRI International - helping make lives healthier, better, and more productive
  • Jimmy Sopko interview - I reference this as an example of a veteran who rolled up his sleeves, took a pay cut, and worked his way up in an organization

Show Notes

  • [2:15] - From Cuba to Commanding Officer of the USS Cheyenne, Noel's background
  • [4:13] - The mistakes Noel made and learned from in starting his first two companies
  • [5:42] - Where Noel felt he was most behind his civilian counterparts in starting a company
  • [7:02] - Advice on ways to fill in business knowledge gaps while in the military
  • [10:37] - How Noel started his third company, SkillMil
  • [12:28] - How SkillMil helps veterans
  • [17:48] - What day-to-day life is like as an entrepreneur
  • [20:55] - Common misconceptions about civilian life
  • [25:00] - The importance of mentors and coaches as part of the transition process
  • [27:21] - How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership within the military
  • [28:24] - Final advice to those on active duty

 

 

Oct 3, 2016

“As you start to make this transition, -asking for advice is the smart move. Thinking that you have everything figured out or that you're going to be bothering someone learning about what they're doing that's the fool's road. I would urge people to not be scared of reaching out to people - if you don't, you're hurting yourself."
 – Taylor Justice

Taylor Justice is the Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer at Unite Us, a start-up that connects citizens with local coordinated services. Based in New York, Unite Us has raised over $6M in venture funding, and over 20 employees. After attending the U.S. Military Academy and serving for over a year as an Infantry Officer in the Army, Taylor was unexpectedly military disqualified from the Army. He faced his transition to civilian life years before he expected it, with no peers or classmates from whom to seek advice. Through a meticulous approach to reaching out to others, Taylor landed his first job in the Medical Devices industry, and then transitioned to the world of tech. While attending Columbia Business School he met his co-founder, and launched Unite Us.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • An unexpected departure from the Army, and navigating a career search before his peers
  • Using a systematic email process to gain information and his first job
  • The advantages of client support functional roles and sales roles
  • What it's like to start and grow a startup
  • Advice for other veterans seeking to start their own business
  • Not being afraid to ask advice from anyone and everyone as a means of learning
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [1:38] Background
  • [2:40] An unexpected separation from the Army
  • [8:40] The most helpful resources in his initial job search
  • [14:07] Advice for structuring an outreach process as part of a job search
  • [15:48] How the military most prepared and least prepared him for an Account Executive and Sales role
  • [18:50] The starting point of founding Unite Us
  • [22:25] Advice on finding and vetting a potential co-founder
  • [24:15] Whether to gain experience prior to starting a company, or do it straight out of the military
  • [29:12] The day-to-day life of starting a company
  • [33:30] Common misconceptions that military personnel have about starting a company
  • [38:25] How military personnel can benefit from Unite Us
  • [44:05] Biggest advice - don't be afraid to ask for help

 

Sep 30, 2016

Timothy Avery faced his transition to civilian life much earlier than anticipated, and found himself - far ahead of his peer set - having to decide what to do. Initially, he found his way to Management Consulting, where he worked with both BearingPoint and Booz Allen Hamilton. However, after further consideration, he navigated his way to a doctoral program in clinical psychology (i.e., Doctorate of Psychology, or PsyD). In all my interviews, one of the most commonly cited pieces of advice from veterans is to make sure that "you know yourself as you prepare for your job search." Tim does an exceptional job of breaking down practical ways in which you can do this.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • How Tim unexpectedly found himself transitioning to civilian life...twice
  • An overview of the Management Consulting industry and the key players
  • What day-to-day life is like as a consultant
  • How he transitioned into a PsyD/PhD program
  • What day-to-day life is like as a PsyD student
  • His advice for how to better understand what will make you happy
  • And much, much more…
    • Listen to it on iTunes.
    • Stream by clicking here.
    • Download as an MP3 by right-clicking hereand choosing “save as.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Recruiters Mentioned: The Lucas GroupCameron-Brooks
  • Consulting Firms mentioned: Ernst & Young (EY)DeloitteKPMGMcKinsey & Co.Bain & Co.Boston Consulting GroupBooz Allen Hamilton
  • Book recommendation: What Color is Your Parachute
  • American Psychology Association conference
  • The Yellow Ribbon Program
  • If any veteran ever feels in distress, please call:800-273-TALK, 1 if military / veteran
    • Can text as well

Show Notes

  • [2:23] Background
  • [3:58] An unexpected transition to civilian life...twice
  • [5:45] How the Consulting industry supported the Naval Reserves
  • [8:34] Researching possible careers and deciding on Management Consulting
  • [13:25] Management Consulting firms where Veterans should consider applying
  • [15:53] A day in the life of a consultant
  • [21:18] Travel and Consulting Work
  • [22:29] How life compared between BearingPoint and Booz Allen Hamilton
  • [22:59] Switching to advanced education in Psychology
  • [27:47] The process of starting a PsyD/PhD
  • [33:15] Planning ahead for transitions...they take longer than you'd think
  • [36:40] A day in the life of a PsyD student
  • [40:50] Advice for increasing self-knowledge as you approach your job search
  • [52:50] Advice for all veterans

 

Sep 28, 2016

“Being able to work with deadlines and under pressure, attention to detail...these little things add up dramatically to put you in a position to do well [in the Civilian world]."
 – Alex Chivers

Alex Chivers served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the US Army, where was part of the elite Army Rangers. During his time in the Army, Alex deployed multiple times to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. After leaving the Army, Alex was accepted to Dartmouth College, routinely ranked as one of the top ten colleges in the country. While at Dartmouth, Alex held internships in the Investment Banking world with both Barclays and Perella Weinberg Partners, as well as an internship at the US House of Representatives. Alex has also worked as an Ambassador for Service 2 School, helping other veterans get into college.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • His decision to leave the Army.
  • How a conversation on Reddit helped him get into Dartmouth
  • His work with Service 2 School, and advice on applying to college
  • Common mistakes he sees veterans make in their transition to civilian life
  • An overview of the Investment Banking world
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [2:10] Army Rangers, Darthmouth, and Alex's background
  • [3:10] Deciding to leave the Army
  • [4:31] How far in advance Alex started to plan
  • [6:35] Deciding between college vs. straight to industry
  • [7:45] Preparing financially for the transition to civilian life
  • [9:55] How Alex get into Dartmouth
  • [13:10] How a Reddit forum helped him get into college
  • [15:35] Advice for college applications
  • [18:36] Common misconceptions Alex sees when people are applying to college and transitioning to civilian life
  • [23:15] How the Army put Alex ahead... and where he felt behind his classmates
  • [27:20] Additional resources to consider
  • [28:31] Interning in the Investment Banking world
  • [30:50] Interning at the US House of Representatives
  • [32:22] What's next for Alex after Dartmouth
  • [35:30] Final advice to those on Active Duty
Sep 26, 2016

“In terms of the highest tangible ROI, an MBA is hard to beat as a veteran, especially for someone like me coming from a non-technical background."
 – David Lee

David Lee will be attending the Stanford Graduate School of Business next September after over six years of service in the US Marine Corps. He has served as the Director of MBA and Other Graduate Programs at Service 2 School, a free resource to help veterans get into their dream education program. As a result, he has's got a wealth of knowledge for veterans considering going to school once they get out of the military. A NROTC graduate of the University of Michigan, David was academically #1 of 600 at the Officer Candidate School.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • His decision to leave the Marine Corps
  • Analyzing grad school problems, their fit, and potential return
  • How Service 2 School provided free help in his application process
  • Surprises in the grad school admission process
  • Advice to those considering applying to schools once they leave the military
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [1:50] Background
  • [3:00] Making the decision to leave the military
  • [4:30] Researching potential options
  • [5:50] Choosing to remain in the Reserves
  • [6:30] Choosing graduate school as a means to shortcut impact
  • [8:30] Service 2 School and how they can help with college & grad school admission
  • [9:54] Surprising in the MBA application process
  • [11:10] Choosing schools for application...and which to accept
  • [11:50] Advice on the application process
  • [13:45] A timeline for applying to business schools
  • [15:00] Resources for GMAT preparation
  • [15:35] Life while applying to grad school
  • [16:30] Extracurricular activities while on active duty
  • [17:45] What he's learned from working at Service 2 School
  • [19:15] Common veteran questions and misconceptions about grad school
  • [22:45] Final words of advice

 

 

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