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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: Page 10
Sep 21, 2016

“Service 2 School is a free service for Veterans; we pair you with someone from your background...and in order to get into best school possible for you, we help you TRAIN: that's taking you through Test prep, Resume review, Application & essay assistance, Interviewing and Networking."
 – Tim Hsia

Of every interview I've done so far, this it the one I would most recommend to every single military veteran - enlisted and officer. Tim Hsia received his JD and MBA from Stanford after serving as a Captain in the US Army. While at Stanford, Tim co-founded two companies; one sold to the Stanford Daily, and the second is still in operation. This organization - Service 2 School - is a free resource for all veterans to help them get into the best school (college or grad school) for them.

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

  • His decision to leave the US Army
  • Why he chose to get two degrees at the same time, and which one he would recommend to other veterans
  • The power of internships to help you find your ideal job
  • How Service 2 School will help you find the right school for you and get in
  • Common misconceptions he sees in veterans when considering schools
  • What his time in the Venture Capital Industry was like
  • 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

  • [1:54] Background
  • [3:38] Choosing to leave the Army
  • [5:18] Choosing a JD / MBA instead of directly to Industry
  • [11:45] Getting an internship if you don't go to grad school
  • [14:55] Taking a long-term view on your career
  • [19:20] Starting Service 2 School to help veterans with college & grad school applications
  • [24:45] How Service 2 School is the best free resource for Veterans on earth
  • [31:57] Most common mistakes / misconceptions that military personnel have in their transition
  • [36:45] Advice on whether or not to pursue education after transition from the military
  • [39:43] Considering an Executive Education Program vs. a Traditional Program
  • [42:11] An overview on Venture Capital from Tim's internship experience
  • [47:00] The most surprising aspect about the transition from military life

 

 

Sep 19, 2016

“You can do an internship - not just through grad school - as a way to dip your toe in the water to see how you like that type of role and company. It’s a great way to give yourself that reflection time period if you’r not going to go to a grad school program."
 – Shaunnah Sopko

Shaunnah Sopko is a Product Quality Program Manager at Nest. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MS in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a BS in Systems Engineering from the US Naval Academy. Shaunnah served six years as an officer in the Surface Warfare community, where she served on the USS Shoup (DDG 86), Destroyer Squadron 9, and as the Flag Aide to the Superintendent of the US Naval Academy.

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

  • Her decision to leave the Navy
  • Joining the Reserves through grad school and at work
  • Advice for Business School appliations
  • How the military prepared her for graduate school…and where she had to catch up
     
  • Overview of Product & Program Management
  • Advice for Active Duty military personnel who want to pursue a career in Product & Program Management
  • Recommended resources to prepare for your transition
  • 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

  • [1:20] Background
  • [3:15] - Weighing options on leaving the Navy
  • [5:50] - Joining the Reserves through grad school and at work
  • [7:15] - How Shaunnah’s company accommodated her Reserves time[10:10] - Pursuing a second master’s degree
  • [11:24]  - Advice for Business School appliations
  • [14:35] - How the military prepared her for graduate school…and where she had to catch up
  • [18:07] - Overview of Product & Program Management
  • [21:15] - Advice for Active Duty military personnel who want to pursue a career in Product & Program Management
  • [24:52] - Interning at Apple
  • [28:08] - Choosing Nest
  • [29:38] - Advice for preparing for an interview
  • [32:07] - Day-to-Day life as a Program Manager
  • [40:33] - How the military prepared her for Program Management…and where she had to catch up
  • [42:35] - Recommended resources to prepare for your transition
  • [46:45] - Final advice for transition
Sep 16, 2016

“Be open to the fact that you don't know what you don't know. Be willing to reach out and ask people what they do, what they like and don't like...be open to just learning and figuring out what's important to you and try to find a company that's right for you."
 – Jimmy Sopko

Jimmy Sopko is a Manager of Growth Sales at Pinterest. Jimmy got his start at Pinterest by rolling up his sleeves and taking a job at Pinterest as part of their Community Operations team. While this was a step back in terms of pay and seniority, it got his foot in the door and he was able to quickly work his way up within Pinterest... a company that has already tripled in growth since he joined. Jimmy is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and former Surface Warfare Officer. He's also an avid rower, having earned a Silver Medal in the 2009 World Rowing Championships.

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

  • The three approaches Jimmy took to get his first job (Recruiters, Networking, Mentors)
  • The importance of choosing a lifestyle NOT a specific role at a company
  • How he narrowed his job search down to the Technology industry and Pinterest
  • What it's like to join an internet rocket ship... at the very bottom
  • Why he thinks it may be better to skip grad school and going straight to industry
  • The difference between military leadership and Tech leadership
  • How customer-facing roles maximize your learning inside a company
  • 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

  • [1:30] Background
  • [2:40] Transition from the Navy to US Rowing Team and searching for a new career
  • [4:10] Three approaches to getting his first job (Recruiters, Networking, Mentors)
  • [6:38] Approaching the decision to leave the military
  • [8:40] Choosing to not join the Reserves
  • [10:55] The importance of choosing a lifestyle NOT a specific role
  • [11:55] Deciding to leave the US Rowing Team and enter industry
  • [12:53] Exploring career possibilities while rowing
  • [14:10] Narrowing a job search down to the Technology industry and Pinterest
  •  [16:30] Joining a rocket ship... at the very bottom
  • [17:57] Advice for skipping grad school and going straight to industry
  • [23:40] The difference between military leadership and Tech leadership
  • [26:50] How customer-facing roles maximize your learning inside a company
  • [27:52] Day-to-day life of a Community Operations / Customer Support roles
  • [30:00] Managing in an organization (vs. in the military)
  • [32:05] Day-to-day life in Growth Sales capacity
  • [36:50] Advice to those currently on Active Duty

 

Sep 14, 2016

“There is an insatiable appetite [at top tier business schools]... at these schools for people who have real leadership backgrounds, and they view the military as an incubator for that."
 – Bobby Farina

Bobby Farina is a Partner at Sixpoint Ventures, after having spent over 10 years in the Financial Services industry. Bobby attended the US Air Force Academy, where he studied Management, prior to entering the intelligence community as an Information Security Specialist. Although he obtained his MS in in Information Security at Johns Hopkins University while on Active Duty, he chose to attend Columbia Business School after he separated from the Air Force.

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

  • His decision to leave the Air Force, and how he thought about the Reserves
  • Using grad school while in the military to offset a low GPA from undergrad and boost grad school admission chances
  • Considering the opportunity cost of pursuing a master's degree vs. entering industry right away
  • Recommendations for schools focusing on finance and advice on how to get in
  • A breakdown of the Financial Services industry and where veterans fit in
  • How to get your first job in Financial Services
  • What you may end up missing from 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

  • [0:22] - Personal, USAFA and Air Force background
  • [6:54] - Decision to leave the Air Force
  • [9:54] - Considering Air Force Reserves
  • [12:12] - Air Force Reserves while in Financial Services
  • [13:04] - Doing grad school while on active duty
  • [16:50] - using post college work to boost your GPA if you have a lower college GPA
  • [19:42] - deciding on a second master's degree and an MBA
  • [21:00] - Choosing Columbia as business school and application process
  • [21:53] - Recommendations for Top Tier Business Schools focusing on Finance
  • [23:40] - Balancing Applications to business school & general advice
  • [26:25] - Finding the right school for you
  • [28:30] - Getting the most out of grad school but knowing your intended industry
  • [31:00] - Overview of the Financial Services Industry
  • [35:45] - Why Financial Services companies love veterans
  • [37:45] - What traits they most prize in veteran applicants
  • [41:10] - Advice for someone who wants to enter Financial Services industry
  • [44:05] - Biggest surprise in transitioning to civilian world
Sep 12, 2016

“What I didn't know [when I was first getting out of the Navy] was how prepared and equipped veterans are as they're transitioning for an unbelievable number of roles within corporate america.”

– Brad Bonney

Brad Bonney grew up in Kansas City and in 8th Grade decided to attend the Naval Academy. He graduated from USNA in '05, went to Stanford University to get his MS in Electrical Engineering, and then joined the submarine pipeline. After five years of service on the USS Jefferson City, he left the Navy to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

After graduating from Stanford (for the second time), Brad joined AirBnB as one of their first thousand employees. Since then, he has seen the company triple in size, as he serves as a manager on their Trust & Safety team (with over 200 employees).

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

  • His decision to leave the Navy, and how he thought about the Reserves
  • How he decided to go back to grad school again
  • Advice on applying to a top tier business school
  • Thoughts about Executive Education programs
  • How he decided to join AirBnB, and how he got his foot in the door
  • What is day-to-day life like at a high-growth internet startup
  • What has been the most surprising aspect of civilian life
  • 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

  • [3:03] - Personal, USNA and Navy background
  • [3:35] - Stanford MS experience
  • [4:23] - Decision to transition from the Navy
  • [5:08] - Decision process for not joining the Navy Reserves
  • [5:55] - Deciding to get another degree
  • [7:20] - Choosing Business School over other grad programs
  • [8:23] - Why Stanford & the application process, how to evaluate the value of business school
  • [9:45] - Advice for applying to Stanford (and Business School in general) and what not to do
  • [12:10] - Advice to active duty military thinking of applying to Business School in several years
  • [13:40] - considering Executive Education vs. Full Time grad school
  • [15:08] - Understanding what you're buying with an MBA experience
  • [15:48] - AirBnB description & joining a high-growth startup
  • [17:43] - What day-to-day job looks like
  • [19:13] - Team size and composition
  • [19:48] - Travel
  • [21:10] - Hours
  • [22:29] - Perks & Paternity Leave
  • [25:18] - Vacation
  • [26:29] - Choosing an Industry and deciding on AirBnB
  • [29:03] - Preparing for Interview, and the interview process
  • [31:18] - Deciding on the size of the company
  • [33:08] -  Difference in management in civilian life vs. the military
  • [36:58] - Advice to current college students planning a transition to civilian life
  • [38:23] - Advice to officers thinking of getting out of the military in the next 1-2 years
  • [40:16] - Most surprising aspects of transition from active duty
Sep 8, 2016

"I went from career military to dedicated civilian overnight. But it turned out that not too terribly much changed about the approach in general. The skills from the Marine Corps - the leadership, the time management, the prioritization, the ability...to be tactful, and to try to be a little bit influential to secure the items that your guys need...those are the things you lean on almost all day."
– Rob Miller

Rob Miller - Rob is an Operations Manager in the Medical Device industry at a company called Drummond Scientific. Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Rob enlisted in the US Marine Corps where he served as a technician on the stinger missile systems. After three years, while serving in Iraq he was accepted to the US Naval Academy, and returned back to the Marine Corps after graduating from USNA:

  • How he left the Marine Corps after always thinking he would spend his career in the military
  • How he used a recruiter to accelerate his job search
  • How the Marine Corps prepared him for his role in operations
  • What his day-to-day life is like as an Operations Manager
  • How Operations gives him exposure to every aspect of the company
  • How he used an Executive MBA program to learn while being apply his lessons to his job
  • 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

  • [1:40] - Growing up and enlisting in the Marine Corps
  • [4:35] - A delayed USNA acceptance letter received in Iraq
  • [8:36] - Rejoining the Corps as an officer
  • [9:23] - Deciding to leave the Marine Corps
  • [12:30] - Choosing to not join the Reserves
  • [15:30] - Overview on the Medical Devices Industry
  • [20:00] - Choosing his first job, and working with the Lucas Group
  • [29:30] - Advice for those considering working with a Recruiting Firm
  • [34:58] - The day-to-day life of an Operations Manager
  • [39:30] - Why Veterans are well suited to Operations, and why it's a great first job
  • [41:16] - Advantages and disadvantages of coming from the military
  • [44:42] - Why you may get more out of an Executive MBA than a traditional MBA program
  • [50:07] - Advice to those considering an EMBA program or Wharton
Sep 5, 2016

"A lot of us come out of the military and we've been reassured that our experience in the military is  highly valuable... and I believe that that's true, but I also believe that the transition is not as easy as people want you to believe. It's a lot of work and a full-time job to set yourself up to a successful transition."

– Jay Border

This is a great interview for anyone on Active Duty who is considering going to grad school - Jay does a great job of walking through his decision process amongst grad school programs, and whether to do full-time or part-time, during active duty or after active duty.

Jay Border grew up in South Florida. He had always wanted to be involved in government service, and saw that institutions like the FBI always viewed military service as a plus. That, combined with his love of the water and desire for an academic challenge drew him to the US Naval Academy, where he studied International Relations and National Security. He was selected for Aviation, however was medically disqualified during his pilot training. This lead to a lateral transfer to the Intelligence Community, where he supported Special Operations. While on Active Duty, he completed his Executive MBA (EMBA) at UCLA's Anderson School of Business, and is currently pursuing opportunities in the Private Equity space.

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

  • His decision to leave the Navy
  • How an Executive MBA program allowed him to maintain an income and evaluate a career inside and outside of the military
  • Evaluating the financial difference between a private and public university with respect to the GI Bill
  • Advantages that veterans have that they don't often realize as advantages
  • Considering the cost of grad school
  • How to use the GI Bill to make grad school more affordable
  • How to use advisors, mentors, and your network to help narrow your job search and get an edge
  • The value of "closing doors" on career possibilities early
  • How to manage the early stages of a career search as if it were a full time job
  • 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

  • [1:28] - Personal background and decision to go to the Naval Academy
  • [2:30] - The Naval Academy, Aviation and the Naval Intelligence Community
  • [4:07] - Deciding to leave the Navy
  • [7:27] - Reasons for choosing to join the Reserves
  • [9:51] - Choosing business school over other graduate school programs
  • [15:25] - Choosing an Executive MBA program over a traditional full-time program
  • [22:45] - How the military got him ahead, and where he needed to catch up to his non-military peers
  • [28:02] - Deciding on UCLA over other MBA programs
  • [33:06] - Advice for how to manage a job search
  • [39:58] - Building an "Advisory Board" to help with your transition
  • [45:30] - Resources active duty military personnel should check out
Aug 29, 2016

 Blake Lindsay grew up all over the United States, and knew from an early age that he wanted to go to a service academy. At the Naval Academy, he was the Captain of the Men's Rugby Team while majoring in Ocean Engineering. After graduating from USNA in 2005, Blake joined the Surface Warfare Community and then went through the Nuclear Power pipeline. After Nuclear Power School and Prototype, Blake was stationed in Seattle with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). While on Active Duty, Blake went through Old Dominion University's graduate school, receiving his Master's in Engineering Management shortly after separating from the Navy. Blake's first job out of the military was with McKinsey & Co. in the industry of Management Consulting.

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

  • His decision to leave the Navy, and how he thought about the Reserves
  • Advice on pursuing a graduate degree while still on Active Duty
  • Advice on weighing pursuing a degree during Active Duty, or afterwards
  • What is Management Consulting, who are the key players, and what is McKinsey & Co.
  • What does day-to-day and week-to-week life look like as a Consultant
  • How management in consulting differs from management in the military
  • The biggest advantage and disadvantage of coming from the military
  • How to prepare for a Consulting interview
  • Career potentials within a consulting firm, as well as transitioning out of consulting
  • 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

  • [2:21] - Personal, Naval Academy, and Navy Background
  • [4:48] - Decision to leave the Navy
  • [6:08] - Aspects of the military Blake misses most and least post-separation
  • [8:01] - Choosing whether or not to join the Navy Reserves
  • [9:20] - How McKinsey works with the Reserves
  • [10:20] - Old Dominion University, and pursuing a masters degree while on Active Duty
  • [12:18] - Advice for doing graduate work while on Active Duty
  • [15:16] - Overview on Management Consulting Industry and McKinsey & Co.
  • [18:21] - Day-to-day life at McKinsey & Co. and as a Management Consultant
  • [20:16] - Team structure at McKinsey & Co.
  • [22:11] - What has been most helpful from Blake's military experience, and where has he most needed to catch up
  • [25:06] - Hours and weekend work
  • [27:11] - Interview process & preparation
  • [29:43] - Career paths inside and outside of consulting
  • [32:26] - Final advice to someone on Active Duty considering consulting
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