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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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Aug 27, 2018

Why Listen:
John has had an incredible career both in and out of the military, including his work as a White House Fellow and the creator of the color coded alert system. He is a published author as well of three books. We talk about failure, resilience, telling your story, and more.

About John:
John Fenzelis a senior Army Special Forces officer who has served on our nation’s battlefields throughout Europe and the Middle East for over 30 years. He has served as a military assistant on the personal staff of the Secretary of Defense, as a Special Assistant to the Vice President, and as a White House Fellow during the Clinton and Bush administrations. He is the author of three books: The Fifth Column, The Sterling Forest, and The Lazarus Covenant. John is a graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College. Born in Iowa and raised outside Chicago, John lives with his wife and three children in Annapolis, MD.

Aug 23, 2018

Why Listen:
Ben has been incredibly successful as an entrepreneur, having sold his first startup for $110M. He talks about his previous experience at business school and LinkedIn, and advice for other Veterans thinking of starting their own company.

About Ben:
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Ben Fawis the Co-Founder and COO of BestReviews, a technology startup that has helped over 180M users by simplifying their purchasing decisions. BestReviews was recently acquired by tronc (formerly known as Tribune Publishing) for $110M. He started out at West Point, and served in the US Army for 4.5 years as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Aide-De-Camp. After his military service he got his MBA from Harvard Business School and worked at LinkedIn as a Marketing Solutions Account Executive.

Our Sponsor: 

  • StoryBox- People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books
Aug 20, 2018

Alejandro Villanueva is a Left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He started out at West Point, where he played left tackle, defensive lineman, and wide receiver. He was voted to be team captain his final year at West Point, and a feature story in the Army football program read, "Already touted as the tallest football player in the country, Villanueva completed the transformation from being an offensive lineman for the past two years, to running routes on the field with the starting offense last Saturday night.” He served as a Captain in the Army, as an Army Ranger and was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor, having served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. After his military service he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, and later after by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Why Listen: 
Mark is a wealth of knowledge of tactical advice for managers, having coached two Presidents of the United States. His advice is listened to by over 2M people per month and shares insights about how Veterans can lead in the civilian workforce, tips for interviewing, and more.

Aug 16, 2018

Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, who specializes in the theory of distributed algorithms. He previously earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2009 and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2004. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age as a professor, Cal also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work.He is the author of the recent book Deep Work, which I am reading next. The book we’ll discuss mostly today, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, argues that “follow your passion” is bad advice. Inc Magazine listed it as one of the best business books of the year, and Cal’s related Oped in the NYT was one of their most emailed articles for the entire site.

This is one of the MOST influential books I read in 2016, and I feel it is a message that every veteranshould hear.

Aug 13, 2018

Mark Horstmannis the Co-Founder of Manager Tools, a management consulting and training firm that regularly consults to and trains managers in Fortune 1000 companies around the world. His podcast - Manager Tools- has over 800 ratings on iTunes, and focuses on specific skills to improve management performance. He started out at West Point and served as an Officer in the US Army for five years. He and his Co-Founder, also a West Point graduate, have run Manager Tools for nearly 14 years. His podcast is listened to over 2M times per month in every country in the world except for North Korea. He is also the author of the book, The Effective Manager.

Why Listen: 
Mark is a wealth of knowledge of tactical advice for managers, having coached two Presidents of the United States. His advice is listened to by over 2M people per month and shares insights about how Veterans can lead in the civilian workforce, tips for interviewing, and more.

Aug 9, 2018

Donnie works at ConsenSys in the Office of the Founder. ConsenSys is a blockchain venture production studio. Our global team is building an ecosystem of consumer-centric products and enterprise solutions using blockchain technologies, primarily based on Ethereum. [Software Industry, Founded in 2014, Almost 1000 EE on LinkedIn]. Donnie started out at West Point, served as an Army Intelligence Officer for 5 years, attended Harvard Business School, and has worked at Google, Qualtrics, and Future Finance.

Why Listen: 
This is the first time I've had a guest on for two episodes. In my previous conversation with Donnie, he offered to come back on the show to provide a primer about blockchain, crypto currency, and etherium. In this episode we dive into this, as well as why the space may appeal to mission and purpose-driven Veterans.

Aug 6, 2018

Robertois a Client Executive for Healthcare and Life Sciences at NTT. He is a social media influencer, with over 315k followers on Instagram, where he goes by Rjportales, where he talk about technology, fitness, travel, lifestyle, meal preparation and more. He started out at West Point, after which he served for five years as a Counterintelligence Officer. 

Why Listen: 
As a side project, Roberto has grown his Instagram audience to over 315,000 followers. This has afforded him not only a creative outlet, but has led him to star in commercials, be sponsored by companies, as well as meet a lot of great people. In this interview we talk about the world of social media influencers, and what every Veteran can learn from Roberto's experience.

Aug 2, 2018

Bob Wiedoweris the Vice President, Sales Development and Military Programs at Combined Insurance, a Chubb Company. Combined Insuranceis a leading provider of supplemental accident, health and life insurance products in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Combined InsuranceCompany of America is committed to helping people find the coverage they need at a price they can afford. Bob served as an Officer in the Marine Corps for over 22 years, and worked as an Executive Director at USAA for 15 years prior to joining Combined Insurance.

Why Listen: 
Bob made his transition to the civilian workforce after 22 years of military service with the US Marine Corps. His current employer, Combined Insurance, actively recruits military Veterans and actually guarantees military Veterans and their spouses an interview. We cover a lot of ground in this episode, including why Veterans should consider sales, larger companies, and companies that target military Veterans.

Jul 30, 2018

Tim Kennedy is a former UFC middleweight contender who competed in the Octagon while also serving in the US Army as a Green Beret sniper. He started his military career in the Army in 2004 and has served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, earning a Bronze Star Medal with V device, which was awarded for valor under fire. He works with Ranger Up, a military-themed clothing line, and also leads Sheepdog Response, an organization that trains civilians in self-defense and counter-terrorism skills. He has been featured on television shows including the Spike TV series Deadliest WarriorHunting Hitler on the History Channel, and in the 2016 indie film Range 15. He is currently involved in an upcoming Discovery Channel show called Hard to Kill. In April of 2017 Tim re-enlisted and is currently a member of the Special Forces wing of the Texas National Guard. He is a three-time winner of the Modern Army Combatives tournament, a grueling three-day event that tests mixed martial arts skills among other things. 

Why Listen: 
Tim not only competed in the UFC while on Active Duty, but he is the host of Discovery Channel's Hard to KillIn this motivational interview, he shares tips about fear, balance, and pushing yourself to reach your full potential.

Jul 27, 2018

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
Jul 23, 2018

Brian is the Senior Vice President of Operations at Orion Talent, where he has worked in various capacities for 20 years. He started out at Penn State University, after which he served in the Marine Corps as a Infantry Officer for over 11 years. 

Why Listen: 

There are two reasons to listen to this episode. First of all, Orion Talent (and recruiters in general) are an excellent resource that members of the military should consider as they approach their career transition. Second, Brian has over 20 years of experience in the recruiting space. He talks about a range of topics like changes in the hiring landscape, how to prepare for interviews, and other topics that would benefit any Veteran. 

Jul 16, 2018

Meredith is a Senior Management Associate at Bridgewater Associates, where she works as part of the Core Management team working to enable excellent, principled management throughout Bridgewater. She is the author of the upcoming book Indispensable: How to Succeed at Your First Job and Beyond. She is also an Executive Coach and Facilitator with the International Coach Federation. Previously, she worked for Bain & Company for fifteen years. She holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford GSB. While Meredith herself is not a Veteran, her wife is a West Point graduate and former Army Officer and MedEvac Blackhawk Pilot. 

Why Listen: 

Meredith, while not a Veteran, went through a similar career transition in her own life. This caused her - over the course of 10 years - to write her first book, Indispensable. This book covers many topics relevant to career transition: preparing for interviews, evaluating your options, identifying your professional and personal values, and more.

Jul 9, 2018

Dr. Glover is the author of the book, No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan For Getting What You Want in Love, Sex and Life. The New York Times has called him a “psychology guru”. In his 30+ year career he has worked with me in one-on-one therapy, group environments, online course, podcasts, and more. Dr. Glover has helped change the lives of countless men and women around the world. As a result of his work, Dr. Glover has helped thousands of Nice Guys transform from being passive, resentful victims to empowered, integrated males. Along with these personal changes have come similar transformations in these men's professional careers and intimate relationships.

Why Listen: 

Many of the Veterans I have interviewed on the show talk about the transition they face in their civilian career of having to put their needs first and shift their priorities. This often comes at odds to their previous training of putting their team, unit, and country far ahead of their personal needs. While this is an adjustment, it is crucial for Veterans to be able to identify their personal values and look out for their own needs. Dr. Glover is a leading expert in what he calls "the Nice Guy syndrome" and people who have similar problems to this.

Jul 2, 2018

Donnieworks at ConsenSysin the Office of the Founder. ConsenSysis a blockchain venture production studio. Our global team is building an ecosystem of consumer-centric products and enterprise solutions using blockchain technologies, primarily based on Ethereum. Donnie started out at West Point, served as an Army Intelligence Officer for 5 years, attended Harvard Business School, and has worked at Google, Qualtrics, and Future Finance.

Why Listen: 

Donnie works at the largest, pure blockchain company in the world. Not only is this an exceptional overview of the blockchain and cyrpto currency space, but Donnie covers a lot of ground related to pay post-military, work-life-harmony, the importance of sales, explaining your role to a civilian hiring manager and more.

Jun 25, 2018

Stephen Huberis the President of Home Care Providers, a premier integrated home healthcare services company in Southern California. Headquartered in Orange County, Home Care Providers provides world class private duty home care services to seniors throughout the Southern California region. By providing these services they create a viable alternative to traditional institutionalized care, allowing clients to remain safely in the comfort of their own home.  

Stephen started out at the Naval Academy, served as a helicopter pilot for 11 years - 9 years on active duty and 2 years in the Reserves. He has worked as a sales representative, consultant, and contractor. He holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Jun 18, 2018

Hector Rosekrans is the Director of Policy and Operations at Messari, which is building an open data library to enhance transparency for the cryptoasset industry. Prior to joining Messari, Hector worked at JP Morgan in capital markets operations and technology, where he researched tokenized securities for the Broker Dealer and Custodian. He developed a proof of concept smart contract for asset management on an Ethereum-based enterprise platform. Hector served as an Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy, and has worldwide operational experience. He holds an MPP from UC Berkeley, where he studied cybersecurity and strategic deterrence, and a BSc from the US Naval Academy.

Why Listen: 

This is the second interview I've done about Blockchain and Crypto currency. It's a great primer on this technology as well as operations and startups. Hector is great at explaining each of these, as well as how he got his first job through Twitter! He also talks about why Veterans may have an unfair advantage in the emerging blockchain space. 

Jun 14, 2018

On May 27, 2018, Service to Schoolhosted a free weekend conference for the military community. I joined on two different panels, the second of which is presented here. The audio quality is not great, but the content is exceptional. This panel covers a variety of support services available to Veterans. 

Jun 11, 2018

Kill not only has an incredible story of his own transition from the Air Force, but he is also the Managing Director of one of the preeminent Veteran support organizations - the Pat Tillman Foundation. We discuss his advice on career, passion, approaching a transition as a process rather than an event, the Pat Tillman Foundation and much, much more.

Jun 7, 2018

On May 27, 2018, Service to Schoolhosted a free weekend conference for the military community. I joined on two different panels, the first of which is presented here. The audio quality is not great, but the content is exceptional. The panel was with a variety of Veterans with MBAs to  discuss whether or not they would recommend other Veterans to pursue an MBA. Here's who was on the panel:

Jun 4, 2018
I am predicting that this will be one of the most successful Beyond the Uniform episodes of all time. Andy brings over 20 years of experience helping more than 11k students at both Stanford University and Wake Forrest figure out their next career move. In this interview he covers ground about the most common challenges people face in a career transition, and simple actions to take to approach this change with more confidence and skill. This is a MUST LISTEN TO episode for all members of the Armed Forces and military Veterans. I plan on listening to this episode at least one more time, as Andy packs in so much incredible information in a very short amount of time. 
 
Andy Chanworks at Wake Forest as Vice President for Innovation and Career Development. He oversees The Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) which is creating a supportive university-wide career community designed to empower and equip students to successfully navigate their path from college to career. Previously, he was the assistant dean and director of the MBA Career Management Center at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  Before joining Stanford, he served as president and CEO of eProNet, an online recruiting and career network based on exclusive relationships with university alumni associations.  Earlier, he was president and CEO of MindSteps, a corporate education software start-up. He has extensive executive leadership and career coaching experience as well as business experience in venture-backed start-ups, The Learning Company, The Clorox Company and Bain & Company. He earned his BA and MBA from Stanford University.
Jun 1, 2018

This episode is a quick update on some upcoming episodes, as well as a BIG thank you to all of you for help Beyond the Uniform reach two major milestones: we flew past 80,000 podcast listens at the start of this month, and we also are now the #1 Rated iTunes podcast for military career transition advice. Thanks for your help getting here!

May 29, 2018

Nic Gray is the founder of Graypoint Ventures, a Franchise Development Group bringing fresh, innovative and demand-driven concepts to the marketplace. He started his career working for franchise development groups when he was 19 and then served in the Army, where he served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in Platoon Communications for 4 years. Since then he has founded four different companies.

Why Listen: 

I've done 4 interviews so far with Veterans about franchises. Nic started a Franchise Development Group, which provides a free service to help Veterans figure out whether or not a franchise would be a good fit for them, and if so, which franchise to choose. This is a great episode for anyone on Active Duty considering entrepreneurship, as we talk about a lot of topics related to entrepreneurship.  

May 23, 2018

Stephanie Vaughanis the Vice President, Head of Capital Markets at Block X Ventures, a premier boutique crypto-agency advisory firm. Block X Venturessupports leading Blockchain companies worldwide, serving as a strategic and financial advisory for token generating events. She started out at the Naval Academy, after which she served as a Marine Corps officer for over 5.5 years. After her military service, she earned her MBA at Columbia Business School, worked as an Investment Banking Associate at Houlihan Lokey, a Venture Capitalist at LunaCap Ventures, and as Director of Capital Markets at StreetShares. She is a contributing writer at theBlockchain Times.

Why Listen: 

Stephanie is the first person I've interviewed in the Blockchain / Crypto currency space. She talks about the exhilaration of being in a "wild west" environment, and why Veterans may be better suited to this than they might initially think. She talks about her background in finance, as well as advice to Veterans about how to advocate for themselves in interviews.

May 21, 2018

Charlie Kellyis the Managing Director of the Colorado Technology group at Silicon Valley Bank, where he leads a team focused on providing innovative financial services to high tech companies in the seed / series A through cash flow positive stages of development headquartered in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. He started out at Duke University, after which he served as an officer in the Navy onboard Submarines for almost five years. After his military service, he earned his MBA at the University of Colorado Boulder. He then joined SVB, initially as an associate with the Private Equity Banking team, eventually leading SVB’s team in the Central U.S. He has worked at SVB for over 11 years now.

Why Listen: 

For those Veterans interested in Startups, Venture Capital, Private Equity, or Finance in general, Charlie is a wealth of knowledge. He also has a great perspective on how to evaluate graduate school after Active Duty.

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