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The Hunter for Technicians and Leaders - April 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Harvard Business Review Explores Adaptive Leadership as Found in the Military,
Job Seeker Success,
Where are they now? Joel Keels,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Upcoming Base Visits,
Recruiter Spotlight,
Equipment Technician Positions with Samsung Austin Semiconductor,
Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion,
Technical Careers with Siemens Corporation,
Companies Recently Hiring,
Franchise Opportunities for Veterans,
Connect with Orion Online
Harvard Business Review Explores Adaptive Leadership as Found in the Military

In their November 2010 issue, Harvard Business Review ran a series of four articles on “Leadership Lessons from the Military.” Recently, we summarized “Which of These People is Your Future CEO”, which examined how branch of service affects leadership style.  This month, The Hunter will focus on “Four Lessons in Adaptive Leadership” by Michael Useem.

In this article, Useem, a Professor of Management and the Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Manager at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, explains why and how he incorporated four military leadership precepts into Wharton’s MBA and executive MBA programs. Useem points out that the military has been developing leaders much longer than the corporate world and that civilian leadership could take a page from the military’s playbook. The four precepts he discusses are ‘Meet the Troops’, ‘Make Decisions’, ‘Focus on Mission’, and ‘Convey Strategic Intent.’

Meet the Troops: In challenging times, it is important to create a personal connection with the people that will be carrying out your intent. To illustrate this point, Useem recalls when the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Wharton’s MBA classrooms. Immediately upon entering, the four-star General walked up to the first row of students and began shaking hands and introducing himself. This same General adopted a policy of personal interaction earlier in his career when he was responsible for 92,000 troops. He found that a handshake or look in the eyes made an impression on his men and women that ensured retention of the mission with which he was charging them.

Make Decisions: Good decisions must be made in timely manner. To convey this point to his class, Useem took his MBA students to the U.S. Marine Corps’s Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA., where they participated in Leadership Reaction and Combat courses. In one exercise, the students were instructed to perform a seemingly impossible feat in ten minutes. And while one team accomplished the task, they quickly learned that in that time it took them to decide how to accomplish the task, the enemy would most likely have taken up the position they were trying to occupy. The lesson was that decisions must be made fast and effectively. A Marine dictum further explains the need for effective decision-making: “When you’re 70% ready and have 70% consensus, act.” Ultimately, deliberation should be balanced with action.

Focus on Mission: It is important to establish a mission while eschewing personal gain. When several members of an executive team from a large financial firm participated in a Leadership Reaction course, similar to the one at Quantico, they were given physical trials with little guidance. During these trials, happening upon a splotch of red paint signified an explosive device. After watching their ranks dwindle, an after-action review revealed how this lesson applied to the financial world. A senior manager explained that often managers are not concerned when they see a colleague commit a career mistake (not unlike stepping on a red splotch of paint). Sometimes, a colleague’s mistake could mean a career boon for someone else. Ultimately, though, what is good for the individual is not always good for the company, just like in the military.

Convey Strategic Intent: It is important to define a clear objective while empowering subordinates to achieve it. For this lesson, Useem took his class to the Gettysburg battlefield. Here, at the end point of the Union line, his class learned how Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was instructed by a Union commander to hold the line or else they would be overrun. He was not told how to do so, only that he must accomplish this task. As the battle raged on and ammunition ran low, Chamberlain made the inventive decision to attach bayonets to their rifles and charge the Confederates, which drove them off. Had Chamberlain been micromanaged and told exactly what to do, he may have never turned to this little used tactic and the outcome of Gettysburg may have been much different. Useem points out that while a common goal should be established, good leaders rely on their subordinates’ ingenuity to achieve the goal.

While the military and corporate America have very different challenges and goals, Useem’s article illustrates just how important leadership lessons as taught by the military can be for civilian leaders. These four leadership principals in particular, taught in an innovative way to MBA candidates at Wharton, are invaluable in shaping corporate America’s future leaders. Click here to read the article.

Job Seeker Success

“I was a Firecontrolman First Class in the Navy and have found that the professional and electronics training I received during my time in the service helped me immensely. I would not have gotten my job with Toshiba American Medical Systems as a Field Service Engineer had it not been for that training. My job with Toshiba resulted from the Orion hiring conference I attended in Seattle. It was well designed, and I received two offers from that single event.” – Michael Moore, Field Service Engineer

Where are they now? Joel Keels

Orion International is continuing its 20th anniversary celebration this month by featuring another of our very first placements, Joel Keels. Placed with Schneider National Carriers in 1991 by Orion, Keels is a United States Naval Academy graduate who served five years in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps. During his time in the Civil Engineer Corps, he served as the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC) at Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA, where he managed over 50 construction contracts with work-in-place totaling over $6.3 million, and as the Engineering Officer for the U.S. Navy Cargo Handling and Port Group (NAVCHAPGRU) in Williamsburg, VA, where he led 45 Construction Battalion (SEABEE) personnel.

When he began preparing for a civilian career in 1991, Keels partnered with Orion. He found Orion easy to work with, attentive to his career desires, and responsive in lining up a good mix of interviews.  “I had a good initial impression of Orion and went with that ‘gut feel’ to work with them on lining up the start of my post-Navy career.  While I was contacted by some other firms, I worked exclusively with Orion in my transition from the military,” states Keels.

Keels participated in Orion’s interview process in Raleigh, NC, and points out how well-coordinated the event was even before the internet was commonly used. He had multiple interviews with several companies and also participated in an interview-preparation session. Keels accepted an offer from Schneider National Carriers, a multi-national trucking company, as a result of one of those interviews.

Schneider National offered Keels a position at their Charlotte, NC, Operations Center, near his family and home of record, which helped in making his transition from the military smooth. Schneider National also appealed to Keels because it was a large, successful, and well-respected company that showed a good track record in hiring veterans. 

Keels explains that his overall experience in the Navy was great preparation for success in his career. “The leadership training and experience in the Navy is great.  The responsibilities that you are given as a Junior Officer in the Navy provide excellent exposure and gives you confidence in future challenges that you encounter in almost any scenario.  I wouldn’t trade my experience in the Navy and often recommend it to young people as a way to start their careers,” explains Keels.

Since his initial transition, Keels spent eight years with Schneider, where he advanced to Senior Service Team Leader at their Charlotte, NC, Operations Center. When an opportunity with KCI Technologies Inc., a multi-disciplined engineering firm, arose in 1999 that allowed for more involvement in facilities construction management more closely mirroring his overall experience in the U. S. Navy, Keels made the move.

Keels explains that his experience with transportation as part of his duties with NAVCHAPGRU in the Navy prepared him well for his job with Schneider.  Additionally, he states that his experience with construction and construction contracts administration prepared him for his current career with KCI Technologies Inc.  “My ROICC experience in the Navy was excellent preparation for the work I’ve done in the ‘civilian world’ and translates very directly to the daily work of our construction management project managers.  I am always excited to see the resume of a potential new project manager when it has U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps experience, particularly in a ROICC office!” says Keels. 

Twelve years later, Keels is still with KCI Technologies and has progressed through many roles with the company. He started with KCI as a Field Project Manager, in construction management roles, and advanced to Operations Manager in 2003, where he provided oversight of field construction management and inspection personnel.  In 2006, Keels was promoted to Vice President and Division Chief of Construction Management/Mid-Atlantic, leading a 50-person division providing construction management services for public, private, military, educational, healthcare, and other clients. 

In 2010, KCI executed a corporate re-organization, changing from a regional-based operation to a discipline-based operation, and Keels’ role was adapted to Regional Practice Leader (Mid-Atlantic and Northeast) for Construction Management as part of KCI’s national Construction Management Discipline.  “I am very happy working with KCI – we are an employee-owned firm (ESOP), have remained strong in tough economic times (up last year to 83rd largest engineering firm – ‘ENR’ ranking – up from 88th the previous year), and have strong leadership focused on smart strategic growth in the years to come,” says Keels, “My plans are to assist KCI in its continued growth, as part of its consistently-strong Construction Management Discipline and retire from KCI after a rewarding career.” 

Keels is now in a position to hire other veterans. He finds that former military personnel that have good experience in construction and contracts administration work well in his company. Keels goes on to explain, “I welcome the opportunity to find good candidates from the junior Military Officer ranks, and will even admit to having hired a West Pointer!  I value the experience and leadership capabilities of JMOs.”

When asked what advice he has for hiring managers interested in hiring veterans, Keels urges them to give it a shot, as they will be pleasantly surprised. “Veterans have gained great discipline, confidence, and experience through their military service.  They tend to have strong loyalty to their companies, so they can often be counted on as long-term players in your operation,” says Keels.  He also encourages employers to utilize services like those offered by Orion.

Finally, Keels advises veterans who are currently transitioning to look for opportunities themselves as they are able, but to also utilize the assistance a firm like Orion can offer.  He points out that transitioning is a hectic time, so the assistance that Orion offers can be invaluable.  “While you are lining up all of the other aspects of the transition, Orion can take the job interview coordination off of your plate and get you in front of great potential employers,” explains Keels.

Keels’ continued success in his civilian endeavors is a great example of just how valuable veterans are to their civilian employers. Orion is proud to have helped Keels with his transition 20 years ago and wishes him continued success with KCI. 

Upcoming Hiring Conferences

If you will be separating from the military and preparing to begin your civilian career within the next 90 days, be sure to attend one of our hiring conferences. After a full day of preparation, you’ll interview with hiring authorities for only those positions that are a match with your needs and preferences.

Click on any of the conference locations to request more information on the conference you’d like to attend!





Fishkill, NY

Marcellus Shale

Baltimore, MD

April 10 - 11

April 17 - 18

May 15 - 17




Atlanta, GA

Raleigh, NC

March 20 - 21

April 17 - 18




Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

March 20 - 21

May 1 - 2

South Central



Houston, TX

Dallas, TX

April 17 - 18

May 22 - 23




Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

 March 24 - 25

April 14 - 15

Upcoming Base Visits

When our Recruiters visit a location near you, it’s a chance to get a jump start on your career search, regardless of your ETS date. Our Recruiters will discuss your goals and preferences with you and present a realistic picture of what to expect in your search. You’ll get resume advice, interview preparation tips, and much more!  Click here or on any of the base visits to receive more information about the base visit you are interested in attending.

Ballston Spa

Ft. Bragg

Camp Lejeune

Groton, CT

Jacksonville, FL

March 24 - 25

March 30

March 31

March 30 - April 1

April 21

Recruiter Spotlight

Jim Lewis 

Jim Lewis grew up 45 minutes outside of Cleveland,  OH, and went to high school at Willoughby South.  He spent the next 24 years in the Navy as an Engineman.  His first tour was on a Frigate out of Pearl Harbor, HI. Jim then went on to Naples, Italy, on shore duty performing maintenance on small boats; and from there, he spent eight years in San Diego, CA. In San Diego, he spent five years on an LSD - Fort McHenry and three years as a Dockmaster on the ARCO drydocking 688 Class Submarines on Point Loma Sub Base.  Finally, his last eight years were in recruiting where he was stationed at NRD Ohio.  Of which the last three, Jim cross-rated to NCC.  He held positions as a Recruiter, Recruiter-In-Charge, Zone Supervisor, and District Trainer. Jim has been with Orion for over 6-1/2 years and is a Partner with the company. 

If you could give just one piece of career advice to a transitioning military professional, what would it be?

Explore all opportunities that are presented to you, because your dream job may be behind the door you left closed!

What do you like most about working at Orion?

Finding jobs for military veterans.  Having   transitioned out of the military, I know the challenges that lay ahead for those that are transitioning out or have already transitioned out of the military and are still on the job market.

What are you actively recruiting for at the moment?

I am currently recruiting for nationwide positions with Siemens, Equipment Technician positions with Samsung in Austin, TX, and Maintenance Technician positions for a Food & Beverage company in  Flagstaff, AZ.

Please share one interesting fact about yourself that you would like candidates to know.

In high school, I never had any intention of joining the service, but I ended up joining the Navy. Once in the Navy, I never planned on making it a career, but I ended up doing just that with 24 years served. When presented with recruiting duty orders, I never wanted to go on recruiting duty, but I ended up serving eight years on recruiting duty.  Now I am in my DREAM job having never realized that what I am doing today was the job I dreamed of doing when I was young.  You never know where life will take you! I learned from my experiences that sometimes you have to leave options open to get to where you really want to go.

Connect with Jim:
(888) 756-7466 x. 223

Equipment Technician Positions with Samsung Austin Semiconductor

Orion is currently recruiting for Equipment Technicians for Samsung Austin Semiconductor, located in Austin, TX. Salary is $18 - $21, plus overtime and night shift differential, with excellent benefits.

In this position, you will be responsible for working on multi-million dollar systems with integrated robotics, electronics, hydraulics, and pneumatics and will receive specialized training in the use of sophisticated programs. You will also perform functions associated with manufacturing operations, including Preventive Maintenance, Failure Analysis, Quality Testing, and Production of Memory Chips and Logic.

To be qualified for these positions, you should have a solid military background in Electronics or Electro-Mechanical systems and experience with diagnostic equipment; along with the ability to read and interpret schematics and diagrams. You must also be able to start work no later than June 1. (Earlier start dates are available.)

Samsung will be interviewing candidates for these positions at the following conferences:

March 23rd-24th - Austin, TX  (Samsung-only event) 
March 27-28 - Seattle, WA (Northwest Hiring Conference)

April 8th -  Jacksonville, FL (Samsung-only event) 
April 15th - San Diego, CA (West Hiring Conference)
April 27th-28th - Austin, TX (Samsung-only event)

If you feel you meet these requirements and are interested in an Equipment Technician position with excellent growth potential, please click here to learn more.

Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion

Did you know that Orion candidates have already earned $900 in referral bonuses in 2011?

For every job seeker you refer to us who is subsequently placed by Orion, we will give you a $100 gift card to a retailer of your choice!

It's simple - just click here to refer a friend.

30 seconds of your time could be $100 in your pocket!

Technical Careers with Siemens Corporation


Orion is currently recruiting for a large volume of technical positions across all segments of Siemens Corporation within the U.S.

Since the late 1990s, Orion has placed over 425 former and transitioning military job seekers into great careers within Siemens divisions including Building Technologies, Water, Healthcare & Medical, Energy and Mobility. Siemens is currently ranked #40 on the Fortune Global 500, employs more than 65,000 associates in the U.S., and earned over $22 billion in revenue in 2009.

We are hiring for a variety of positions including:

· Field Service and Field Operations;

· Technical and Service Support;

· Materials and Logistics;

· Quality Assurance and Control;

· Facilities and Project Engineering.


Siemens will be interviewing candidates for these positions on the following dates:

  • March 18
  • March 21
  • March 24

To be considered for these positions you must be a Military Technician with an Electronics, Electrical, HVAC or AC & R background.

Please visit us online if you are interested in learning more.

Companies Recently Hiring

ASCO Power Technologies


Becton Dickenson Medical

Bio-Rad Laboratories

Bridgestone Firestone


Coca Cola

DNS Electronics

GE Energy

Georgia Pacific



Johnson Controls

KLA Tencor

Linde Gas

Nucor Steel




Toshiba Medical

Toyota Motor Manufacturing

Varian Semiconductor

Franchise Opportunities for Veterans

Are you interested in owning your own residential or commercial service business?

If you like the idea of being in business for yourself, but not by yourself, owning a franchise may be the career for you! Being a business owner allows you freedom and flexibility, while providing a great challenge. A benefit of owning a franchise is that you have an established and respected corporate brand behind you, as well as support of the franchise company, providing for a smoother startup phase and continued assistance and training.

Orion is currently hiring for nationwide franchise ownership opportunities. There are 6 different franchises to chose from, all in residential or commercial services. Our client has been ranked among The Best Places to Work in Texas for 2 years in a row, is one of the most respected franchise companies in the U.S., and will provide franchise owners with all training to successfully start-up and run their own business.

As with any franchise opportunity, the franchisee will need a capital investment (at least $25k); and must have the ability to obtain financing for the remainder of the franchise. If you would like to own your business and want to learn more about this opportunity, please email Larry Cummings, or call him at (800) 336-7466 x 427.

Connect with Orion Online

Join Orion’s Military Network on LinkedIn

It’s never too early to begin professional networking when you’re considering a civilian career. Join Orion’s Military Network group on LinkedIn.

Join Orion on Facebook

Check out our page for upcoming hiring events, links of interest, pertinent discussions, Orion news, and photos from recent hiring events. We’d love to have you as a fan!


Orion is Tweeting

Follow us on our Twitter page (@OrionCareers) to receive updates about Orion, learn when we’ll be in your area, and links to articles of interest. See you there!

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