Monday, March 7, 2011
Job Seeker Success Story,
Where are they now? Joel Keels,
2011 National Distinguished Candidate Conferences,
Orion’s Military Officer Transition Program & Upcoming Webinars,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Upcoming Base Visits,
Featured Positions: Honeywell Recruiting Program,
According to your Peers,
Sales Opportunities Within Orion,
Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion,
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 Story
John Cunningham, Shift Manager & Team Leader
University of Arizona, 2005; University of Phoenix, 2009
I began my search for a new career in Corporate America upon my return from Germany in April 2009. Even in a job environment where our economy was suffering and the prospect for employment was reduced, I wanted to utilize the experiences I gained while in the Army and use my undergraduate and graduate business management degrees. Before I separated, I did some reading on what to expect in the interviews I would have, and, from those readings and through lots of practice, I gained confidence in my ability to relate the experiences I had with my ability to bring success to a team.
Even though I felt prepared, Orion provided two benefits to me that I could not achieve myself. First, the caliber of opportunities provided were more numerous and higher than I could achieve myself. One example is a job fair I attended in El Paso, Texas, where I interviewed with a district manager for a store manager position. Just months later, Orion presented an opportunity to take a position as a district-manager-in-training with the same company. This is one example of elevated opportunities I could not have arranged myself. Secondly, the third party candid assessments provided all the difference in how I interviewed. I found that after more than 30 interviews, my answers were the same, yet with a shift in attitude, this made the final difference in generating interest in me.
With Orion's help and that positive change in energy when I interviewed, the last conference that ultimately landed me an offer resulted in four out of five companies I interviewed with interested in bringing me out to a site visit. Within three weeks of the conference, I had an offer and the position I really wanted. If there is any hesitation at all to use or not to use Orion, take this opportunity to use all the resources available to you and grab that job that will start your career.
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.
2011 National Distinguished Candidate Conferences
Are you preparing to exit the military and begin a civilian career? Do you think that your education, background, and military career distinguish you from your peers?
If so, you may be a candidate for one of Orion’s National Distinguished Candidate Conferences (DCCs). Orion only holds a few DCCs each year. The remaining 2011 DCCs will be held in Baltimore, MD, on May 15 - 17, San Diego, CA, on June 5 - 7, and Chicago, IL, on July 17 - 19. There will be positions available nationwide, with a focus on Engineering, Sales, Leadership Development, and Operations Management.
Orion carefully selects candidates for our DCCs that exemplify the best Orion has to offer our client companies. We work hard to assemble a select group of the top JMOs from around the country.
Our distinguished candidates include:
• Graduates of Military Service Academies or Top Universities with a minimum GPA of 3.0;
• Those with a masters degree or other advanced education; and
• Those that have consistently ranked above their peers in Officer Evaluations.
Additionally, you should be available to start working within the next four months and be geographically flexible.
What do our clients have to say about the caliber of our candidates at the DCC? Read on...
"The success of the Distinguished Candidate Conference will allow me to lay the foundation for our Sales team in Texas.”
"Our experience at Orion's Distinguished Candidate Conference was a great success. The candidates were of the highest caliber and extremely well matched for our Leadership Development Program. This event enabled us to hire 5 outstanding JMOs very efficiently, saving weeks of time. I look forward to seeing the impact these new leaders will have on our organization."
We are also pleased to annouce the creation of our Distinguished Officer Partnership Program, which provides qualified Officers the opportunity to get unmatched resume assistance and interview preparation, as well as access and maximum exposure to our best client companies at our DCC.
If you would like to be considered for one of the upcoming Orion DCCs or are interested in learning more about our Distinguished Officer Partnership Program, please email us at email@example.com to request an application.
Orion’s Military Officer Transition Program & Upcoming Webinars
Whether you have two years or two weeks before you transition from Active Duty, there are many steps you can take prior to your separation date that will position you for success as you transition into the civilian workforce. Our Military Officer Transition Program is designed to put your preparation "things to do list" into a logical sequence that you can complete as you approach your separation. Our goal is to minimize the stress you may have about changing careers by giving you all the tools you need to be 100% ready to interview before you enter into the 90-day window leading up to your terminal leave.
You will receive a monthly email from us guiding you to a suggested webinar, reading, or activity for that month. These emails will be sent based on your Earliest Start Date in our records. If your timeline changes, be sure to let us know so we can update our records! Update your Earliest Start Date and other contact information by logging in here.
All of the training materials included in the program are organized and accessible on our Military Officer Transition Program webpage. To get started, please visit and review our Transition Program Timeline, and note where you fall in our suggested timeline.
In addition, we’d like to invite you to register for our upcoming webinars:
Career Transition Seminar
This webinar is designed to be one of your very first steps in preparing for your transition into the civilian workplace. Learn about current job market conditions, and the industries and positions in which transitioning Military Officers typically excel. Get tips and advice about your transition, steps you can take to make yourself most marketable, and the best timeline for finding your civilian career.
March 29, 2011
8:00 pm EST - Register Now
Resume Writing Seminar
This webinar will cover all the basics of resume writing – why a resume is so important, what you should and shouldn’t include, how to write a resume that is easily understood by a civilian hiring manager, and much more.
March 30, 2011
8:00 pm EST – Register Now
Interview Preparation Seminar
This webinar will cover all the basics of Interview Preparation – how and what you should prepare, do’s and don’ts during any interview, practical assignments to help guide you, and much more.
March 24, 2011
7:00 pm EST - Register Now
Space is limited, so sign up today!
Please do not hesitate to call or email your recruiter at any time if you have questions or concerns about your transition. We are here to assist you in any way possible.
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!
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.
Featured Positions: Honeywell Recruiting Program
Orion is currently recruiting for a number of positions with Honeywell in Kansas City, MO. Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company that offers tremendous growth potential. This recruiting program is focused on hiring a range of military candidates for this Honeywell facility and is only available through Orion, as Honeywell’s exclusive provider of military talent.
Available positions are with Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technology (FM&T) Division, which manages and operates the National Nuclear Security Administration's Kansas City Plant (KCP) under a prime contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Orion is recruiting for roles within FM&T including, but not limited to, project management, program management, process improvement, quality engineering, design engineering, and operations leadership.
Qualifications for these positions are firm and include candidates from four categories:
1. JMOs that are coming directly off of active duty with a hard engineering degree;
2. Navy Nuclear trained Officers with a technical degree;
3. Service Academy graduates with a technical degree (Physics, Math, Engineering); or
4. Former military officers with an engineering degree & less than five years of post-military manufacturing experience.
Additionally candidates must be U.S. citizens, must have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Military, and must be able to achieve a Federal-appointed Secret security clearance.
If you are interested in learning more about the position, are available to start before June 1, and meet the requirements outlined above, please email Todd Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your most updated resume.
Schuyler Williamson is a former Army Armor Officer, commissioned at the United States Military Academy in 2005. He played baseball all four years and was Team Captain his Junior and Senior years. After commissioning, Schuyler was assigned to C Company 1/5 CAV at Fort Hood. There he was Platoon Leader for 30 months splitting time with both Armor and Mechanized Infantry Platoons.
While with 1/5 CAV, his unit earned a Presidential Citation for its efforts during a 15-month deployment to Baghdad, Iraq. Following the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at FT Knox, Schuyler was assigned to 4/73 CAV at Ft. Bragg. With 4/73 CAV, he deployed as the Senior Logistics Officer for 12 months to the Farah Province, Afghanistan.
Schuyler is married and is will begin the MBA program at UT's McCombs School of Business in August. Schuyler joined Orion in 2010 and works with Army Officers in order to prepare them for their future transition into Corporate Careers.
If you could give just one piece of career advice to a transitioning military professional, what would it be?
Start preparing for your transition as early as possible with clearly defined goals for your future. If you know what your priorities are, then it is easier to focus your efforts in the right direction. The military is not going to slow down because you are leaving, so you must have a clear direction to move in.
What do you like most about working at Orion?
I enjoy working with Orion because of the pride everyone has in what they do. Everyone here is dedicated to providing ethical leaders to the nation and receives a lot self satisfaction knowing they are serving a clientele that has served our country so selflessly.
What are you actively recruiting for at the moment?
Please go to our website to see when monthly base visits are coming to your post. Upcoming base visits are: Ft. Eustis on 3/22, Ft. Hood on 3/25, Ft. Lewis on 3/30, and Ft Campbell on 4/13.
Please share one interesting fact about yourself that you would like candidates to know.
I was drafted by the Detroit Tigers after my Senior Season and played for them for one year in the Army as a participant of the World Class Athlete Program. I was the first ever participant in the program. I chose to leave baseball to pursue the traditional Army in 2006.
Connect with Schuyler:
According to your Peers
Sales Opportunities Within Orion
Orion International is currently seeking transitioning or former military officers with a strong record of achievement to join our Sales Team as an Account Executive. We are hiring for our San Diego, CA, and Raleigh, NC, offices.
As an Account Executive, you will be responsible for creating relationships with America’s leading companies through development of leads lists, business development calls, and client presentations. The work you do will help fellow veterans transition into the civilian workforce.
To qualify, you should have military experience, a Bachelors degree, and previous sales experience or a desire to succeed in sales. Click here to learn more about joining the Orion team.
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!
Companies Recently Hiring
CB Richard Ellis
GE Aircraft Engines
Kansas City Southern
Franchise Opportunities for Veterans
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!