Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Completing the Mission: Careers for Veterans in Project Management
Project Management Institute (PMI) research anticipates that between 2010 and 2020, there will be a greater than 12% increase in demand for project management practitioners in the U.S., resulting in nearly 6.2 million jobs in 2020. This projected growth, coupled with a handsome average salary in the six figures makes a career in Project Management worth exploring for transitioning military.
So what exactly is a Project Manager in corporate America? Well, think of all of you’ve done in the military— from managing the movement of equipment or people to planning a mission. These short-term “projects” match the definition of Project Management. PMI defines the career path specifically as “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”
Ben Metzler, a retired Army Major who is now a Project Manager at Element Fleet Management, lays out how his time in the military prepared him for his civilian career as a PM, “Most of my career was in Operations, which translates really well to running projects in the civilian world. There are significant parallels between my experience as a BN Operations and Executive Officer and leadership positions to my new career as a Project Manager.”
He continues, “The way the Army conducts day-to-day operations is very project based. Preparing for live fire gunneries, individual, team, and battery/company/battalion gunneries, field exercises, prep for deployment, etc., all fit the PMI description of projects. They all are individual and distinct entities that have a definite beginning and end, and require input from a number of different personnel and organizations within and outside of the unit. I feel like I am better prepared to succeed in my new career than I would have been had I risen through the ranks of the civilian world.”
Further, PMI explains that a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies. Veterans routinely find themselves working side by side with a diverse group of people, including those within the military and those living in the areas where they are stationed. They are able to manage different skillsets and personalities and complete a project.
Kevin Rogers is another great example of military experience translated into Project Management. As an Air Force Captain he flew B-1B bombers as a back-seater, which he feels didn’t prepare him for much else. That is until he took a look at the many additional duties he had as an officer allowing him to build a breadth of experience. Kevin is now an IT project manager. “I ensure that software development projects stay on time, on budget, and deliver the requested results,” Kevin states, “It is a lot like being a training officer in the Air Force, where I was responsible for ensuring everyone got the training they needed to deploy without busting our annual budget.”
Oftentimes, a veteran can follow in the path of veterans like Kevin and Ben with a bachelor’s degree but without formal PM certification. “Veterans can certainly help themselves by being familiar with project management terminology. A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, available free online via Syracuse University, and relatable education – undergraduate degrees that align with the industry or an MBA - are highly desired by employers,” explains Todd Phillips, Vice President of Client Delivery at Orion International.
Those looking to get certified will find many universities and colleges that offer a master’s degree in project management, while others offer individual courses or certificates in the field. Some of these degrees and certifications may even be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or Veterans Affairs Certification Test Reimbursement.
In the Project Management Institute’s 2015 Veteran Brochure “Take Your Military Experience And Transition To A Career In Project Management”, PMI President and CEO, Mark A. Langley, writes “Many veterans have project management experience—just under a different name. The challenge is in the translation and repackaging of their skill sets so that hiring managers spot their skills. Mission-related often translates to ‘projectized,’ and the government and military are highly projectized environments, which make many veterans a natural fit for the project management world.”
It is for these very reasons that Orion has seen great success in matching veterans with careers in Project Management with companies in virtually every industry. Veterans should not underestimate their experience balancing human capital, critical resources, and time constraints. These are the very traits that make Veterans ideal for a career in Project Management.
National Distinguished Candidate Conference - March 7 - 8, 2016, in Dallas, TX
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 Orion's National Distinguished Candidate Conference (DCC) in Dallas, TX, on March 7 - 8, 2016. 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.
Shane Serafin, a former Navy Lieutenant and USNA graduate who found his career through a recent Orion DCC, explains why he feels the event was such a success: "An Orion Distinguished Candidate Conference is something that you don't want to miss. It is a golden opportunity to meet with several prospective employers all at once, all of them very high quality. And Orion prepares you well. I particularly liked the interview prep session during this conference. It helped me to tweak a few of my responses in a manner that paid major dividends during the interviews!"
Orion only holds a few DCCs each year. Click here to be considered for one of the upcoming Orion DCC hiring conferences.
Interview December 14 for Account Executive Careers with NewDay USA
NewDay USA is a leading nationwide lender focused on helping America’s veterans achieve their goals of home ownership and financial security. NewDay is building the nation’s number one mortgage company for veterans and their families, but they are no ordinary mortgage company – beyond being a profitable organization, NewDay USA’s goal is to make a positive impact in the life of each veteran they serve.
As an Account Executive with NewDay USA, you will manage loan transactions from application to closing. Leads are generated from customer inquiries, so there is no “cold calling” or hunting for prospective clients. Once a customer is assigned to you, you will be that person’s dedicated point of contact through the entire loan process.
This will require you to consult with veterans to identify their unique financial needs, evaluate their qualifications for loan programs, and help them create action plans to improve their finances. You will also be required to complete ongoing federal and state specific continuing education and licensing requirements on a regular basis.
Location: Fulton, MD
Salary: $50,000 base salary + commission. Average W2s for veterans coming into this role are $65-$75K first year, $100K+ by year two, and $150-$175K+ by year three. Your income is only limited by your abilities and level of effort.
NewDay USA is looking for extraordinary military veteran team members to help change the lives of fellow veterans and to be a part of one of the fastest growing companies in Maryland. Candidates should be prepared to leverage their military training and experience, their leadership abilities, and their passion for service in a fast paced corporate environment.
Ideal candidates will have the following skills and qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree required (all majors considered, preferred 3.0 GPA or higher).
- History of exceptional work ethic strongly preferred. This can include working through high school or college (ROTC counts), playing competitive sports, etc.
- Track record of teamwork, discipline and dedication to service.
- Proven leadership ability.
- Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
- Attention to detail.
- Efficient organizational skills, and demonstrated follow-through.
- Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
- Overt desire to succeed in a career in sales.
Your new career will start at NewDay University (on campus), where you will essentially be in a paid internship for two months while you learn the mortgage industry and earn your federal and state licenses. Following the University, you will spend the next 2-4 months being mentored and listening in on calls with experienced Account Executives, the idea of which is to get you accustomed to the unique needs and financial situations of the veterans you will serve. You will then graduate to managing refinance and consolidation loans for the next 4-12 months, and then move onto managing new loan customers’ needs. Save for the licensing courses during the University training, there is no set timeline for when you can graduate to the next step of your career, but most team members will complete their training phase in 8-12 months.
From day one, all of NewDay USA’s employees receive mentoring and training designed to help you reach your full potential. As an Account Executive, you’ll be part of an unparalleled management leadership training program that accelerates your career and promotes your professional and personal development. You will be working with mentors and partners who invest their time to help you develop the skills you need to excel. Within three years, you could be on a fast track career path, leading your own team of 20 Account Executives and managing approximately $30 million in business. This also carries an earning potential north of $300K annually.
Interviews will be held on Monday, December 14th in Fulton, MD.
Commercial Banking Careers with Comerica Bank
Orion is currently recruiting veterans for a Commercial Banking Training Program with Comerica Bank. Comerica is a military friendly employer and a key participant in the White House Joining Forces initiative.
This training program is designed to provide a pipeline of talent into the Commercial banking arena by building credit teams that are dedicated, skilled and uniquely prepared to help our Commercial Lending team service businesses and individual loans.
Location: Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Costa Mesa, CA; San Jose, CA; Detroit, MI
Work Schedule: Generally Monday through Friday, 8am - 5pm. During some peak times you may stay later than normal, but not typical and schedule can be very flexible.
Salary: $60,000 - $65,000 (Dallas, Houston, and Detroit openings); $65,000 - $75,000 (Costa Mesa and San Jose openings)
- Bachelor's degree in Business or Economics
- 3.0 (GPA) overall grade point average (GPA will be calculated by using grades for all credit hours/classes that are applied towards degree including transferred credits)
- 2 Accounting classes (3.0 average GPA)
Exclusive Opportunities for Orion’s Transitioning and Former JMOs
Each of these companies has proudly built a Military Talent Program through Orion, allowing for exclusive access to these career opportunities. Click on the logo to learn more about each company and positions for which we are currently hiring.
To learn more about these careers and see even more opportunities for JMOs, please visit our Featured Jobs page.
According to Your Peers
“I had a three-month deadline to transition out of the military and find a job. I worked with other recruiting firms, but my experience with Orion proved to be the most beneficial to my transition.
Orion’s offered well developed resume writing and interview preparation tool kits and a dedicated staff. That, combined with their rapport with both high caliber Fortune 500 companies and headline-making startups, provided the diversity in my job search allowing me to make a measured career decision.
I landed the perfect job in the perfect location for me at a salary I would not have thought possible just a few months ago.” - R. Adam Calloway, Account Specialist, Natera
"Mike Wood went out of his way to keep my needs in the forefront to ensure I didn't just take the first job that opened up. I have worked with the top three JMO recruiting firms, and my experience with Orion was leaps and bounds above the rest. Their communication, frankness, and ability to put the needs and desires of the candidate first made my transition from the military almost seamless.” - Charles Doyle, Facility Manager, Fanatics
"Orion was amazing, and I have already recommended them to other transitioning officers. They were constantly looking out for me and giving me great job opportunities.” - Nathan Berth, Implementation Manager, Connect Your Care
Military Professionals Webinar Series
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.
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:
Using Social Media in Your Job Search
November 24, 2015
12:00 PM EST - Register Now
LinkedIn for Military Professionals
December 1, 2015
12:00 PM EST - Register Now
How to Leverage Recruiters in Your Job Search
December 8, 2015
12:00 PM EST - Register Now
Career Transition Seminar
December 15, 2015
3:00 PM EST - Register Now
Negotiating Your Salary for Military Professionals
December 15, 2015
12:00 PM EST - Register Now
Sales Overview and Preparation Seminar
December 16, 2015
3:00 PM EST - Register Now
Interview Preparation Seminar
December 17, 2015
3:00 PM EST Register Now
Resume Writing Seminar
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 dates 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.
Earn $100 for Every Referral that Finds their Career through Orion
Did you know that Orion candidates have earned $46,600 in referral bonuses in 2015?
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
Bank of America
CB Richard Ellis
GE Aircraft Engines
Kansas City Southern
Connect with Orion Online
Follow us to keep up-to-date on all things Orion, including hiring events, base visits, webinars, and news pertinent to veterans through our social media listed below.