Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where are they now? Michael Worrell

Michael Worrell, an Orion alumnus placed with Target Distribution in 1992, served as a Captain in the Air Force as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer for eight years. During that time, he was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, Howard Air Force Base in Panama, and MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. By the time he transitioned out of the military, Worrell had earned a Master’s degree in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

It was an article in the Air Force Times that alerted Worrell to the then-new career placement services offered by Orion. Soon after contacting Orion, Worrell interviewed for a position as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, as well as one with a major snack food manufacturing company. Being green to the transition and hiring process, he found it to be a bit overwhelming.

Ultimately, Worrell says that it was not so much that he chose Target, but that Target chose him. “Still clueless of the civilian way of life, I focused on what I knew. That was how to handle and work with people [and] how to get the mission accomplished. Target saw that in me. Understanding that I had no idea of the workings of distribution center or at the time what a Target store was, they took a chance on me.”

Still a military man at heart, Worrell says that his goal was to work for Target for the next 20 plus years. But after three years at Target, various recruiters started calling him about different opportunities. Worrell passed them onto his colleague each time they called. At one point, his colleague asked him why he was not interested in these opportunities. Worrell explained that he planned on staying at Target until he retired.

It was then that Worrell began to understand the bigger picture and that fact each position is a learning opportunity that may lead to a growth position elsewhere. And, after five years at Target, an opportunity to develop Victoria’s Secret Beauty, a division of Victoria’s Secret Stores, into a larger stand-alone distribution center (DC) came his way. Worrell did just that, and nine years later he began running an entire DC for Home Depot. Worrell credits the knowledge that he gained at Victoria’s Secret and Target with giving him the solid foundation to move on and be successful at Home Depot.

As time went on, Worrell’s family wanted to move back home to Fayetteville, NC. Armed with a much better understanding of the civilian business world and the customer service and logistics knowledge he had obtained over the years, Worrell started his own business and opened a funeral home in Goldsboro, NC, that is doing very well. Additionally, Worrell runs a distribution center for a small company called Acme United.

Worrell advises transitioning military to understand that the civilian workforce is much different that that in the military and that you should try to adapt to it, opposed to trying to make civilian life adapt to your military experience. He adds, though, that veterans should remember that their skills take them a long way as they accomplish a successful civilian transition. In fact, it is those skills that currently compel Worrell to hire veterans himself.

Orion International is proud to have helped Worrell start his logistics career nearly 20 years ago, and wishes him continued luck as his career continues to evolve. Stay tuned next month when we will profile another early Orion placement.

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