Friday, November 21, 2014

Veteran Spotlight: Denise Greenfield

From sunny Tampa, FL, to chilly Northern Norway to the deserts of the Middle East, Denise Greenfield has served her country in a variety of places as a Marine Corps Signals Intelligence Officer. Denise also has a varied educational background, with a degree from Virginia Tech in International Studies, a Master’s Degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Systems Engineering, and, most recently, a PhD in English Literature from the University of Southampton.

When it came time for Denise to transition out of the Marine Corps, she contacted Orion International and was happy to learn that they were holding their first Pittsburgh, PA, hiring conference (Denise’s preferred city) in a few months. At the conference, she interviewed with PNC. Soon after, she found herself at PNC headquarters, where she spent three hours interviewing with five different individuals. She was offered a job about a week later. “All in all, it was an exceptionally smooth process,” recalls Denise.

Denise is a Training Project Manager at PNC in the Leadership Institute and finds it very rewarding to have an impact on leadership development programs across the organization. She is part of a team that develops and improves the tools and resources that help leaders in the organization tap into the many ways they can enhance their skills, increase their knowledge, and, ultimately, shape their future.

“There is a very tactical element to the work I do on a daily basis, but there is also a strategic component in that we support the business needs and strategies of all segments of the bank through performance improvement and training intervention,” explains Denise, “As a member of the Leadership Institute, I get the benefit of interacting with all areas of the bank on major projects and initiatives that impact a single line of business or in many cases, multiple/major business segment(s) within that line of business. It is very rewarding to see how our relationship with corporate training partners ensures that an overarching strategy, philosophy and values are continually being met.”

Denise’s background in the Marine Corps prepared her more than she thought it would for her new career. “I am part of a high-performing team, just as I was throughout my Marine Corps career, and the skills I developed in the military allowed me to jump right into a new career and hit the ground running,” Denise says.  She goes on to tell us that the research and analytical skills she gained in the intelligence field have proven very useful, just as have more general, but extremely important, leadership skills.

Denise explains that PNC is a fantastic company that values its veteran employees: “It’s been really nice to be a part of an organization that recognizes talent, values diversity, promotes inclusivity, and understands the importance of having a good work-life balance.” Most recently, PNC won the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the US Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserves.

The bank also has a robust and very active Military Employee Business Resource Group (MEBRG) that works with deploying service members and their families. It also assists military members to successfully transition to the workforce by offering mentoring and onboarding services while encouraging employees to refer veterans for employment at PNC.

Denise is also enjoying working in a city where there is always a lot going on. “The building in which I work is close to the sporting venues so it’s easy to catch a hockey, baseball, and/or football game every once in a while!” she says.

We asked Denise what advice she has for fellow transitioning veterans now that she has been in her new role for nine months. She told us that she has found that many transitioning veterans to whom she has spoken are very apprehensive about the transferability of their military experience. “I would (strongly) argue that military veterans possess a variety of valuable skills for which companies are actively searching: project management, leadership, complex problem solving, mission focus, accountability, discipline, teamwork, and performance in high-stress environments, to name but a few. These skills translate extremely well to fill the needs of corporate America,” contends Denise.

“It is very important that transitioning veterans have confidence in their abilities to succeed in a new environment. Companies are looking for individuals who possess excellent leadership, decision-making and problem-solving skills. Veterans possess these skills in abundance,” advises Denise, “It is also extremely important to network – it is plain and simply how people get jobs or at least how they get interviews that then allow them the opportunity to sell themselves.”

Denise also suggests that transitioning veterans ensure they highlight the skills they have developed during their time in the military. Again, skills like taking initiative, a strong work ethic, teamwork, effective communication skills, the ability to perform under great pressure, and adaptability should be emphasized in your resume, and you should be prepared to provide examples of success stories that spotlight those strengths (always being careful to avoid acronyms or lingo which civilians will not understand).

Thank you, Denise, for sharing your transition experience, describing your career, and giving such great advice to veterans! Congratulations on your career. We are excited to see yet another veteran carving out a great civilian career and influencing change at her company.

Want to know more about how you can use Orion’s services to find a civilian career, click here. And don’t forget to check out our other Veteran Spotlights for even more inspiration.

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