Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Veteran Spotlight: Jesse Flowers

This week’s Veteran Spotlight focuses on Jesse Flowers, an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Identifier turned Consultant with Kurt Salmon, a global management and strategy consulting firm. Jesse began his career in September 2014 and says he couldn’t be happier with his time there so far. He sat down with us to tell us about his new career and give advice to his fellow veterans.

There are three aspects of his successful transition to a civilian career with Kurt Salmon that Jesse attributes to his military background. First is his ability to learn large amounts of new material quickly and translate that knowledge into executable skills. Second is leadership, both internal (team leadership) and external (presentation to clients and meeting/presentation guidance skills). Finally is the ability to improvise and adapt.

His new employer must also appreciate these skills, as Jesse has found Kurt Salmon to be very military friendly, with several of the senior partners being veterans.  “The integration into the company is quite simple, but requires you to be a self-starter and have a proactive mindset to managing your career. There is a lot of learning on the job, so if you work here you have to be willing to ‘drink from a fire hose.’” Jesse explains, “The caliber of people that Kurt Salmon hires is very high, so there is no room for a lax work ethic.”

The interview format through which Jesse was vetted was rigorous and allowed for only the highest caliber candidates to be hired. Along with a general math test and logic-based business knowledge test, there was a Behavioral Interview, Case Interview, and Cultural Fit Interview. The last of which Jesse says is not just a “check-the-box event.”

Now that Jesse is working at Kurt Salmon, he has to be an expert in whatever area to which he is assigned. “This means that your high level company clients look to you for expert advice.  This places a burden on you and your team to truly BE the expert.  This overall theme encourages a culture dedicated to ongoing training and learning events,” says Jesse. His military skills are an obvious fit for this type of work that calls for a strong leader who is able to adapt to changing conditions and make informed decisions.

Jesse’s advice to transitioning veterans is simple: translate your military experience (both in conversation and on your resume) and research your potential new position and company. These two basic pieces of advice will serve any transitioning veteran, no matter their rank, MOS, or industry well.

Click here to learn more about Orion’s services for transitioning veterans.

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