Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Veteran Spotlight: Kevin Robillard

From the Battlefield recently followed up with Orion alumnus Kevin Robillard, an Aviation Captain, and UH-60 Blackhawk Assault Company Commander in the Washington Army National Guard. Now a Senior SIOP and Inventory Leader with Honeywell Aerospace, Kevin assumed that employers would be lined up to extend him job offers following five years of active duty. He was in for a surprise and soon made finding a career a full-time job.

“During my career search, there were times where I would lose heart. Most of the jobs I was interested in gave me the impression based on the application criteria that my experience and education were not adequate, and, therefore, I would choose not to apply. Looking back, that was a mistake,” recalls Kevin.

Kevin soon reached out to Orion and was almost immediately scheduled for an upcoming hiring conference. Despite holding what he believes to be a non-applicable degree for most corporate positions, Kevin interviewed with several companies through Orion, and received a call-back from Honeywell Aerospace for an ISC Supervisor role, which he accepted in December 2012.

Kevin advises veteran job seekers to play to their strengths. “I had zero manufacturing experience, zero aerospace experience, zero corporate experience, zero civilian supervising experience,” explains Kevin, “yet I did have leadership, team-building, operations, planning, problem-solving, and demonstrated success in all of those realms, along with the world-class training and mentorship that the US Army provides.”

Kevin continues, “I believe that most successful businesses and hiring managers value the intrinsic leadership principles instilled in service members above job-specific experience. That being said, play to your strengths and sell yourself. Show your potential employer what you bring to the table, and don’t dwell on what you don’t know. Most of that stuff can be taught.”

For the first two years of his career at Honeywell, Kevin supervised anywhere from 20-70 direct reports in an aerospace manufacturing facility, starting on second shift and moving to first shift about a year in. Within the last six months, he received a promotion and transfer into the Materials group as a Senior Sales, Inventory, Operations and Planning (SIOP) Leader, where he advises the site leadership on strategic initiatives and the direction to take the factory in terms of census, hours, overtime, inventory, etc.

“Learning an entire industry from the ground up has been incredibly challenging, oftentimes ‘drinking from the fire hose’, but if I can do it, anybody can. Hard work and long hours generally do pay off in the long run,” says Kevin.

Kevin explains that veterans bring a unique skill-set to any career they choose. The training and experience veterans receive during their military service sets them apart and makes them a valuable commodity to potential employers. “Every Soldier is a leader,” Kevin says, “and there are dynamic careers in America’s top companies just waiting for leaders to step in and begin making an impact. 

Click here to read more about Kevin's transition or even ask him a question.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this post it is very inspiring and great to see how successful you've became. Keep up the great work.