Jobs after Commitment

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by WestPoint2017, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    This is all theoretical. I have no clue how long I want to be in the Army and don't view that unknown as a negative at this point in time. With that being said, by majoring in engineering at USMA, graduating and completing the 5 year active duty commitment is it easy to land a job in industry? Does the Army/USMA network help you find a job? Thanks!
     
  2. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    Generally people in industry view SA plus military service highly in a job applicant but of course it varies on a case-by-case basis. I know several people who went to an SA and then went to top MBA schools. MBA school is a great transition experience from military to civilian profession. I went to The Tuck School at Dartmouth and had classmates from USMA, USNA, and USCGA who had done 5-10 of service. Post MBA jobs varied but many went to consulting (Bain, McKinsey, etc) and investment banking (Goldman, Morgan Stanley, etc.).
     
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    from my experience, what I did in the military mattered more than my major.

    It seemed that employers acknowledged that military officers have legs up on leadership. Every officer should be able to say I have leadership experience. Something along the line of an Infantry officer with computer science major and a Signal Officer with History degree being looked at for IT position. Or A Infantry officer with an aeronautical engineering degree competing against an Aviation officer with history degree for a airspace industry management position.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    My experience has been a little mix of all of the above. I got out in 2011, so my experience has been fairly recent.

    Service academies have GREAT networks. I wasn't so sure, until i interviewed with, and worked for a Coast Guard Academy graduate at a PR firm.

    So the network DOES help. On top of that, a service academy is a good place to come from. I don't know if that really had anything to do with my major, but SOME people recognize the pressure and requirements of cadets and midshipmen, and that making it through that is a good indication of how you could do in a job.

    That said, what you do, or don't do, while you serve also has a major influence. My area of work is LARGELY about experience. Because of my time as a public affairs officer, my deployment to a major oil spill (in a public affairs capacity) and my military public affairs education/experience at the Defense Information School, I had SOME things going for me.

    By the time I got out I was also well on my way to my master's degree. It's not NEEDED in public relations or public affairs, but it's a nice thing to have, and it does help with the work I do. I do think graduate school is a nice transition, working with classmates in the private sector; doors can also open with new grad school friends, contacts and professors.

    If I had the CGA diploma in my back pocket, that will get a second look for grad school. It might get a glance in an interview too. But without my real world public affairs experience, I'm not all that attractive.

    Where am I now? I have a Coast Guard Academy diploma in my back pocket, five years of military leadership experience, advanced training in public affairs from the Defense Information School, a deployment to a major environmental crisis (in a public affairs capacity), almost eight years of public affairs/communications work, and a master's degree in strategic communications. My CGA diploma has helped, but at this point it's much more about experience (including as a military officer, but mostly because my role is related to the work I do now).

    We do a disservice to academy graduates when we say that it will be easy, that they will be sought after (no matter their experience), or that their military experience will translate immediately to some lucrative position. Yes, sometimes it will, but sometimes it won't.

    While MANY people appreciate academy graduates and military experience, there is also a stigma around it, as well. As a military officer turn civilian, you may be too direct or forceful. You may not play the politics game the same way as it worked in the service.

    AND you may be disappointed with the workforce you enter. You get used to the way the military does things, and the relative "accountability" you can expect. It's different in the private sector. I'm not saying either is right or wrong, but they are certainly different.


    At the end of the day, your resume is what you make it. There are no free passes when you get out. Think about what that civilian life will look like for you, and if you can do things to build the experiences to successfully enter that civilian life one day, well do them. The military, in my opinion, does a very poor job of actively setting its people up for life after the military. You will have a one week TAPS class, but there is so much learning that could be had on the ride through your career, about that civilian world.
     
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Great question...

    Interesting, Lineinthesand, thank you for sharing.

    The school you came from helps with your first job, and your second job relates to your first job.

    I was enlisted in the Navy as a troubled young man at 17. I had too much energy and wanted to get away. My Navy experience was good for me. I had a friend who attended Annapolis and he took me under his wing, I was his project. I became very close to his family and his father. His father operated a vessel recovery business that I became very interested in and after my commitment to the Navy I went to work for him. Later his son, my friend, past away from cancer and grew very close to the father and the family. So much so I married my friends sister and have four rascals. I later took over the business and added to the small fleet and I am able to generate enough revenue to take care of the whole family.

    I have two Annapolis grads pilot two of my tugs and they do very well. Well-I mean, they enjoy what they do and they never imagined being where they are after entering their civilian second life. I have deep admiration and respect for anyone who attends a Service Academy; it’s not for everyone. I often ponder if my two pilots find their life full filling. They are two grown men that make their own decisions and they still show up for duty with a smile and work long 12 to 14 hour days. My only big pressure these days is to win harbor contracts and the competition changes and gets more crowded. One thing that does help in the contracts we have - all the folks we do business with have been in the Navy and they know who we are. This has help keep foreign companies from coming into our harbors.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  6. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    Thanks for all the responses!
     

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