Contributing writer and columnist, Business Insider
Small businesses looking to hire don’t have to look only to Harvard and Yale graduates. Ranks of military alumni with real world work experience on top of college degrees can also run a company smoothly and strategically -- particularly during these stressful times. We spoke with an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran about their applicable skills as they consider grad school and search for work discussing where they might fit in the small business job market.
Logistics These guys understand the art of getting from point A to point B effectively and efficiently.
“It’s a natural part of the job to figure out how to get from here to there strategically and in a variety of high stress situations,” says Captain Michael Kerns formerly of the 82nd Airborne Division. Kerns managed 120 people from several different countries with a variety of personalities and was responsible for millions of dollars worth of training equipment.
Sergeant Nicole Gagliano, was an unmanned aerial systems operator that flew planes and controlled surveillance cameras. She was responsible for roughly $15 million dollars worth of equipment and regularly juggled teamwork and solitary responsibilities. She was the author of a standard operational procedure manual for her company of 300 people.
Sales and management Military veterans are people-people. “We’re going to do very well in anything people-related,” says Gagliano. “We’re forced to interact with so many that you learn how to establish report.”
Organization Military folk are very detail-oriented. Attention to detail during high-pressure situations is critical in both life/death and buy/sell situations. “We are used to thinking about details and how to manage large programs. I can effectively express and brief any size group of people on what they need to know and how to get it done,” says Gagliano. “We understand and always consider the risk in every decision, so we work in a very organized manner. We’re also need to be ten minutes early to everything in life because of our regimented schedules.”
Leadership Transitioning to an office and into a business setting is only natural for top military personnel. “We’re used to caring about the people we work with and believing in the work we do,” says Gagliano. “Plus, we really can handle any situation thrown at us.”
Kerns and Gagliano are familiar with the negative stereotypes the general public has for veterans, but know they have brains and brawn.
“People might think the army is about yelling, but it’s more about leadership. You don’t hear yelling unless you are being shot at. It’s about knowing how to effectively motivate people to do something.”