Operations Manager, Carrier Corporation
Former USAF Finance Officer
Major: BS, Operations Research
Graduate Program: Indiana University
MS, Finance Conference: June 2015
Starting position and company:
Business Manager, National Accounts Division, Automated Logic, UTC
Current position at company:
Operations Manager, Mid-Atlantic (D.C. & Baltimore) Division, Carrier, UTC
What is one thing you learned during your time as a candidate with Cameron-Brooks that has been influential to your career success?
Make time for the big things. As a supervisor it’s critically important that you take care of the small things quickly and efficiently and get back to solving bigger problems. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by the small stuff, because there will always be plenty of small stuff. Instead of focusing on the symptom, try attacking the root cause such as better training, proper communication, or expectation/goal setting. The 30-60 minutes a day you can dedicate to improving the strategic priorities of the organization compound quickly and makes the difference between getting bogged down and helping the company succeed.
What book/blog/podcast have you read recently that has had a positive impact on your performance?
Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie – A truly incredible book about life, leadership and business. “It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you could do alone.” I especially enjoyed reading about the transition from American Iron to Steel. Recognize when the tide is changing underneath you. Don’t always fight the current, change your direction and keep moving.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the business world that you would not have been able to complete without your military background?
I had to manage my branch P&L through a tough financial position on the company’s largest project. In Afghanistan, my Marine Corps supervisor told me that to succeed in-theater I had to do two things well: 3rd grade math and tell a good story. In corporate life, your managers and their managers aren’t looking for complex calculus. Leadership wants to trust that figures add up properly and that you can explain the story. The numbers may not always be positive, but the more efficiently you can communicate your position, the sooner you can solve the crux of the issue. Be a leader within your set of responsibilities and offer solutions, not problems.
How did you utilize any of the Cameron-Brooks staff to assist you during your career (career advice, promotional mock interviews)?
I sent C-B an email inquiring about a position when my best friend interviewed in this past January conference. I hit the lull in my current position (just like C-B said I would), and was looking for a change of scenery in my personal life. I was reminded to go back over my post-conference material, remembered to stay patient and continued making the best out of my situation. It ended up being the best thing for me as I was selected to promote internally only 4 months later to a location I desired.
What specific advice would you give to other Cameron-Brooks Alumni, especially the ones in their first two years?
Making friends on the outside is not always as easy as making friends in the military. As JMO’s you bring a certain attitude, work ethic and perception of the world that instantly connects you to your military peers. Don’t get frustrated professionally if you aren’t as engaged socially as you were in the military. Many times your peers and direct-reports will be older than you with much more tenure and your lifestyles will be dramatically different. Embrace the change, learn how you fit in your new adventure, and find the path that makes you happy personally and professionally.