Our Blog

BY Joel Junker

Conference Advice from Recent Cameron-Brooks Alumni

At the end of each of our Career Conferences, we strive to continually improve our services by asking our candidates for their feedback in several specific areas. Keep in mind that these candidates have just completed a four-day intensive Career Conference (two days of briefings and two days of interviews).  With this fresh – and often fatigued – perspective, they graciously provide us immediate feedback on their experience.

Since the Recruiters and Recruiting Team Leaders at Cameron-Brooks emphasize the importance of DPP© (the Development and Preparation Program©) from the moment a candidate steps into partnership with us, we thought it might be helpful to glean a different perspective on DPP© from our most recent Alumni.  One of the questions on our end-of-Conference feedback survey is directly focused on advice to incoming candidates.  The question reads, “Now that you have attended a Career Conference, what specific preparation advice would you give to other Junior Officers to help them succeed at a Conference (i.e., Reading Program, Workshops, DPP©, study groups, etc.)?”

Many candidates listed the Reading Program, starting early, knowing your resume well, and focusing on significant accomplishments, but over 60% of our candidates listed study groups with other JMO candidates and Interview Preparation Workshops as keys to their success at our Career Conferences. 

 Each section of our DPP© is intentionally selected and carefully crafted to methodically and thoroughly prepare the individual candidate.  One step builds upon the previous one until the candidate is ready to participate in a study group or Workshop that simulates an actual interview environment.  Yet, the overwhelming majority of our August candidates want to strongly communicate to future Conference attendees the importance of starting earlier in DPP, attending more workshops, and interacting more frequently with effective study groups. 

For decades it has been proven that the skills that propel a military officer to success in their military career are the same skills that will create success in the business sector.  However, translating those successes into business terms – and communicating them in a compelling and effective way in a 45-minute interview – is a completely different skill altogether.  Refining skills takes EFFECTIVE PRACTICE, and that is the point our new Alumni want to drive home.

Some additional sage advice from our August candidates:

  “Start the reading list early enough to implement in your military career.”  – Marine Corps CAPT, Logistics

  “Approach the process with an open mind and listen to C-B advice.”  – Army CPT, Logistics

  “Dig deep into your accomplishments to find the connections to business.”  – Air Force MAJ, Pilot

  “Dedicate time to perfecting your answers long before the Conference.”  – Marine Corps 1STLT, Aviation

  “Attend as many workshops as possible.” –  Navy LTjg, Surface Warfare

  “(When preparing interview answers), focus on the challenges you overcame.”  – Army CPT, Intelligence

  “Emphasize tying your answers to different kinds of jobs, i.e., ‘Why sales?’”  – Air Force CAPT, Pilot

  “Practice with people who know nothing about the military.”  – Marine Corps 1STLT, Intelligence

  “Truly give yourself to the program and listen to C-B.”  – Army CPT, Armor

 At Cameron-Brooks, we strive to maintain a steady flow of feedback to continue refining our guidance and counsel.  Interestingly, though, we receive almost identical feedback in this area each Conference.  To reinforce your own success, heed the advice of those who have gone before you, especially as this wisdom rings true for any major endeavor:  start preparing early and practice, practice, practice.