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BY Joel Junker

Features and Benefits of Cameron-Brooks’ Development and Preparation Program

One of the features of the Cameron-Brooks program is our Development and Preparation Program© (DPP©).  A mis-perception of our program is that it is only designed to learn how to successfully interview.  This is only one of the benefits, and there are 3 equally important purposes of DPP©.

First, DPP© provides an education to Junior Military Officers (JMOs) on business career opportunities.  Most often JMOs come to us unsure if they want to leave the military and if they do separate, they wonder if  business is right for them.  We partner with these JMOs to help them identify their career goals, the options in business and  then provide them with objective insight so they can make good decisions based on their talents, values and goals.

Second, DPP© provides an education on key business topics encouraging our candidates to utilize these tools in their current military environment.  The intent is that they  improve their performance and increase their marketability.  Topics we cover in our program include Lean, Six Sigma, High Performance Work Teams, Continuous Process Improvement, sales/negotiation subjects to name a few.  I recently received the following e-mail from a Marine Corps Logistics JMO with an engineering degree from Georgia Tech about how he is using DPP© while deployed:

“I wanted to let you know that I am learning a great deal from the development program.  As I sit here aboard the ship on overnight watch in the command center, I realize that many of the books from the reading list (5 Dysfunctions of a Team, What is Six Sigma) discuss experiences that are parallel to my own from the Marine Corps and previous positions.  It is great to read about the significant leadership principles in the books, especially in regard to team leadership.   Team leadership is a competency I developed as a junior Lieutenant . However at the time I did not have the knowledge, which I have since learned through the readings, to properly identify my style.  After transferring units, in order to pursue the current deployment, I implemented the same team oriented environment with my new staff.  I was immediately met with resistance from my Supply Chief who had insisted on keeping the traditional and rigid styled environment in the supply warehouse.  I sat down with him and explained many of the principles from the books as well as my past experiences at my previous unit.   After explaining the importance of lateral communication with him -especially with the nature of supply chains- he became willing to adopt the team oriented leadership concept, while still maintaining the proper military chain of command.  We are half way through the deployment and the Commanding Officer has already told me personally that my Marines and I have “way surpassed any expectations he ever had” and that the deployment “would not have been successful without my arrival”.   I was recently granted career designation, which only some 30% of Marine Corps Supply Officers were offered due to the downsizing of the Marine Corps.”

This Marine JMO’s experience is not unique for those who fully utilize our DPP©.

A third purpose of our DPP© is that it prepares JMO candidates to hit the ground and make contributions quickly in their new career.  This ties into the second purpose where JMOs are utilizing these business concepts in their work environments prior to their new career.  They are not only aware of these business concepts but will also bring experience utilizing them to their new career.  Many years ago, a Fortune 500 consumer package goods company evaluated their marketing professionals on where they were in their career after 3 years.  Cameron-Brooks came out in the rankings as their top 10 MBA school hires.  As they learned more about DPP©, they labeled it a “mini-MBA”.  It is certainly not an MBA, hence the “mini” qualifier, however, it is full of self-development exercises and education preparing a JMO to step into high potential and challenging work in business.

And, yes, one of the immediate benefits for JMOs is still learning how to interview at a high level to be competitive for development opportunities with leading companies.

We just finished our April 2011 Conference.  Rob Davis will be writing a blog post with the results, sample companies and positions and videos.  It should be out early next week.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, below is a video testimonial from a Navy Nuclear Sub officer from the April 2011 Career Conference discussing the value of the interview preparation portion of the DPP.

Joel Junker