Our Blog

BY Joel Junker

Preparation, Partnership, & The November 2017 Career Conference

Tomorrow, the Cameron-Brooks team will travel to Charlotte, NC to kick off our fifth and final Career Conference of 2017! We are excited to have a great group of companies, represented by hiring managers, ready to fill open positions with their companies! We also have an outstanding group of JMO candidates attending this Conference, and as we put the finishing touches on our candidate’s interview schedules, we anticipate the average number of interviews to be ~12+ per candidate.

In this blog post, I wanted to touch on a topic that I’ve discussed with several JMOs recently – how early is too early to start preparing and partner with Cameron-Brooks?  While most other recruiting firms will tell you to contact them within 2-3 months of getting out, Cameron-Brooks takes a very different approach and the reason for this really begins with our client companies and why we call it a partnership.  When our clients attend our Career Conferences, they represent key leadership positions in their organization that must be filled.  They are looking for officers who desire to transition from the military to Corporate America and continue the leadership trajectory they started when commissioning as an officer.  This sounds simple in theory but much more difficult to implement in reality.  It is a challenge to find officers with the ability to rise to higher levels of leadership in an organization and a desire to compete in the business world, and because of this challenge, our client companies are selective are selective.

Before every Cameron-Brooks Career Conference, each company that attends provides a specific set of criteria for each of the roles for which they are recruiting. That criterion includes objective assets and characteristics such as academic background, military experience, past performance,  personality and demeanor. This is so we have a complete understanding of the type of officer they are looking for that has the background that will allow them to be successful in the role and contribute quickly to their new organization.  That is the first element of why the Cameron-Brooks process is extensive and we spend nearly a year with our candidates in our program. Based on the criteria that our clients provide as to whom they want to interview, it is incumbent upon Cameron-Brooks to ensure we know the officers with whom we choose to partner.  Historically, the average number of months an officer spends in our program before attending a Career Conference is about 11 months and this November Career Conference will be along that same average with the longest tenure in our program for this Conference being 3.5 years!  During that time, in almost every case, we have the opportunity to meet with that officer face-to-face multiple times. Through those meetings, we get a very good understanding of their background, work experience, strengths and development areas. We have the opportunity to coach, develop and mentor these officers as they explore the types of career fields for which they are qualified and in which they are interested.

The second element of why we wish to partner with our candidates as far out as possible is preparation!  When I speak with candidates after they finish their Career Conference and ask them what is one thing they would do differently in their preparation, I have yet to have a candidate tell me they would spend less time preparing for their transition. In almost every case, they comment about how they wished they had formed a partnership with Cameron-Brooks earlier, participated in a study group sooner, started verbalizing their interview answers sooner, or gotten started with a professional reading program earlier, etc. Our client companies come to us to hire for top development positions and while they understand the vast majority JMOs do not have a business background and that they will have to teach them the business, they do expect them to be well prepared and that their time to ramp up will be significantly less due to their level of preparation.  Being well prepared not only gives you confidence going into your interviews, it also demonstrates interest to companies and helps you become a contributor that much more quickly.

The bottom line is that we know that success in the military leads to success in business, and we literally have thousands of data points to back that up. We also know, however, that success in the military does not necessarily equal success in a professional interview.  Our process is extensive because the challenges of a JMO launching a career in the business world demand it.

So, for the November Career Conference candidates that have been diligently preparing for these past average 11 months, we are excited for the lineup of opportunities:

Sample industries include:  Energy Sector, Consumer Packaged Goods, Consulting, Medical Device, High Technology, Residential Construction, Building Materials, Mining, Banking, and more.

Sample companies include:  Altec Industries, Atlas Copco, BP, Stryker Corporation, ExxonMobil, Corning, Unilever, Oldcastle, USAA, LAM Research Corporation, TAMKO Building Products, Medtronic,  Carrier Corporation, Boston Scientific, and many more.

Sample positions include:  Service Manager, Training Program Manager, Regional Commodity Manager, Brand Manager, Field Clinical Representative, Operations Team Leader, Strategic Accounts Manager, Advanced Management Candidate, Pilot Manufacturing Engineer, Cost Engineer, Supply Chain Transformation Lead, Director of Operations, Business Strategy Analyst, Consultant, and many more.

Sample locations include: Birmingham, AL; Houston, TX; Chicago, IL; New York City, NY; Dallas, TX; Boston, MA; Denver, CO; Miami, FL; Chesapeake, VA; Raleigh, NC; Philadelphia, PA; Milwaukee, WI; Fremont, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Los Angeles, CA; Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Austin, TX; and many more.

Lastly, if you haven’t already, check out our iTunes podcast either on your podcast app or here. On the podcast, we interview Cameron-Brooks alumni who are making an impact in the business world. The podcast features alumni from different military backgrounds who went into a variety of roles across companies and industries.

Rob Davis