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BY petevanepps

The Cameron-Brooks Skillbridge Program: Three Things You Should Know

Did you know Cameron-Brooks was a Skillbridge provider? To date, we have had 11 officers participate in the Cameron-Brooks Skillbridge program. Of those 11 officers, the “pursuit rate” from the Conference (e.g. the number of companies who said “yes” to an officer relative to the number of interviews they had) was a whopping 86%.

The average pursuit rate of every conference since we started inviting officers to participate in the Cameron-Brooks Skillbridge program is 75%. Not a bad number, no doubt, but it is obvious that participating in the Skillbrige program and dedicating more time to prepare is a valuable endeavor and generally renders more options to pursue in the Follow-up Interview Process.

Additionally, the average number of interviews that those 11 officers had was 12.5 interviews per officer. That number is actually in line with the average number of interviews of all of the officers who attended a Conference since the April 2021 Conference (the first Conference in which a Skillbridge officer participated).

Cameron-Brooks is an official DoD Skillbridge provider (click here and type “Cameron-Brooks” in the search bar.) We have been authorized by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense through an official Memorandum of Understanding to work with each of the applicable branches of the military. As described on the DoD Skillbridge website, to be a successful SkillBridge industry partner, organizations must:

  1. Have clearly defined job training and career development programs designed to enhance opportunities for returning Service members. These programs should enable Service members to gain the necessary employment skills, knowledge, and abilities to hit the ground running as they look for civilian employment.

The Cameron-Brooks Development and Preparation Program (DPP) does exactly that! The DPP is a curriculum-based program that is designed and tailored to each of the candidates in our program. The DPP  contains four main categories of preparation:

    1.  Interview Preparation:  This includes self-analysis, interview answer construction, and interview answer verbalization. This portion of the preparation is designed to help officers communicate their backgrounds effectively in interviews, that is translate their military experience to business professionals and connect their experience directly to the role(s).
    2. Business Knowledge: Every role represented at the Cameron-Brooks Career Conference is typically filled by someone with industry experience. When a company comes to the Cameron-Brooks Conference, they are not expecting to interview officers with business experience, but they are expecting to interview officers who have done their homework and learned about the principles and functions that are important and relevant to their work.
    3. Career Field ResearchAs we recently wrote about in our recent Transition Guide titled “Considering a Military Internship?”, we encourage you to “explore your full marketability because you are more marketable to corporate America than you may expect.” We typically see JMOs launch their business careers in one of four functional categories: Team Leadership, Business Analysis, Engineering Management, or Professional (Business-to-Business) Sales. Most JMOs are objectively qualified for at least two of those categories and sometimes all four! That does not mean a person is equally interested or equally qualified for the different career field. The DPP allows officers to explore options and create an interview strategy that ultimately renders a tailored and individualized interview schedule.
    4. Resume: There is a lot of confusion about how to create a military to corporate America resume. The mistake I frequently see JMOs make is they try to make their resume look as if they have years of previous business experience. It’s logical to think a resume like that is required, considering JMOs are attempting to take their non-traditional background and “sell their background” to a different industry. We take a different approach. Our tried-and-true method of resume building, shepherded by our Resume Coordinator, Danielle Granville, allows military officers to take their leadership experience and craft an impactful resume that is accomplishment-based.

2. Ensure a high probability of a job being available to the participating Service members at the end of [the] organization’s SkillBridge program.

    • Each member of the Cameron-Brooks Skillbridge program is also a member of the DPP program. The DPP culminates at the Cameron-Brooks Career Conference, where officers appreciate an average of over 12 interviews per person. In that, 95% of officers who attend a Career Conference receive offers for employment at leading companies who are hiring JMOs for their leadership experience and leadership potential.

3. [Provide] evidence that your industry is in demand and has opportunities for professional advancement beyond initial employment. 

    • There are typically over two open positions for every officer who attends a Career Conference. Each role is developmental in nature. Meaning, from that position, you have the opportunity to grow to higher levels of leadership in the organization. This is an important vetting criterion we use when inviting a company to participate in the Conference.  That said, it stands to reason that a company who is looking to hire a JMO is not only hiring to fill an open position but also to build a leadership team for future opportunities; otherwise, they would pursue an experienced industry hire. Companies go outside of their “normal” hiring practices to hire a JMO, expecting that officer to have the ability and desire to rise to higher levels of leadership in the organization.

If you are interested in having a dialogue on the Cameron-Brooks Skillbridge program, contact us!

You can also check out our Transition Guide on “The 5 Most Common Mistakes JMOs Make Transitioning” for additional transition tips.

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Cameron-Brooks is a Military-to-Business career transition specialist who partners exclusively with Junior Military Officers to launch rewarding careers in Corporate America.