From the battlefield to the boardroom

By Christine Ferrell

On this holiday weekend, we are thankful for our veteran MBA students. Two NC State Jenkins MBA alumni are featured in an article in The Guardian entitled, “From the battlefield to the boardroom: helping veterans succeed at work.” Click here for the full version. See an excerpt below.

After returning from a five-year active deployment as a field artillery officer in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2011, Bryan DeMotts struggled to find work. He confronted a stagnant job market, and even when he managed to get in front of a hiring manager, he felt stigmatized for having spent years in the military. “Everybody saw me as a soldier in spite of relevant work experience before I served,” DeMotts recalls.

Last year, after completing a business degree at North Carolina State University, he landed a job as a procurement consultant at IBM, where he advises IBM’s clients about what they should buy. He has noticed “a strong cultural shift throughout corporate America”, he says, a change in attitude that included a growing appreciation of the benefits of military service.

DeMotts says his employer values the skills he developed as a field officer. “I’ve learned dependability, so if a meeting is set a month from now, I’ll be there,” he says. “I’ve learned how to thrive in high-pressure/stress situations – that’s when we do our best work – so I can juggle multiple deadlines and clients. This is a good home for me.”

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