When I started with Whitney last spring, he was very accomplished in his military duties and very motivated to make a strong transition to the business world. We started working on the concept of networking and came up with numerous organizations and websites that would help with this. We found classes that he could take to improve his networking abilities, resume, and interviewing skills. We went over his interests and mapped out a program to investigate the businesses that attracted him. We discussed desired locations and did an analysis to go over his financial needs, and how they dovetailed with what we thought would be available in the market. We went over possible job categories, and discussed the ones where we thought he would have the best chances for success.
The key to all this, was that after every monthly meeting, Whitney was faced with a large to-do list of research, networking, business contacting, resume work, and applications for programs, internships, and jobs. And in every case, Whitney took in all suggestions and then performed his research work as if it was the critical job that it was.
In the course of this project, huge opportunities appeared, and then disappeared, and new opportunities appeared in their place. One “expert” told him he could not obtain the job that he wanted. We listened to his critique and then we ignored his advice. In another case, Whitney became one of two finalists for what might have been a dream job, but lost out to someone who might have had more direct experience. We just picked up our chips and moved on. Right now, Whitney has one excellent job offer, with another one possibly coming in that might be even better, while he is starting an intern program at a third location. He is researching both opportunities in case the 2nd one comes through so that he can make the best decision. We have learned that nothing is certain until the deal is made. Throughout this process, Whitney has charged ahead, taking advantage of every opportunity, and doing a great job of networking to learn as much as he can, and have the opportunity to present himself where he sees a mutual fit. He has been using the work ethic and skills he learned in the military to prepare himself for a good transition to the private sector. I have every expectation that he will make a safe and strong landing in this sector and start on a successful career as he moves on to another stage in his work life."
Mentor: Robert Kaufmann, Glen Rock, New Jersey, Kaufmann Associates