A Veteran Transition Story from Endurance International Group
A long-term career in the military provides both valuable experience, along with challenges upon transition to a civilian career. Ron LaSalvia, Endurance International Group President and COO, provides a good example and some advice for all transitioning military – and also some words of wisdom for hiring managers.
Prior to joining Endurance, Ron served 24 years in the United States Navy, rising through the ranks to command two fast attack submarines. Subsequently, on the staff of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he managed the Department of Defense process for assessing future capability needs and approving development of major defense systems.
Ron’s background was impressive and included the most valuable characteristics for success in business – leadership, management, and the ability to align people around a mission and accomplish it. What he didn’t have was specific civilian industry experience, a business vocabulary, and a network of people to help with the transition. He also felt hampered by a lack of focus; with a lack of specific experience, how could he narrow his search? These problems are common to all transitioning military, but can especially cause difficulty for long-term military officers.
Ron’s solution was to go to business school. Three very specific goals guided him as he obtained his MBA from Wharton; learn the language of the business world, establish a network, and establish credibility with potential employers.
While fulfilling his goal of building a network at school, Ron met Michael Kesselman and Hari Ravichandran of Endurance. This meeting led to his current career, where he has advanced through hard work. Ron now says “It has been a blast. I love working with smart, hardworking, humble people, and Endurance has those in abundance.” Choosing the right employer also is important. Ron feels “tremendously” supported by Endurance.
Even though business school may have helped open doors, Ron’s success is also due to the skills he developed in the United States Navy. Now, he uses his operations knowledge, leadership, analytical decision making, and team building in his executive position at Endurance.
Ron has specific advice for those who are planning to separate from the military:
- Think hard about what you really want to do. There are a lot of opportunities and it might seem overwhelming. Narrow down to focus your efforts on what you want to do.
- Start early. Network; talk with as many people as you can who have made the transition and as many people as you can who work at your target companies.
- Prepare. Learn as much as you can about the position and the company and how you can jump in and make a difference.
In addition, Ron has advice for companies that struggle to find experienced talent, which is virtually every company we know:
“With a veteran you get a dedicated and hard working person who will commit to your vision and mission and work hard to help you achieve it. Veterans have strong leadership and managerial ability because they gain great experience at a young age. Veterans learn fast and are adaptable because they are accustomed to changing roles periodically. Don’t be apprehensive about a lack of specific relevant experience. The will to win, leadership, adaptability, willingness to learn and ability to fit into your team and help you make it stronger make veterans a great hire for any organization.”
Would you like to network with best companies who appreciate your military background? Come to BestCompaniesAZ’s 3rd Annual Military Career Event on February 22nd and meet hiring representatives from Endurance International Group, USAA, Charles Schwab, Intel, Dignity Health and more! You will get great job search ideas and a foot in the door at the companies everyone wants to work for. Register here!