Garrett Cathcart is the Southeast Regional Director at Team Red, White & Blue - an organization that enriches the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activities. He is also the Chief Community Engagement Officer at VETLANTA. He started out at West Point, after which he served in the Army for 8.5 years, with two years in Baghdad as a Recon Scout Platoon Leader and then as an Aide-de-Camp to Commanding General. After his transition from the Army he worked at NuVasive as an Associate Spine Representative before joining team RWB.
Most recently, Nate Boyer was the long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks, but his is also an actor, public speaker and thought leader. Nate started out as a relief worker in Sudan, building camps for refugees of the War in Darfur. He then joined the Army, where he served for six years with the Green Beret as a Sergeant and earning a Bronze Star. After he transitioned from the Army, although he had never played a down of organized football in his life, he went to the University of Texas and was a walk-on to their football team. He became the team's starting long snapper, and played 38 consecutive games for the Longhorns. He was an Academic All-American in 2013-14, Academic All Big 12 from 2011-2014. After Texas, Nate played with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent.
Michael is the President & Owner of M3S Networking, a small business that focuses on dynamic problem-solving, particularly with startups and small businesses. He Started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for seven years as a submarine officer. After his transition from the Navy, he spent two years working on a spy satellite job with the National Reconnaissance Office as an Acquisition/Project Officer. Michael is also the Chairman of the Navy Nuclear Power Officer Career Conference (NUPOCC), a career fair helping veterans transition from the military or find new jobs- those of you who have listened to Episode #55 with Ashley Snyder will remember this as the organization that she credited with landing a job at Google directly out of the Air Force. Finally, he's a husband, dad of 3 boys and is a credentialed baseball media member.
“A lot of stress goes into the transition and thinking about what's next. Trust in the system that being a high performer and having a positive attitude and getting things done is going to work out. You're going to hit a lot stumbling blocks along the way and face a lot of uncertainty, but if you maintain that positive attitude you're going to be fine." – John Pontrello
John Pontrello graduated from the Naval Academy and served for 9 years as a Naval Aviator in various helicopter squadrons. After getting out of the Navy, he attended Harvard Business School. After receiving his MBA from Harvard, he entered the Oil & Gas industry as part of Cameron - a publicly traded company that is now part of Schlumberger. John started as a Corporate Development Manager and then progressed to a Plant Manager. John then returned to Harvard, where he is currently earning his Master of Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government.
In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:
Choosing to go straight to Business School at Harvard Business School rather than to industry
- Advice on using the GI Bill
How John decided to enter the Oil & Energy Industry with Cameron
An overview of the Corporate Development Manager
An overview of a Plant Manager
- What career progression looks like in the Oil & Energy industry
- What it's been like at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
- And much, much more…
QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
1:19 - John’s background
2:06 - John’s decision to leave the Navy
2:58 - Choosing to not join the Reserves
3:32 - The most surprising aspect of John’s transition to civilian life
4:16 - Choosing to go straight to Business School at Harvard Business School rather than to industry
4:57 - Advice on applying to Business School and Harvard Business School in particular
9:03 - What John liked most and least about his time at Harvard Business School
10:30 - Advice on how a veteran might cover their weakness in advance (or as an alternative to business school)
12:13 - Advice on using the GI Bill
13:20 - How John decided to enter the Oil & Energy Industry with Cameron
15:44 - An overview of the Corporate Development Manager
19:25 - In what ways John felt behind his civilian counterparts, and in what ways he felt ahead.
- 21:50 - An overview of a Plant Manager
- 24:50 - What career progression looks like in the Oil & Energy industry
- 30:00 - What are signs that you may enjoy a career in the Oil & Energy industry... and signs that you may not like it
- 31:30 - What it's been like at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
- 33:30 - Final words of wisdom