Technology

BTU #303 - Marines to Product Manager at IBM (Richard I. Porter)

BTU #303 - Marines to Product Manager at IBM (Richard I. Porter)

Why Listen

While the bulk of this interview is about Product Manager, Richard and I cover a lot of ground that will interest you regardless of your desired career path. We talk about leadership, we talk about technology, we talk about values and how to find a career path that aligned with your personal value; we talk about how technology may be an a-moral career path, and we talk using hypothesis to confirm or deny a career move… and how either of those, the confirmation or the denial, is equally valuable.

About Richard

Richard I. Porter is a Product Manager at IBM as part of their IBM Cloud: API Connect/Gateways team. He started out in the Marine Corps as a Ground Intelligence Officer, where he served for 8 years. After his time in the Marine Corps, he studied business at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

BTU #263 - Business Development @ Palantir (Chris Musselman & Michael Adams)

BTU #263 - Business Development @ Palantir (Chris Musselman & Michael  Adams)

Why Listen:
In this episode I interview not one but TWO incredible Veterans who work at Palantir, both of them work in Business Development. We do a deep dive on both Palantir and the functional role of Business Development, with two different viewpoints on each. We talk about listening to your gut when you make decision; we talk about how Veterans have more tech experience than they may think; we talk about taking a step back before making career decisions; we talk about taking the time to find your own way of advocating for yourself, and much, much more.

About Chris & Michael:
Chris Musselman works in Business Development Executive at Palantir. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for over 21 years with the Navy SEALs. He holds a Master’s in International Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

Michael Adams is an Business Development Executive at Palantir. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Navy for over 20 years as both a Surface Warfare Officer and a member of the Judge Advocate General corps. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School.

BTU #236 - Verizon Panel with Tommy Jones, Robert Brandt and Hector Milan

BTU #236 - Verizon Panel with Tommy Jones, Robert Brandt and Hector Milan

Why Listen:
This is a unique interview in that (1) it's a panel of three employees and perspectives from Verizon, and (2) in addition to the audio podcast, there is a video version as well. This is a great look at what it's like to transition to a large company, and the advantages that provides. The three perspectives of Tommy, Robert, and Hector provide an immense amount of quality advice around interviewing, preparing for your transition, and why Veterans should consider a career at Verizon.

About our Panel:
Tommy Jones is a Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition - Enterprise Sales & Services, as well as the Leader of Military Programs. He has been with Verizon for 6 years, and served in the Army Signal Corps as a Non-Commissioned Officer, retiring as an E-8.

Hector Milan(mil-e-on) recently joined Verizon as a Field Operations Manager. Previously, he served in the Army as a Master Trainer, Supervisor, and Recruiter, retiring as an E-8.

Robert Brandt has worked with Verizon for 22 years, holding roles as Facility Tech, Local Manager, and now as an Area Operations Manager. In his current role, he leads 12 local managers and over 200 associates across six work centers. He previously served in the Marine Corps Infantry.

BTU #206 - Tech Qualled: Helping Veterans Enter the High Tech Industry (Nick Breedlove)

BTU #206 - Tech Qualled: Helping Veterans Enter the High Tech Industry (Nick Breedlove)

Why Listen:
If you’re aspiring to enter the High Tech Industry, Tech Qualled is designed to help you get there… for free. They offer a 7-week program that teaches you the skills you need to succeed in your first job, and they pair you with employers at the end of your training. Nick talks about his experience starting Tech Qualled, which is also a great perspective for listeners who aspire to start their own company. We talk about training, about the scars of entrepreneurship, about sales and how important this is to entrepreneurship, about education and the tradeoffs a degree entails, and much more.

About Nick:
Nick Breedlove is a co-founder and the CEO of Tech Qualled, the nation's first enterprise dedicated exclusively to training Veterans and Early in Career individuals for customer-facing roles in the High Tech sector. Through a competitive, immersive and intense training program, Tech Qualled helps motivated Veterans achieve new levels professional potential in the Tech sector. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a helicopter pilot in the Navy for ten years, achieving the rank of Commander while serving as an Instructor Pilot for a Navy Boeing 737 squadron. After his military service he got his Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, prior to starting Tech Qualled.

BTU #204 - 27 Year Army Veteran to Founder of My Military Loans (Michael Fuller)

BTU #204 - 27 Year Army Veteran to Founder of My Military Loans (Michael Fuller)

Why Listen:
Michael is a great example of someone who - after 27 years of military service - goes on to a fulfilling and very different civilian career. His company - My Military Loans - has funded over 81 military Veteran companies. He shares more about My Military Loans, as well as advice for aspiring Veteran entrepreneurs. Many of the businesses he helps fund are franchises, so be sure to check out the show notes, which features over 5 other episodes related to franchises and entrepreneurship. 

About Michael:
Michael Fuller is the founder & CEO of My Military Loans which provides working and startup capital for veterans to launch and grow businesses with a focus on fighting back against predatory lenders taking advantage of veterans. LTC Fuller retired on April 30, 2017 from the United States Army after completing over 27 years of service. LTC Fuller entered the United States Army on December 5, 1988 as a Private First Class, serving for over 10 years as an enlisted soldier promoted to the rank of Sergeant. LTC Fuller was commissioned in March 1999 as a First Lieutenant and subsequently rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

BTU #203 - Air Force Veteran to VP of Operations @ ZipRecruiter (Elliot Wilson)

BTU #203 - Air Force Veteran to VP of Operations @ ZipRecruiter (Elliot Wilson)

Why Listen:
Elliot has a long history in startups and operations. In this interview, we talk about the hiring process on how to play competing offers off of each other in order to get the best outcome possible. We talk about a variety of ways to get a job. We talk about Elliot’s experience in the General Manager position, a role that may be appealing to many Veterans. We talk about changing one’s job title from a big to a small company and how to approach this. And we talk about operations - operations in a tech startup, as well as operations in the cost-driven physical products world.

About Elliot:
Elliot Wilson is the Vice President of Operations at ZipRecruiter, which is the smartest way to hire and get hired. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he served in the Air Force for nearly three years. He has worked as a Senior Product Manager at Pictage, General Manager overseeing 250 employees at Lovejoy, and Area Director of Distribution at Sherman-Williams. He holds both an MS and MBA from Loyola Marymount University. 

BTU #191 - Army Veteran to Instagram Influencer (Roberto Portales)

BTU #191 - Army Veteran to Instagram Influencer (Roberto Portales)

Robertois a Client Executive for Healthcare and Life Sciences at NTT. He is a social media influencer, with over 315k followers on Instagram, where he goes by Rjportales, where he talk about technology, fitness, travel, lifestyle, meal preparation and more. He started out at West Point, after which he served for five years as a Counterintelligence Officer. 

Why Listen: 
As a side project, Roberto has grown his Instagram audience to over 315,000 followers. This has afforded him not only a creative outlet, but has led him to star in commercials, be sponsored by companies, as well as meet a lot of great people. In this interview we talk about the world of social media influencers, and what every Veteran can learn from Roberto's experience.

BTU #190 - Navy Veteran to Pinterest & Tech (Jimmy Sopko - Rebroadcast)

BTU #190 - Navy Veteran to Pinterest & Tech (Jimmy Sopko - Rebroadcast)

Jimmy Sopko is a Manager of Growth Sales at Pinterest. Jimmy got his start at Pinterest by rolling up his sleeves and taking a job at Pinterest as part of their Community Operations team. While this was a step back in terms of pay and seniority, it got his foot in the door and he was able to quickly work his way up within Pinterest... a company that has already tripled in growth since he joined. Jimmy is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and former Surface Warfare Officer. He's also an avid rower, having earned a Silver Medal in the 2009 World Rowing Championships.

BTU #186 - Army Veteran to Blockchain and Ethereum at ConsenSys (Donnie Benjamin)

BTU #186 - Army Veteran to Blockchain and Ethereum at ConsenSys (Donnie Benjamin)

Donnie works at ConsenSys in the Office of the Founder. ConsenSys is a blockchain venture production studio. Our global team is building an ecosystem of consumer-centric products and enterprise solutions using blockchain technologies, primarily based on Ethereum. Donnie started out at West Point, served as an Army Intelligence Officer for 5 years, attended Harvard Business School, and has worked at Google, Qualtrics, and Future Finance.

Why Listen: 

Donnie works at the largest, pure blockchain company in the world. Not only is this an exceptional overview of the blockchain and cyrpto currency space, but Donnie covers a lot of ground related to pay post-military, work-life-harmony, the importance of sales, explaining your role to a civilian hiring manager and more.

BTU #177 - USMC to VP in Crypto (Stephanie Vaughan)

BTU #177 - USMC to VP in Crypto (Stephanie Vaughan)

Stephanie Vaughanis the Vice President, Head of Capital Markets at Block X Ventures, a premier boutique crypto-agency advisory firm. Block X Venturessupports leading Blockchain companies worldwide, serving as a strategic and financial advisory for token generating events. She started out at the Naval Academy, after which she served as a Marine Corps officer for over 5.5 years. After her military service, she earned her MBA at Columbia Business School, worked as an Investment Banking Associate at Houlihan Lokey, a Venture Capitalist at LunaCap Ventures, and as Director of Capital Markets at StreetShares. She is a contributing writer at theBlockchain Times.


BTU #171 - Navy to Financial Services at Silicon Valley Bank (Charlie Kelly)

BTU #171 - Navy to Financial Services at Silicon Valley Bank (Charlie Kelly)

Charlie Kelly is the Managing Director of the Colorado Technology group at Silicon Valley Bank, where he leads a team focused on providing innovative financial services to high tech companies in the seed / series A through cash flow positive stages of development headquartered in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. He started out at Duke University, after which he served as an officer in the Navy onboard Submarines for almost five years. After his military service, he earned his MBA at the University of Colorado Boulder. He then joined SVB, initially as an associate with the Private Equity Banking team, eventually leading SVB’s team in the Central U.S. He has worked at SVB for over 11 years now.


BTU #157 - Employee #500 at Aol (Rob Shenk)

BTU #157 - Employee #500 at Aol (Rob Shenk)

This is a terrific episode for any member of the Armed Forces. Rob joined Aol as their 500th employee and was there for their growth to over 10,000 employees. He went through a similar process with eTrade. But he got his foot in the door, directly out of the military, by applying to be a customer phone support person! His story is one of failing and taking risks, or being part of an internet revolution, and continuing to change his career path over time. I found his story inspiring and hope that you do as well.

BTU #128 - Deloitte, Apple, Startups & Facebook (Francis Ebong)

BTU #128 - Deloitte, Apple, Startups & Facebook (Francis Ebong)

Francis went directly from the Navy to consulting at Deloitte, and has worked at Apple, in startups, and now at Facebook. He talks about each of these career paths, why veterans may love operations, and advice to help in interviews and finding your ideal career.

BTU #98 - Jared Wymer: Marines to Amazon & a PhD... simultaneously

BTU #98 - Jared Wymer: Marines to Amazon & a PhD... simultaneously

Jared Wymer is a Program Manager for Global Talent Management at Amazon. Jared started out by enlisting in the Marine Corps, where he served for eight years in logistics, supply chain management, and intelligence, while also pursuing and receiving an undergraduate degree and MBA. Jared transitioned from the Marines into a PhD program, working concurrently in finance and as a Fellow for the Department of State. Since that time Jared started his own consulting company, Wymer & Associates, and joined Amazon. Jared is currently one year away from obtaining his PhD.

BTU #88 - Mike Benedosso - Army Boxing National Champion to LinkedIn & Google

BTU #88 - Mike Benedosso - Army Boxing National Champion to LinkedIn & Google

Mike works in New Business Development at Google as part of Google Cloud. He started out at West Point, where he was the Boxing Team Captain and a National Champion. He served in the Army for five years: first as an Executive Officer (XO) of a Military Intelligence Company and then as a Platoon Leader and Team Captain of the Army Boxing Team in the Army's World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado. There, he trained to earn a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Boxing team. Since leaving the Army in 2012, he has worked at Sony, LinkedIn, Google, and earned his MBA from UCLA.

BTU #89 - Drew Sanocki: Navy to bootstrapping from $0 to 7-figures in 1 year

BTU #89 - Drew Sanocki: Navy to bootstrapping from $0 to 7-figures in 1 year

Drew is a Founding Partner at Empire Growth Group, a hybrid consulting agency, services provider, and investment vehicle. He started out Harvard, after which he served in the Navy as an intelligence Officer for four years. After his transition from the Navy, Drew attended Stanford Business School. After a role at Commerce.TV in Business Development, Drew co-founded Design Public, an 'inventoryless' ecommerce company focused on the home furnishings market, which Drew bootstrapped from $0 to 7 figures in under one year, eventually selling the company after eight profitable years. Drew also runs the site NerdMarketing.com, where he writes about marketing automation and customer segmentation rules that have driven over $100 million in transactions in 2015.

BTU #83 - Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft

BTU #83 - Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft

Chris Dattaro is an Operations Manager at Lyft in Washington DC. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years. After departing the Navy, Chris participated in the Goldman Sachs 3 month Veterans Integration Program, before joining FBR, an investment bank, in an Institutional Equity Sales role. He briefly worked at Trustify as the Director of Recruiting before joining Lyft. Chris is married to an active duty Lieutenant and HR Officer and he is also active in his spare time coaching veterans about their career transition to the civilian workforce and working with veteran entrepreneurs.

BTU #80 - Zach & Drew - two Navy vets team up to raise $13M for Rhumbix

BTU #80 - Zach & Drew - two Navy vets team up to raise $13M for Rhumbix

Rhumbix is based in San Francisco and is a mobile platform designed for the construction craft workforce. They were founded in 2014 and have raised over $13M in funding from investors including Greylock Partners, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Spectrum 28, and Glynn Capital.

BTU #78 - Josh Carter: TechStars, Operation Code, Patriot Bootcamp and more

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“ Stop worrying about the beta, and just get the product out. If you are not embarrassed by your first product, then you're doing it wrong. It should be ugly, it should be clunky, it should be what you think it should be... but less. And once you get it in the hands of the customer, the customer is going to tell you what they like and what they don't like. And that's what we realized - we were trying to be perfectionists. You want your product to be perfect, but you make these assumptions that it's going to be valuable. And the best way to do that is get it in the hands of the customer who will tell you if they find value in it." – Josh Carter

Josh Carter is the Co-Founder & CEO of Brightwork, a microservices platform that enables developers to build faster on a reliable and scalable solution. Since their founding they’ve raised over $300K in funding and have gone through Techstars in Chicago. Josh started out in the Navy, where he served for about 3 years. Since his time in the Navy he’s held multiple engineering roles in the Telecom industry and eventually a Senior Support Engineer at the startup, Twilio, a communication startup that went public earlier this year. Josh founded his own digital marketing agency - Plunk - and is also a former founding board member of Operation Code.

The top reason to listen to today’s show is:

  • Support - Josh has been living in the startup world for a while, and has a great overview of different resources available for other veteran entrepreneurs. In particular, he talks about TechStars, and gives a fantastic overview of this 3 month program, as well as Patriot Bootcamp and other great resources. In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Twilio
  • Brightwork.io
  • Plunk
  • TechStars - this was a great help for Josh in starting a venture backed company. It is a 3-month program offered all over the United States. They take 6% of the company in exchange for $120,000 in funding.
  • FounderCon - all TechStar founders get together for one year
  • Patriot Bootcamp - offshoot of the TechStars core program. It's a one weekend program that is very intense, but very targeted in preparing veterans for entrepreneurship
  • Operation Code - Chris was a founding board member; they help transitioning veterans get into coding - finding mentors and sharing advice for becoming a programmer
  • Resources
    • Meetup.com - Coffee with CoFounders - lowkey get togethers are rotating coffee shops for founders to connect with each other and talk about what they're struggling with

Show Notes

  • 1:45 - Josh's background
  • 2:30 - When Josh knew he would leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 3:20 - What Josh's first job search looked like and how he found the Art Academy to be different than he expected. He talks about how he found his way to the Telecom industry
  • 4:23 - An overview on the Telecom industry and the sorts of jobs Josh held
  • 5:16 - An overview of Josh's work at Brightwork, as well as the engagements he held before then
  • 7:57 - What it was like for Josh to be actively employed at Twilio while running his own digital agency
  • 9:15 - The moment when Josh first had the idea of Brightwork
  • 11:55 - An overview of TechStars and how Josh ended up in Chicago
  • 15:28 - How TechStars provides an investment of $125k for 6% of the company
  • 17:38 - An overview of Patriot Bootcamp and Josh's experience
  • 19:46 - What Josh's founding team looks like and advice to veterans for finding initial team members
  • 25:48 - What Josh's life looks like on a day-to-day basis as part of an early stage startup
  • 28:50 - Josh's advice to other veterans considering starting their own company
  • 35:10 - Other resources Josh would encourage other veterans to check out
  • 39:32 - An overview of Operation Code and how Veterans might engage with them
  • 41:00 - One of the biggest mistakes Josh made in his entrepreneurial journey and what he learned from it
  • 44:00 - Josh's final words of wisdom

BTU #75 - Ben Deda: Marines to COO of Galvanize and raising $63M in funding

BTU #75 - Ben Deda: Marines to COO of Galvanize and raising $63M in funding

Ben Deda is the Chief Operations Officer at Galvanize, a network of modern, urban campuses where anyone can access the skills, knowledge, and network you need to make an impact. Since their founding in 2012, Galvanize has raised over $63M in funding. Ben started out at Notre Dame, after which he served in the Marines for seven years. After his transition from the Marines he worked at TruStile Doors in Operations, Marketing, and Sales, and eventually as Vice President of Commercial Sales. He then joined the computer software company, FullContact as their VP of Sales & Business Development. Ben also runs Denver Startup Week, the largest startup event in the US, and holds an MBA from the University of Denver