Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Veteran Spotlight: Will Simmons

Will Simmons, a former U.S. Air Force Captain, recently transitioned out of the service and into a job with Actavis US, a leading generic pharmaceutical company, as a Manufacturing Supervisor. Since beginning his civilian career in November 2009, Simmons is enjoying success in his new career and anticipates upward mobility.

When asked by Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet why employers should consider hiring veterans, Simmons gave us his take on what sets veterans apart from their civilian counterparts. “Veterans usually have a tremendous work ethic. They are accustomed to doing what they are told and finding solutions to problems they encounter along the way. They have a ‘can-do’ attitude and often are very adept at successfully working both individually and in a team environment, with the key ability to easily transition between the two.”

Simmons cites the importance of intangible skills, such as leadership, poise, and life experience, that many veterans bring to the table, and the fact that Veterans often have a different mindset than those that have never served. He suggests that employers not base decisions solely on current or past positions in the military but consider such intangibles as well.

According to Simmons, many veterans are able to look a current problem or situation with a company and bring about a different solution than someone who does not have the experience of leading people and working as a team to reach a solution. In today's world, Simmons believes, every veteran has in some way either participated in, or directly supported, combat operations. This experience and related stress and pressure allow a veteran to appreciate and handle stress in a way that those who have not experienced would not be able to.

Simmons’ five years in the service were the proudest and most accomplished period in his life thus far, and he truly believes his military service directly contributed to the person he is today. It is because of this experience that Simmons advocates the hiring of veterans. With veterans, Simmons states, “You know you will be hiring somebody who has committed themselves to something greater and who, through military experience alone, often will bring that extra edge a business needs to succeed.”

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