Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Veteran Spotlight: Kelly King

Hire a Hero recently sat down with Kelly King, a former Adjutant General Captain in the Army recently placed by Orion International with Kansas City Southern Railway Company as a Director of International Rail Operations Support to discuss her transition experience. Her new position has presented King with a lot of responsibilities, including ensuring optimal levels of productivity, providing timely information to ensure a quality transportation product is delivered, providing coaching and mentoring of both Collective Bargaining Agreement and professional workforce in a 24/7/365 operation, and pursuing best-in-class operational excellence.

King is finding a lot of similarities between her new position with KCS and her prior military experience. "The similarities between the railroad industry and the military are really quite striking. My experience in the military prepared me to work in an environment that operates 24/7, address many challenges and issues simultaneously, and communicate with many groups on multiple levels to achieve a common goal or company objective. The military was great at preparing me and training me to multi-task. The ability to address multiple projects and requirements within a specified timeline has proven to be invaluable, especially in an industry where multiple variables affect the overall performance of the organization," explains King. Additionally, King finds that team leadership (or people skills) and the ability to execute a plan are two military skills that serve her well in her new career.

Hire a Hero was also interested to get a veteran's perspective on how hiring managers should approach hiring prior service members, and King suggested that these managers should make their best effort to find that connection between military skills sets and whatever positions they are looking to hire. And, King points out, while it might not be easy to make the correlation to between an Infantryman and Plant Manager, for example, "More times than not, it’s the qualities, character, discipline, and personal skills that are developed while in the service that makes veterans more appealing. Veterans are dependable and come from a work environment where people count on them (oftentimes, with their lives) to follow through on not only their word, but with their actions," states King.

You can read more about King, her new position with KCS, and the role veterans are playing in the transportation industry here in this Military Times Edge article.

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