Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Veteran Spotlight: Joseph Capra

Hire a Hero recently connected with Joseph Capra, a Field Artillery Lieutenant who found his career with Buckman Laboratories through Orion in 2008. He shared his civilian career experience with us and gives some insight into why veterans make such great employees. 
Since starting as an Apprentice at Buckman, a specialty chemical company, in 2008, Capra has been promoted to Sales Representative for three large accounts and most recently to a large territory. His next promotion will likely be Regional Sales Manager or Product Line Manager. 
Capra’s career is in sales for the pulp and paper industry. And he finds an interesting correlation between his career as an Area Representative and his military artillery experience. “I specialized in targeting. And many of the methods that I learned were translated into non-lethal targeting to achieve sales goals! In fact, my first sale was to sell the idea of getting out of the Army to my wife,” he muses.
His continued growth within the company is attributable in part to his military experience. “My job is half-technical and half-relational. Many managers have said: ‘I can teach someone the technical, but I can't teach ethics and relations.’ I have built business relations with managers that wanted to know more about my military service. I have also been able to find common ground with customers that have served in the past,” Capra explains. 
When asked for his advice for hiring managers looking to bring veterans onboard, Capra says, "Veterans have a dedication to mission success and courage that serves them well in the civilian workplace. Not many people challenge themselves in the way that service members do." 
He goes to explain, "Veterans understand how to serve a greater purpose. They hold themselves to a higher ethical standard and are driven to succeed. Their identity isn't determined by position or job title, but by their performance." Ultimately, he reminds employers that veterans are a "full-package deal that bring many skills that can't be taught in the best Ivy League schools.”
You can learn more about Capra's transition experience here.

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