Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Veteran Spotlight: Brendan Finnegan

Hire a Hero recently caught up with Orion alumnus Brendan Finnegan, who began a career with Hines Interests in October 2012. He shared insight into his own career progression, as well as some advice for managers wanting to hire veterans. Finnegan, a former Air Force Reconnaissance Combat Systems Captain, found his position as an Assistant Property Manager with Hines through an Orion Hiring Conference.

Finnegan now works in Property Management, which is fitting with his Air Force career. In the Air Force, he was the Director of Facilities for the 552d Operations Group at Tinker AFB, OK, as his additional duty. This experience in project management and budgets was exactly what Hines was looking for.

When asked about other ways his military and civilian careers relate, Finnegan stated, “My military experience helps in some small way every day at my civilian job. Checklists and safety were drilled into my head as a flier. When you're managing hundreds of moving parts around a 1.3 million square foot skyscraper, having a checklist and safety oriented mindset coupled with the technical understanding demanded in military flying is exactly what it takes to manage a skyscraper from the engineering plant systems to the operation and safety demands of a roof mounted 133 foot retractable window washing boom.”

Finnegan is responsible for lots of moving parts in his civilian career, ranging from understanding the complex legal language of commercial leases, to understanding, monitoring, and being able to articulate the full scope of massive $100K-$1M+ projects going on in and around the building. He deals with tenant issues, contractor and vendor management, contract bidding, emergency procedures, security issues, telecommunications, etc. "I plan to move into a senior Development and/or Marketing role with Hines, as they continue to grow their presence in the international commercial real estate and building development markets," says Finnegan of his future with Hines.

For managers looking to hire veterans, Finnegan suggests that they find someone who understands military jargon and have them review veteran applicants and give some honest feedback. “Above all,” he says, “remember that veterans are loyal and professional. If they can be trained to the degree it takes to take a skill set into battle, why could they not be trained into anything you want them to do here?”

Click here to read more about Finnegan's transition.

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