There is a reason colleges harp on building students’ resumes, preparing them for interviews, and practicing cover letters. That’s because the transition from the student bubble to the real world is terrifying.
In the same way, service members struggle with their exit from military life as they dive into the civilian world. But unlike colleges, the military does not have as many resources at its disposal as colleges to prepare their well-trained, crewcut-wearing birds for leaving the nest.
Enter Alliance Careers.
Alliance is a company that prides itself as the leader in landing junior military officers corporate opportunities of a lifetime as soon as they leave their military position. Through recruitment, screenings, and selection interviews, Alliance tailors each candidate to fit the top, civilian corporate job. Each year, the company selects 300 men and women – junior officers across all branches – who are nearing the end of their commitment and seeking a position in corporate America. Once chosen, these candidates are offered a variety of resources and advantages over their peers to compete for top jobs.
As Ryan Wilde, recruiting officer for Alliance explained, “We are picky because we want to offer A+ opportunties for A+ candidates.”
Now Alliance is not the only business that offers these kinds of services, but not all companies offer the type of training and preparation Alliance dedicates to their applicants.
Following application, the candidate is vetted by the Alliance team to determine his or her goals and if they fit within the mission values of Alliance. From there, applicants go through a selection interview for better understanding if they will be a good fit, and then, final selection interviews are conducted by CEO John Todd who determines each of the 300 candidates.
Once selected, the training process ideally starts 12 to 18 months prior to separation from the military, but Wilde reveals that this is scalable due to the necessity for flexibility while candidates continue to serve. Throughout this transition period, Alliance begins to bolster each candidate’s future civilian status with training courses.
These courses are an overview of corporate America that give the candidates a look through the small hole in the fence that exists between the military and the civilian business world.
Nick Custis, a Marine captain and currently a partner with Alliance, described his concern as he looks to join the corporate workforce, “The hardest part for all military when transitioning is determining how to best translate the skills and work.”
Classes are taught live and online, and include subjects ranging from an overview of the corporate world to operations management to sales.
As the time of separation moves in closer, Alliance conducts mock interviews and works closely with partners to boost their resumes.
A prior Coast Guard lieutenant commented, “The training days prior to interviewing at the conference made me feel comfortable in the environment and definitely made the interviews feel better.”
The ultimate goal of Alliance is to set their prepped candidates in front of an array of companies at a hiring conference. Not to be confused with a job fair, these conferences include businesses that have been in contact with and educated by Alliance’s development team. Wilde added that they try to do a little “matchmaking” for their partners by targeting and attracting companies that will best fit the skills of their partners.
“We create a feeding frenzy,” he said. “But ultimately, it’s up to the candidate to win the job.”
Custis was quick to say that Alliance has never guaranteed him a job with any one company, but throughout his experience thus far, Custis believes they are exceptionally confident in their applicants.
Each candidate is a service member and is thus well-accustomed to the “be flexible with your living destination” motto. Alliance focuses on the applicant’s job dreams, not home base dreams. So candidates and their families must be open to relocation when partnering with Alliance.
In the end, whether it’s through Alliance Careers or through resources offered on the installation, each service member deserves the best opportunities to utilize the unmatched skill and training the military has given them to benefit the workforce.
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Photo credits: Renee Dolan Photography, Ryan Wilde