The Power of Transferable Skills | Meet LJ, Former Marine
When asking LJ, U.S. Marine and Expert Applications Development at Nestlé IT, about his military experience and transition to civilian life, he weighed in on what skills he found helpful.
“I was told by numerous people that companies love hiring veterans because of the vast experience they bring to the table. That was great in theory, but I just wasn’t sure how I could translate my experience into a business environment. I quickly figured out that teamwork, initiative, and the ability to perform under pressure were skills acquired during my time in the Marines that really helped me in the transition and continue to help me today working in IT.”
Tell us about what you do at Nestlé IT.
LJ, Expert Applications Development – IT Center of Competence (COC). I work with the Osprey COC team and support the integration between our trade system XTEL and other IT systems such as SAP.
How did you find yourself at Nestlé IT?
I began my Nestlé career with Nestlé Waters in 2006 as a Supply Chain Finance Super User for the Globe Project. I then transitioned into the IT Department joining the team that I worked with in Finance and Accounting. I eventually joined Nestlé IT following multiple internal transitions over the past several years.
Explain a little bit about your military background.
I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from college and completing Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA. I served as a Maintenance and Assistance Logistics officer supporting an infantry battalion stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA as well as Okinawa.
How did your skills transfer into IT?
Teamwork, initiative, and the ability to perform under pressure come to mind as specific skills and traits that transfer to working in IT, especially on a large-scale project like Osprey.
Describe your transition. Did you face any obstacles upon your transition?
Having no business background, I was a bit nervous about how I could assimilate into a corporate setting, so I thought going to a consulting firm would help develop my business acumen. My first job out of the Marines was working for a firm known for recruiting recent college graduates, so it was a little bit of a challenge to assimilate and work alongside younger colleagues with less experience.
Why Nestlé IT?
I have always enjoyed the diversity of Nestlé and Nestlé IT. I really value the people I have had the privilege to work with over the years.
What are three words you would use to describe Nestle IT?
Collaborative – I have worked on many projects and have seen people from all backgrounds and with different levels of experience working together towards a common goal.
Flexible – I feel like I have been able to balance the work I do for Nestlé and the commitments I have personally. I think my kids would agree, as well!
Inclusive – It is an organization where I feel individuals are respected and treated fairly. We all have access to growth opportunities and can contribute to Nestlé and Nestlé IT’s success.
What would you tell someone who is transitioning from the military and thinking about joining Nestlé IT?
You have a multitude of skills that are transferable into the civilian world, use those to your advantage and loosen up a bit. We tend to be very regimented and there are times when you need to go with the flow.
We continuously look for ways to support our service members to share stories such as LJ’s. If you’re looking for a new career opportunity, take a look at our openings and our commitment to the military.