To help military personnel transition into the civilian sector, five Washington Nationals front office executives discussed a variety of topics during a virtual information session recently.
The Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore USO sponsored the workshop as part of its Project Next S.T.E.P (Servicemember Transition Education Program.)
The five panelists from the 2019 World Series champions were Gregory McCarthy, Senior Vice President, Community Engagement; Jake Burns, Executive Vice President, Business Operations; Jacqueline Coleman, Senior VP, Marketing, Broadcast & Game Presentation, Broadcasting & Game Presentation; Mark Scialabba, Assistant General Manager, Player Development, Baseball Operations; and Ted Towne, Assistant General Manager & Vice President, Finance.
During the hour-long discussion, the Washington Nationals executives addressed a number of areas, including navigating change, how to develop subordinates and skills they look for in hiring people.
Burns said there is one quality that he believes separates military members from others that stands out to him.
“I think that the leadership skills that veterans bring to the table are second to none,” Burns said. “The ability to be presented with a challenge and be able to drive to a solution quickly. That way of operating is extremely valuable in our world because oftentimes we have to move very quickly. The pace of our business is very fast. So you need someone who has the ability to make decisions and that’s a skillset that I see in folks coming out to the military that’s extremely valuable.”
As a son of a military father, Coleman personally related how the military benefits the civilian workforce.
Coleman said her father’s transition from one to the other went smoothly because so many of the skills he used in the military carried over.
Coleman added that how she does her job benefitted from her father’s experience as well and what he instilled in her.
“Those things that he established in me I applied to my work ethic and the integrity of which I do my work,” Coleman said. “I look for those same things in people that I hire because that’s what I grew up with. It’s what my father experienced. I think you look for that overall.”
The group also emphasized the importance of multi-tasking and broadening their skill base when veterans are looking to transition from the military to the civilian sector, especially during the pandemic.
“Even when we move out of a pandemic, there are things that we’re going to keep because we found them to be sound in terms of advancing your position, advancing what you do and advancing overall,” Coleman said. “Those things will continue to exist. How can you make that a part of your work ethic and your work life automatically so you can have that flexibility inside of what you do for the organization you are going to work for as well as for yourself.”