Veterans Helping Veterans: EY Network Streamlines Transition to Corporate World
by Terri Eyden on
Another challenge for military hires, Babington said, is learning the language of corporate America. Military jargon is deeply ingrained in veterans, and when they transition, one of things they need to do is "unlearn" military speak and learn the dialect of their new environment. Babington said "it's like learning a whole new language," but once one of his mentees begins to blend military jargon into industry lingo, it's also his most rewarding moment as a mentor.
That subtle clue, he said, is also the greatest indicator of the beginning of an authentic transition to the civilian workforce for veterans.
"When they're able to merge the language you can see they've made the connection. It's really a memorable turning point because at that point, you know you're getting the benefit of their full cognition," Babington said. "Until then, you see people who have potential, but now they can really take off. They're in command of what they're doing. They're able to make decisions. That's something only a veteran peer mentor would recognize."
McHugh said military members transitioning to the civilian workforce also often need advice adjusting to the tone, tenor, and temperament of leadership and teamwork in an office setting, assimilating the technical aspects of the job and the subtle nuances of working with clients.
"From veteran to veteran, we can say we know this is done differently, but this is why it's done differently and why it's positive," McHugh said.
Peer mentors can also help new military hires and their families adjust to the "everyday ground readiness," as Babington says, of life in a new state or city. Tips on taking the subway or finding the best playgrounds and grocery stores in the neighborhood make every family feel at home.
The Long-Term Payoff
Ultimately, both McHugh and Babington say, the Veterans Peer Mentoring program is an incredible asset to EY, because it helps smooth, streamline, and accelerate the journey to an invaluable payoff.
Because of the Veterans Network and the mentoring program, EY is able to hire veterans who are able to fully integrate the technical skills and unsurpassed leadership abilities they developed in the military for the good of their team, their clients, their organization, and themselves.
It allows EY to access a deep and wide talent pool that can bring a unique set of skills to clients.
"The commonality with all my top performers is that they are all former military people," Babington said. "I think from a management perspective, it's important to understand that it might take someone from the Navy or the Marines longer to adjust to your organization's culture, but helping them do that is a long-term investment that will definitely pay off in the end."