As the nation pauses to honor its service men and women, Medtronic works to add more veterans to the team.
When Medtronic patients call with questions about their medical devices, they’re in steady hands when they reach Samantha Lee Pree-Stinson.
“Patients call us for many reasons and it feels really good to be able to help them,” she said.
Pree-Stinson knows all about how to handle medical emergencies.
As an Army sergeant and medic, she spent 14 months in Afghanistan, treating wounded soldiers and civilians.
She says the Army helped her develop skills that would benefit any employer.
“Thinking under pressure. Being resourceful, reliable, on-time, task-oriented, able to learn multiple skills,” she said. “These skills that I learned in the military really are translatable, they can help business and they can help patients.”
Pree-Stinson is among more than 1,100 military veterans who work at Medtronic. As the nation pauses to honor America’s service men and women this Veterans’ Day, Medtronic continues to make specific efforts to recruit more veterans. (Learn more about Samantha and her role at Medtronic.)
“We recognize there are skills unique to military veterans that greatly benefit corporations, and I’m pleased with how our management and leadership have embraced veterans and want to do even more,” said Rob Clark, vice president of communications at Medtronic and a former Air Force officer.
Medtronic and its Veteran Employee Resource Group (VERG), which has more than 400 members, held a forum during the recent Congressional Medal of Honor convention in Minnesota, to discuss job issues facing veterans. (See "Medtronic Honors Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients.")
Veterans urged all employers to look beyond resumes to the skills and intangibles that military service teaches.
“If companies just understand the assets that veterans have, they’ll want to utilize them. It’s a huge, almost untapped resource, and corporations need to take advantage,” said Ty Carter, a Medal of Honor recipient who participated in the panel.
Mission, Mentoring and Teamwork
After 20 years in the Marines, Tim Murphy turned down job opportunities in the defense industry for a job at Medtronic. He now leads a team of engineers at the Medtronic Energy and Component Center (MECC), focusing specifically on product quality.
Murphy said the team-oriented skills of military veterans fit well in the business environment.
“In business most anything is going to require your ability to work with other groups and work cross-functionally and that's something you realize quickly in the military. It's all of us pulling together to get that mission accomplished," he said. (Learn more about Tim and his role at Medtronic.)
Medtronic VERG members like Jose Ayala help mentor fellow veterans, even those who don't work at Medtronic.
When the Navy recalled Ayala to active duty in Afghanistan, Medtronic made up the difference between his military and company pay.
“I continued to be an active employee at Medtronic, so it was a great opportunity and a great experience, to serve my country again without worrying about my job when I got home,” he said. (Learn more about Jose and his role at Medtronic.)
Other veterans, like Navy medic Steve Kregel, credit military training for his ability to stay calm under pressure. He's now a technical support specialist who answers calls from Medtronic patients about their medical devices.
“The most common job interview question is ‘are you able to work in a stressful environment,’” Kregel said. “It’s a funny question for a veteran because from day one of boot camp you’re being stress inoculated the entire time.” (Learn more about Steve and his role at Medtronic.)
When she left the military, Pree-Stinson struggled at first to find the right civilian profession, until finding her fit at Medtronic.
“To be able to come to a place like Medtronic, where the Mission actually matched our military mission – that felt special. I felt at home and I felt there is a place for me here.“
It’s a sentiment that leaders at Medtronic hope will continue to grow.
Veterans interested in careers at Medtronic can learn more at http://www.medtronic.com/us-en/about/careers.html