BASF Corporation - Veteran Spotlight

BASF Corporation - Veteran Spotlight


Austin Spina

Austin Spina

Cost Estimator, BASF

G.I. Jobs Magazine

When Austin Spina decided to separate from the Navy after nearly eight years, the submarine officer had to figure out how to market his military training, skills and experience a common challenge for transitioning service members. "Who needs someone who can drive a submarine?" he reasoned. Good point.

Spina, 31, began prepping nine months out. He read up on career paths and tailored his résumé to the many jobs he applied for online. He re-freshed his highly marketable computer programming skills and, for insurance, applied to graduate school.

The online job applications led nowhere, so Spina turned to military recruiting firms. He learned how to translate his military experi-ence into civilian language. He talked to friends who had already transitioned and got solid advice: "Be patient and don't get discouraged early. Employers will only send you an offer if you are available to work within two months. While this makes planning your transition hard, knowing that ahead of time can reduce the anxiety."

Spina decided to stick with what he knows best: engineering or operations. He found his job as a cost estimator with BASF at a hiring conference in San Diego. Today he generates cost estimates for large capital projects, using several of the key skills he honed in the military. "The ability to think quickly and talk to senior management are the most valuable skills I learned in the military that I use on a daily basis," he says.

If Spina had his transition to do over again, he'd make this adjustment: "I would have made it a priority to attend hiring conferences sooner so that I would have known more about the op-tions available to me with enough time to see all the options available."

"My active duty and National Guard experience provided me with the framework to be successful in BASF. At the same time, BASF provides the culture for me to excel, and the tools for me to grow as a leader. For example, my military background trained me on how to motivate, cooperate, and count on your teammates in order to succeed. At BASF, collaboration, teamwork and responsibility are attributes we strive to exhibit every day. From internally focused projects, to those that require collaboration with customers and vendors, the chance to be part of a successful team that is striving to win has been part of my experience at BASF for the past eight years." - Jon Mathews, Human Resources Director, Southfield, Michigan

"When I hire new employees for Supply Chain, I am looking for candidates with the right mindset and behaviors over Supply Chain knowledge. I can teach Supply Chain practices to a new employee, but I can't always teach someone to have the right mindset and behaviors. In my opinion, most military veterans are set to succeed at BASF." - Don Cole, Manager, Group Logistics, Southfield, Michigan

"No other company that I've worked with mirrors the life and culture of the military as closely as BASF does. We work in an important industry; have a high level of commitment to working safely; require strict adherence to following procedures; and foster a community of respect and integrity.

What's more, the Company recognizes the sacrifices that men and women of the armed services make while serving their country. In appreciation of those sacrifices, and with the strong desire to support our returning men and women, we are proud to leverage the training, skills, and character we find in our military veterans." - Allen June, HR Business Partner, Freeport, Texas

"BASF is a great place for veterans to work because it provides an environment that is welcoming and respectful of veterans' experiences. From the day that I joined, I was immediately welcomed in as part of the team. My manager and team members value my opinion and are always interested in my input. My assignments and roles not only allow me to showcase the talents I refined while in the military, they also challenge me and provide plenty of opportunity for growth." - Keith Williams, Staff Engineer, Houston, Texas

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