From the Battlefield to the Boardroom Podcast - Episode 91

Air Force Veteran Shares Transition Success and New Career with Alcon

After an almost 24-year career in the Air Force, Mark Dewitz decided to retire and pursue a career in the civilian world.

Recently, Mark connected with an Orion Recruiter and attended a Hiring Conference in Atlanta. In today's episode, Mark joins the show to discuss his military career and transition as well as his experience working with Orion.



After an almost 24-year career in the Air Force, Mark Dewitz decided to retire and pursue a career in the civilian world. Like most veterans, Mark had really enjoyed his time in the military and was worried he would not find a career as rewarding as the one he experienced in the Air Force.

Mark connected with an Orion Recruiter and attended an Orion Hiring Conference in Atlanta. Mark joined the podcast to discuss his military career and transition as well as his experience working with Orion, including the benefits of attending an Orion Hiring Conference, his career with Alcon, and advice for transitioning service members.

"I was a Production Superintendent in the Air Force before I retired," Mark said. "In this career in the military, I worked on multiple airframes and traveled all over the world, including 26 different countries. The Air Force was a great experience for myself and my family."

After Mark did not make selection, he knew the time had come to move on in his career. "I was looking for a position that I could use the experience I gained in the military in electronics and avionics, but I had no idea what to expect with the military transition," Mark added.

"I was working with some other military recruiting firms, but they kept presenting me with positions in places that I didn't want to live and sending very impersonal emails, so when an Orion Talent recruiter reached out on LinkedIn, I decided to give them a shot," Mark explained. Mark was impressed with the level of communication that he received with Orion throughout the process. "I get a text message or a phone call at least twice a week and an email once a week. For me, this shows that Orion cares about their candidates," Mark said.

Mark attended an Orion Hiring Conference in Atlanta, where he had six interviews. "I was very nervous to do that many interviews in one day, until I realized that the hiring managers at the conference were there because they wanted to hire someone with my experience and background in the military," Mark stated.

The first day of an Orion Hiring Conference is dedicated to interview preparation, briefings on the interviewing companies and positions, and opportunities for military job seekers to network with the companies and fellow job seekers. "The information that Orion provided during the hiring conference, from the company briefs to the interview preparation, was very informative," Mark said. "They provided a ton of information on things that I never learned in my TAP class, from how to close an interview, how to research a company, resume help, and more."

Overall, Mark recalls that the hiring conference experience was a lot easier than trying to find a career on his own. "The hiring conference was a fun experience, and took a lot of stress off the job search process," he said. "Orion made my life a lot easier!"

Mark received multiple job offers from the event, and accepted a position with Alcon as an Electromechanic with the intention of promoting to Supervisor fairly quickly. "What interested me the most about Alcon was that during the interview, the hiring manager challenged me right away by asking me to identify and diagnose a problem with examples," Mark explained. "I wanted to work in a position that would challenge me where I would be able to learn more and grow."

Mark also had some advice for transitioning military members, encouraging them to speak with a recruiting firm to help find a civilian career. "Orion was the one that worked best for me," he said. "They understood what I was going through because they are former military as well."

"Orion has been a godsend for myself and my family. They helped me to not give up and gave me the satisfaction of looking for a new career," Mark stated. "I was a priority for them, and not just a number. Orion will help you from step one, and even after you receive a job."

If you are transitioning soon and looking for a civilian career, join Mark and the thousands of others like him who have found rewarding careers through Orion Talent. Begin your career search with Orion and register today.