Accenture Managing Director on Why Veterans Are a Great Fit for Professional Careers

Accenture Managing Director on Why Veterans Are a Great Fit for Professional Careers

Lt. Gen. (R) Mary Legere joined Accenture’s Federal Services as a Managing Director to help the company bring the best cyber and intelligence capabilities to national defense intelligence and cyber clients. Prior to joining Accenture, Mary served for 34 years in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Officer, with tours in Korea, Germany, the Balkans and Iraq.

As a General Officer, she served as the United States Senior Intelligence Officer in Korea and in Iraq, and as a three-star general, she served as the Army’s Senior Intelligence Officer, leading a global enterprise of 58,000 intelligence professionals in 140 countries, supporting complex multidiscipline operations across the globe.

Why are veterans a great fit for professional careers?

Our servicemen and women bring great passion, teamwork, discipline and resilience to their daily missions. They deliver the same to the companies they join after their service.

Our military services are values-based organizations, built on respect, teamwork, love of country and commitment to mission and others over self. This is what attracts people to serve, what inspires them to stay. These are the values our veterans and their families carry for the rest of their lives and bring to their new employers.

I am so proud of Accenture’s commitment to our military communities and efforts to hire 5,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses by 2020. This initiative demonstrates a powerful commitment to our veterans and their families as they transition into the civilian sector and shows great appreciation of their service and sacrifices to our nation. It also ensures Accenture gains the benefit of our veterans’ leadership, experience, work ethic and commitment to excellence — reinforcing the values that are so central to Accenture’s success. 

What challenges do veterans face when transitioning?

One of the greatest difficulties our veterans face is how to translate the skills they’ve gained in the service — in leadership and in technical areas —  to positions in the civilian sector. It can be difficult to translate our work experience, to understand how we can be of service, how our skills and capabilities can benefit our civilian employers and how to envision how we can contribute to the team. When our veterans transition, either after a first tour or a 30-year career like mine, they need assistance and assurance from the private sector that their talents, energy and work experience will be valued and that they’ll feel welcomed into a new team. Accenture does an amazing job helping our veterans understand how they and their skills sets and leadership can help the company, and how the company will invest in their continued development and growth.

What advice would you give to veterans looking for a career in the professional world?

One of the great joys of being retired is the opportunity to mentor service members as they start thinking about their transitions to the civilian or public sector. In offering advice, I always encourage them first to think about the kind of work they are passionate about — to talk to people in their perspective career fields and to ensure they are able to bring energy and enthusiasm to their new careers as passion will be among the most important factors in ensuring their successful transition. I encourage them to take advantage of military transition services, social media and networking with others who have made the transition and not to be afraid to ask for help.  People are happy to offer it — and will go the extra mile if asked. I remind our veterans that in addition to their leadership skills, work ethic and work and life experience, one of the most important skill sets they have is their ability to adapt, master new skills, perform under pressure and adjust to new and complex environments. I assure them all of these things are valued and will create opportunities for them as they begin their new careers.  Just lean in, team well and work hard, and great things will happen.

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