EY sat down with Jennifer Kamrowski, Principal in its Advisory services practice for career advice for veterans. Jennifer is based in the firm’s New York City office. Prior to joining EY, she served as a Quartermaster Officer in the United States Army and was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jennifer is a graduate of United States Military Academy at West Point.
- What skills or lessons did you learn during your time in service that have helped you succeed in your current role?
The mental, physical and emotional challenges I faced throughout my military experiences taught me that I am the master of my own limitations. I was challenged and was able accomplish tasks that I would have never thought I was capable of, which made me a more resilient person. The resiliency allowed success not only throughout my different roles at EY, but throughout all aspects of my life.
- What advice would you give to other veterans looking to enter the corporate sector? Or how to network/connect with potential employers?
There are many different ways veterans can to leverage their unique military experiences and add value to corporate America. The transition process from military to civilian life can be humbling, but also very hard work and perseverance can help lead veterans to long-term success. Veteran recruits should talk to other veterans at the organization, which can help them gain a better understanding of what’s important to potential employers, more information about how the organization supports veteran professionals and how they would fit into current teams or roles.
Moreover, military service teaches veterans unique skills such as how to team with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences in order to execute a common objective, personal discipline, risk management and results-oriented leadership techniques — all of which easily translate into the corporate sector. However, veteran candidates should remember to mention and explain the role these skills played throughout their military experience when interviewing, since their recruiter may not have direct military experience or background.
- How did you learn about the professional services industry and, specifically, about EY?
I was first introduced to the professional services industry and specifically EY when I attended a Junior Military Officer hiring conference that EY also attended.
- Do you have any tips on how veteran professionals can build their executive presence in the corporate sector?
Veteran professionals should engage with other veterans that have made the transition, focus on your business acumen to include professional reading (WSJ, Economist, Harvard Business Review etc.) and don’t sell yourself short. It may seem like a daunting transition to make but remember that you have a lot to offer.
- How do veteran professionals benefit from joining employee resource groups (ERGs)?
Joining employee resource groups, specifically those that are veteran-related, provides veteran professionals with opportunities to network, share personal experiences, learn about charitable activities and collaborate with other veteran and non-veteran professionals throughout the organization.
- Are you part of EY’s veteran professional network? If so, what have you learned personally/professionally?
I currently co-chair EY’s Veteran’s Professional Network (VPN), which has provided me with many personal and professional opportunities. Specifically, I’ve been able to attend veteran recruiting events and share my experiences at EY with veterans looking to enter the workforce. Being part of EY’s VPN has given me a way to continue to serve, in a different capacity, which I know is very important to other veteran professionals.