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Manufacturing Engineer
U.S. Navy - Lieutenant, Submarine Officer

As a manufacturing engineer at a chemical manufacturing plant, I am constantly amazed by the multitude of projects I am continually, deeply involved with. From improving the value stream for a new product to designing new equipment to produce those products to creating efficiency improvements in how we process the new product, every day is a new challenge. I have been lucky enough to work for a division and management team which allows me to independently identify projects I would like to pursue to improve the business, growing my sense of ownership of problem resolution. I work closely with operations, engineering, regulatory personnel, and controls engineers, allowing me to cross-functionally leverage the knowledge of many intelligent people with varied backgrounds and experiences. My biggest reward in this position is the realization of a successful project that increases efficiency, minimizes risks, improves operators’ work quality, and/or resolves a previously difficult challenge. While I do not currently have any direct reports, 3M’s cultural climate and my own management team’s involvement have provided me with multiple opportunities to continue expanding my leadership role within the organization.


It can be extremely difficult for transitioning military personnel to “civilianize” their experiences, especially when your interviewer does not fully understand your military background. Keep in mind that the military taught you ownership, leadership, responsibility, flexibility, creativity, and a multitude of other non-technical and technical skills that you must effectively communicate to the organization. As a group of diverse individuals placed together to complete focused, complex tasks, the military has prepared you to utilize these skills in various environments, whether it be a manufacturing plant, research lab, or corporate headquarters. Use stories from your military career to communicate these skills, highlighting the great successes that were due to these talents and focusing on how they are not simply applicable to a military setting. The same abilities and standards that made you successful in your military career will be the same skills and values that now make you a worthwhile asset to 3M.

Throughout my post-Navy experience, my main goal has been to find an organization that fits me, not one that would require me to alter my personal or professional demeanor. 3M offered me this through their strong ethical culture, support for my drive for continuous improvement, and genuine concern for my physical, emotional and professional well-being. When you are part of a team that you truly believe in and fully trust, your professional pride will be reflected in the outstanding quality of your work.

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