Apollo Professional Solutions has been ramping up our efforts in order to bring Apollo success stories on a weekly basis. Given the national holiday, Veterans Day, occurring this week – we wanted to highlight a veteran who Apollo has helped add another chapter to his success story. Below is the story of Brian Johnson.
1. As a veteran, prior to working with Apollo, what were you looking for in a career in the private sector?
My intent was to find a position that allowed me to demonstrate my skills and experience, while simultaneously challenging me to acquire new ones. I’ve served in the Army, Navy and Air Force. I’ve worked in the IT field in both the military and the private sector. The Government / Defense sector is the perfect place for folks like me to apply their knowledge. My current position demands the professionalism that veterans bring to the workplace, and challenges me to keep up with the newest advances in technology. What’s just as valuable is the satisfaction I get from being part of a team that serves our nation.
2. How did you find out about Apollo?
Actually I didn’t find Apollo- Apollo found me. I had submitted my resume to an Internet site, and that’s where they found it. These days very few people spend their whole career with one employer. Even the best employees can suddenly find themselves unemployed. For that reason I always have a copy of my resume on the Internet. It was a great day when Apollo found me, and an even better day when they made me part of the team.
3. How did your experience with Apollo compare to what you expected or experienced with other staffing firms?
I’ve been working as a contractor or consultant since 1992. I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate, because nearly every manager and co-worker I have had over the years has been enjoyable to work with. There is one area in which I give most employers and staffing firms a poor grade however: “Administration.” I’ve noticed that on those occasions when “someone” is making my work difficult, it’s usually someone I’ve never met, or spoken to, or even seen! That’s not the case with Apollo. I’ve never had to ask them to “fix” something they didn’t get right administratively, or provide something I didn’t have. That’s because they seem to get everything right the first time, and anticipate my needs. Having that seamless and transparent support behind me allows me to focus on my primary mission, and deliver uninterrupted productivity to the customer.
4. What excites you most about your current job?
The most exciting aspect of my job is the opportunity to apply skills I learned in graduate school for the first time. While I was studying for my Master’s Degree in Information Technology, I was required to learn JAVA development. I had never been interested in writing code before, but when I learned how to write simple scripts that accomplished valuable tasks for the customer, it was fantastic. When a program that takes you one day to write does a weeks worth of work- that’s rewarding!
5. What is one thing you have learned there that you plan to carry on into the future?
I learned how to write a Master’s Thesis; and the subject of that thesis was Apollo’s customer. I had an extraordinary degree of support and cooperation across three levels of management. I couldn’t have done it without them. My newfound knowledge, skills, and abilities are the most “valuable” asset I take into the future; but the pride I take in past achievements is the most rewarding.
6. What else would you like us to know?
I’m currently at Raytheon. They were number one on the list of employers I wanted to work for. I sent them resumes for ten years, and they never once responded. Apollo found me, and helped me get my foot in the door. My new managers can’t believe I was so well qualified for this position, and yet I spent years “lost in the shuffle.” Contracting has allowed me to travel the world, gain experience in an extraordinary array of skills, and wake up every morning knowing I was going to do something new and different. For me- it’s a great way of life.
Not only was Apollo able to help place Brian Johnson into a field of his expertise, but we were able put him into a company that he has held in high regard for quite sometime. Placing the right people in right jobs is what Apollo does best. We are always excited to witness another flourishing success story within Apollo. If you are looking to add to your success story, check out our current openings or contact one of our offices.