Military veterans bring leadership, discipline, perseverance and teamwork skills that can enhance our work systems and culture, creating competitive advantages that can lead to better business results. While many veterans do have job-specific experience and/or four-year degrees, others, like U.S Navy Veteran and P&Ger Kelley Simpson, do not.
“All our training is not necessarily able to transfer over to a degree or a degree program,” said Simpson. “So, while the typical P&G new hire has a college degree, some veterans may not. We do bring unmatched management and life experience that offer a different perspective.”
Gary Kinney knows the enormous ability and potential veterans have to offer. As P&G’s U.S. Veterans Recruiting Leader, he has dedicated his career to ensuring veterans have a place at P&G.
“P&G is also trying to create opportunities for those without four-year degrees, so we can benefit from more diversity of experience and thought in our teams,” said Kinney. “We have apprenticeship programs to help bridge the gap for those that are otherwise good matches for P&G but need more time to develop their technical skills.”
“It’s great that P&G has alternate pathways to bring in Veterans,” said Army Veteran and P&G Network Engineer, Percy Johnson. “I think there is a wealth of potential in the veteran community that would be overlooked by traditional hiring practices.”
Kelley Simpson: Bringing Veteran Skills to P&G
Kelley Simpson knew when she “got her big girl job” that she wanted to make a career out of helping people.
"I always thought I wanted to be a doctor,” said Simpson. “While I was in school, and I was 18 at the time, one of my friends said that she wanted to join the U.S. Marines. We went to the office, and I was just sitting there for moral support, and I was looking through the catalogue of jobs that they have, and I saw one for linguists.”
Suddenly, Simpson could see herself serving in the military. “The Marines told me they couldn’t guarantee me that job (as a linguist), but the Navy office could.”
The trouble was, she didn’t know any other languages. But when the Navy asked what language she wanted to learn, it was a no-brainer: Korean.
“I was born in Taegu, South Korea. When I was just about a month old, I immigrated to the U.S. with my mother. She unfortunately passed away when I was seven, and then I was adopted. But it was kind of a unique circumstance because she knew she was sick, so she was able to select my adoptive family,” said Simpson.
She is thankful her work with the U.S. Navy gave her an opportunity to connect on a daily basis with her native language and culture.
After six years of service, Simpson decided to pursue a private sector career in IT, but she didn’t have a college degree. Through a friend, she heard about a program that provides veterans with technical training called the Microsoft Software and System Academy (MSSA). Through MSSA, she was connected with Kinney, who was looking for more channels to recruit veterans at the time.
Simpson then joined P&G’s apprenticeship program and after a year was offered a full-time position as an engineer.
“It’s fantastic that Procter & Gamble has so many programs to incorporate veterans and give them the opportunity to start a career here,” said Simpson.
Outside of work, Simpson describes herself as a “serial hobbyist.” She plays an array of musical instruments, dabbles in realistic artwork and enjoys spending time with her four kids.
Percy Johnson: Sustaining His Service While At P&G
Percy Johnson has many titles — he's a husband, a father, a U.S. Army Veteran who deployed overseas for 9 months and still serves in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2020, Johnson added “P&G Engineer” to that list.
“I was working in a different company and wanted to find a new opportunity to apply what I learned from my military experience,” said Johnson. “I found an apprenticeship program called Apprenti and got accepted and was paired with P&G.”
After attending a software development bootcamp for three months, Johnson began a one-year apprenticeship at P&G working as a software developer, and a year later he came on board permanently.
Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2011, and after serving six years in active Army duty, he now serves in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Beyond the two programs that led Simpson and Johnson to careers at P&G, the Company participates in several recruiting programs that help make connections with veterans who have a unique skillset given their military experience.
“Enlisted military members are great candidates for this initiative. They bring strong leadership and bias for action,” said Kinney.
Below is a full list of military related programs P&G supports: