Note from the editor: Rob is back again to share another reason why he has one of the best jobs at Intel—it’s because of the people he meets. As the Program Manager for Intel’s Veteran Recruiting & Staffing efforts, he has the opportunity to interact and meet with quite a few veterans across the company. What better way to share some of the stories and backgrounds of these amazing veterans than to blog about it here? With that, here’s Rob with his profile of Rudy, a Naval Academy Graduate, US Marine Corps Veteran and Director of Enterprise Quality and Reliability at Intel’s Corp Quality Network Group.
Rudy, we’re excited to profile you on the blog as an Intel leader as well as a veteran. Would you mind going over which branch of service you served in and what you did in the military?
I was commissioned in the Marines from the Naval Academy. After Quantico, or what Marines call The Basic School, I was assigned first to H&HS 28 as the Ground Supply Officer for the Tactical Air Command Center. The TACC was a unique unit designed to manage the Air War for the Second MAG. I learned a lot about supply chain as we were a three level facility providing depot level repairs, intermediate supplies and front line exchange. Ironically, it was based on the Walmart System. I deployed for Northern Wedding Bold Guard in Norway and several smaller exercises during my three years in Cherry Point.
From Cherry Point I was assigned to the Third Marine Division with 1st Armored Assault Battalion. As a Battalion we were unique, due to our position in the Far East with the entire Division’s Armor assets were combined into one Battalion. We had Tanks, AAVs, LAVs and TOWs in a 1500 Marine battalion that rotated line companies every 90 days from Camp Pendleton. It was a high tempo operation. I deployed to Team Spirit in Korea along with other smaller exercises while operating out of Okinawa with a battalion detachment in Camp Fuji mainland Japan.
What is your role here at Intel?
I joined Intel in 1991 to help with Supply Line accountability and TPT. Our initial focus back then was inventory management, training and reconciliation for the North American Facilities. That quickly grew to a global supply chain role. I went back to school to complete my Masters in Decision and Information Systems while leading the program to deploy our World Wide logistics information systems. Most recently I have been running our Operational Excellence programs which are now under my role as Director of Enterprise Quality and Reliability.
How did you find out about opportunities at Intel? Tell us about your interview experience.
I read a book, The 100 Best Companies To Work For (1995). I knew I was going to be living in Arizona and Intel was the only company on the list that was there, so my goal became to find a position with Intel. Back then there were no social networking sites and frankly not many networking opportunities of any kind so I really just picked up the paper and looked for opportunities. Fortunately for me there was an opening as a Shift Supervisor at the North American Distribution Center in Tempe (now located at Intel’s Chandler Campus) that I was able to interview for and that was the start of my Intel Career.
My Interviews were …. interesting. In 1991 things were a little different than they are today and I had to work pretty hard to convince them that my skills from the Marines would translate positively to the corporate setting. The hardest question was toward the end of the interview when he asked me, somewhat emphatically, “Don’t you have any civilian experience?” Fortunately, I had read up on how to interview and I left a pregnant pause then simply said, “No. I left when I was 18 and I am 29 now, but I think you will find everything I learned with the Marines will translate positively to this environment.” He looked at me for some time and said, “OK. I’ll let you go talk to them.”
From there I went down to the facility and got through the second round of interviews. The hardest question there, which I knew as a trap if I answered it wrong, was, “Don’t you think you’re overqualified for this job?” I told them I wanted to learn and be measured—this is still true today. Funny thing now is people always seem surprised when they figure out I was in the Marine Corps.
A lot of companies have really focused on hiring veterans – what was about it Intel that made you say yes?
Intel is discipline and results oriented with a high octane, high performer attitude—I was attracted to the challenge. I had talked to some of my friends before getting out and I knew it would be important for me to find a culture that I could thrive in and Intel, from everything I had read, was a good fit. Intel has a great history of taking care of its people, solid values, and a hard-working, goal-oriented structure. It all looked right for me and I also wanted to work in a company that was making a difference in the world. Intel had it all! I think Intel has made progress and we are making great strides in reaching out to veterans (in the time that I’ve been here) and I am very happy to see that.
Now that you’re here at Intel, what are the two biggest things you wish you knew when you transitioned out of the military uniform?
I needed to relax a little in the beginning, bring the intensity factor down a few notches. Some of my early reviews still make me laugh! I had all the tools but was a little gung-ho and needed some calibration. I could have leveraged mentorships more. As a Marine, and one that was in a specialty MOS, I was used to being in charge of my own shop and reporting directly to the Commanding Officer. I learned to be independent and run my own organization but I should have started working with senior leaders earlier to really understand our business fully.
The other thing that I struggled with was jumping the Chain of Command. You are so used to operating with Standard Operating Procedures in the military and the training for job roles was so solid, there was not as much need to interact. Your mission objectives were spelled out and you had tremendous latitude to act. In a corporate setting there is a lot more negotiation, consensus and interaction at multiple levels. That took some getting used to. I was fine telling it like it was but not used to a VP walking into my office. I equated that to a Commanding General discussion– and that took some getting used to. I see the value of it now but in the early days it was odd to me, but it was just a cultural adjustment I needed to make.
That concluded my interivew with Rudy—it was great getting some time with an Intel leader, which I was able to do due to my role as well as our shared military background. One of the things that sticks out to me was the preparation that Rudy took to find a career in corporate America. He studied and prepared for his interviews as well as tailored his resume to the discipline that he was interested in. In addition, he may not have found his dream job when he first started at Intel, but he worked his way around the company to get there. As a matter of fact, most veterans at Intel don’t start in our dream positions, but we worked hard, generated positive results and proved ourselves to work our way to the positions that we have today. I think this mind set is key when transitioning from the military to the private sector.
I’d like to sincerely thank Rudy for his time and effort to answer my questions. His journey to his present position as the Director of Enterprise Quality and Reliability is captivating and motivating. You may connect with Rudy on LinkedIn and stay tuned for additional interviews from veterans now building great careers at Intel. To connect with other veterans who are transitioning to civilian life as well as other veterans at Intel, join our LinkedIn Group, Intel Military Veteran and Service Member Community, and check out our veterans’ webpage.