Roland joined MBP after a 25-year career in the Navy as a Civil Engineer Corps officer. He was the Public Works Officer (PWO) at three of the Navy’s most challenging places to have that position: Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa; Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia; and Naval Support Activity in Mechanicsburg/ Philadelphia. PWOs are singularly responsible for all facilities management, infrastructure operations, and construction at their respective Navy bases. Roland also spent time on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Fellow and then as a Legislative Liaison for the Navy’s Military Construction and shore infrastructure programs.
Why did you choose MBP?
I chose MBP for several different, but related reasons. As I spoke to a number of different organizations, I thought that MBP would allow me to continue working from the owner’s perspective, but also broaden my experience to include the private sector and higher education environments. I also thought that MBP offered a mix of familiar work for me (supporting the Navy and other federal clients) and new work such as supporting higher education clients. Both of these perceptions wound up being true and this mix represents some of the most gratifying work I’ve done at MBP during my relatively short time here.
What did you find to be the most rewarding part of transiting to the workforce?
The most rewarding part of my transition to the civilian workforce and MBP has been the ability to use my experience and expertise to continue supporting clients and projects that I believe in. I have been able to help our Team Members and our joint venture partners improve our support of NAVFAC because of my long-time service in that organization and my experience serving out in the Pacific. I have also been able to engage with other clients and potential clients about resilience and sea-level rise. It has been gratifying to continue this important discussion with other professionals in the AEC industry.
How has your military experience helped you in the workforce?
My military experience has helped me improve our support of NAVFAC because I have extensive contacts there and my long-time service in and around that organization gives me deep insight into their mission objectives and priorities.
What advice would you give someone getting ready to transition?
I always tell service members who are getting ready to transition from the military that they should figure out what they want to BE before they figure out what they want to DO. I think service members should spend some time looking inward to help them understand what motivates them and what type of person they want to be in their new career. Knowing who they want to be can really help a service member make decisions about what kind of jobs to look for and what kind of companies they want to work with (large vs. small, private sector vs. public sector, publicly owned vs. privately owned, etc.) More importantly, knowing some of these things about themselves can help service members narrow down their options to focus in on opportunities that will help them become the new person they want to be after their military career.