When U.S. Army Plans Officer Vincent J. Hoover attended his first job fair, he had no doubt he was well prepared. Having graduated from the VET² Lean Six Sigma program offered in Georgia Tech-Savannah, the finance major and infantry officer was interviewed by eight companies. “Hands down, I was one of the best candidates there because of the Georgia Tech Lean Six Sigma Black Belt program,” he said.
Two engineering companies offered him jobs on the spot, and two companies requested that he stop interviewing to accept jobs with them within a week. He eventually decided on a job with Corning. He credits Georgia Tech’s reputation and high-quality program for his ability to compete with other candidates at the event and stand out to employers. In this interview, he discusses the learning experience that led to his employment.
Why did you choose to take this program?
I chose the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt program to enhance my resume and develop problem-solving skills. I believed this certification, coupled with the brand name of Georgia Tech, would set me apart from the competition.
What did you expect to gain by taking the program and did it meet your expectations?
I expected to gain general problem-solving skills, applicable to any job function and industry, and to learn and master the implementation of Lean and Six Sigma tools. This program helped me develop a mindset and skillset that allows me to systematically solve problems in any job function and industry.
Also, I have a firm grasp of the implementation of Lean Six Sigma Black Belt tools in real-world situations, and can confidently say I am a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and have had experience in the practice of Lean Six Sigma techniques.
What did you find most valuable about the program?
The most valuable aspect of the program is the brand name of Georgia Tech and the broad applicability of the tools learned.
How has the program helped you transition from the military to civilian life?
The program has helped me immensely in my transition. More than anything, the brand name of Georgia Tech helped the most. I believe employers are looking for three attributes in potential employees. First, they want to see you are qualified – your degree, certifications, experience. If the job requires a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, that block is checked.
Second, they want to see if you're an intellectual. For example, they want to see your GPA, the ranking of the university you attended, your GMAT/GRE scores. With a certification from Georgia Tech, that block is checked.
Third, they want you to demonstrate the necessary social skills to perform the job. I believe a Georgia Tech Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification on my resume allowed me to gain on-site interviews and break through the "black box." This granted me the opportunity to prove I had the interpersonal skills to perform the job well.
Overall, I believe having the brand name of Georgia Tech on my resume immediately demonstrated to my employer that I was both qualified through a rigorous program and intelligent, which allowed me to break through the "black box" and get in-person, on-site interviews.