How a soldier became a Cybersecurity expert at Capgemini after 12 years of service

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After twelve years of service, Dan, a former Royal Engineer from the British Army, decided to join the civil workforce. He, like many other soldiers, faced a difficult life decision quitting the military when questions such as “where am I going to work?” and “what’s next in my career?” keep nagging back of their minds. Having successfully navigated this transition into civil workforce with Capgemini, Daniel is here to share his story to help and support others as they make the same transition.

So here we are – in conversation with Dan Macken!

Q: Dan, what is the first step you took when you made the decision to leave the military?

Dan: My journey from leaving the military may be a bit different from other service leavers as I did not have to go through the process of NTT (Notice to Terminate). Although the process is not the same for each person, typically when a soldier completes their service, they are offered a two-year period of resettlement and once arranged, they are able to start looking into career paths in preparation for joining civilian life.

Q: Can you explain a bit more about the resettlement process?

Dan: As part of your resettlement process you are signed up to the Career Transition Partnership (CTP). The CTP provides lots of information including interview techniques and CV writing. They also have information about workshops and open days that different companies arrange, so I attended various open days online which provided me with lots of insight on different opportunities. By attending these I realized there were two potential career paths for me: telecommunications and cybersecurity.

Q: After deciding you were interested in Cybersecurity, what next steps did you take?

Dan: Jay Davey, my mentor, introduced me to Tech Vets, which is a platform for veterans who are in resettlement, or who have recently left the services. Through Tech Vets I was able to access courses and network with other veterans who had broken into the cybersecurity field.

Q: Can you explain how you went about finding and then applying for a job you were interested in?

Dan: After I’d completed a few online courses and got my LinkedIn account set up, I saw a job advert for a Security Analyst role at Capgemini. This was the first time I had heard of the company so I thought I would do some research and quickly realized this was the opportunity I had been waiting for.

Q: Did you connect with existing employees to find out more about Capgemini?

Dan: I connected with Michelle Perkins on LinkedIn after browsing the Capgemini web page and “Join us” career section. By reaching out to employees of Capgemini I got better insight into the job role rather than applying straight away. She was able to give me insight into job opportunities at Capgemini, and then invited me to an event to learn more about the company.

I was also put in touch with the team that worked in the field I was interested in. Billy Camlin and Darren Robbins were part of the team. For over a year I stayed in touch with them until my first interview with Capgemini, and although I was still technically in the army, they took the time to answer all of my questions.

Q: How did speaking with Darren and Billy help you with this process?

Dan: Having never written a CV or done a job interview it really helped my confidence as they both made me feel like I was already part of the team, and from the first meeting with Darren I knew Capgemini was the company I wanted to work for.

Q: What would your top tip be for other service leavers?

Dan: One of the biggest challenges veterans report in finding a job is justifying how their military skills reapply to the civilian workforce or translate into a business environment. So make the most of the CTP, get a few refresher courses online on skills you already have. And my top tip would be to get a job outside of your comfort zone, be bold and put yourself out there by networking, especially on LinkedIn.

After I joined Capgemini, I connected with Nathan Hambridge, who introduced me to the AFN (Armed Forces Network) group within Capgemini UK for veterans and reservists and also families of members of the forces. So do reach out to people you knew from the military, who are currently in the civil workforce and find out the best suited approach for yourself from the community. Trust me, the community is keen to help!

Capgemini values the many skills that veterans bring to the table: strong work commitment, leadership, discipline, attention to detail, and ability to thrive in crisis. So always check out our job page to see if there’s anything that interests you.

Find out more about a career at Capgemini

About the author

Daniel Macken is Digital Asset& Endpoint Specialist, HSOC, who belongs to the Cloud Infrastructure Services at Capgemini. Dan is a former Royal Engineer from the British Army. Dan knows that veterans often undergo a tough transition from military to civilian life. Difficulties are primarily attributed to unemployment, health challenges, and the need for time to “figure out what’s next” after service. He is part of the large veteran workforce at Capgemini and continues to inspire his colleagues with his story.

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