Mike Ott: Navy to Consulting and VetsInTech

How are veterans helping other veterans?


Mike Ott is a former Navy Nuclear Power officer. After leaving the military in 2011, he transitioned into a career in consulting and is now a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte. He is also the founder of the Washington DC chapter of VetsInTech. VetsInTech is a non profit organization that supports our current and returning veterans with re-integration services, and by connecting them to the national technology ecosystem. VetsInTech is committed to bringing together a tech-specific network, resources, and programs for our veterans interested in Education, Entrepreneurship, and Employment.

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Insights From the Interview

  • How do you decide to get out? Ask yourself if you have met the goals that you wanted to reach when you first joined.
  • When employers ask about why you left the military, don’t be negative.
  • Leverage recruiting firms to practice interviewing and to put together your resume.
  • Companies might be concerned with your lack of a business background.
  • Sending resumes on their own are less likely to get you hired than using a recruiting firm or networking.
  • When first starting to network start with family, friends, and then professional colleagues.
  • Use LinkedIn to figure out secondary and tertiary connections that you can reach.
  • Start with informational interviews, not requests for employment. They may lead to hiring opportunities down the road.
  • Learn what it is you don’t know.
  • Asking for mentorship and tactics to approach a mentor for help.
  • Find companies that are comfortable and used to hiring veterans.
  • Start the networking process several months prior to your transition.
  • Get civilian certifications while you’re in the military that pertain to your future industry interests.
  • Network, network, network, network, network.
  • The onus is on you to develop yourself.