At SummerSlam, WWE partnered with Hire Heroes USA for a panel where executives discussed hiring practices for veterans followed by a networking event for veterans to find new employment opportunities in civilian life. One of the great success stories from the event was retired Marine Officer Jeremy Prout, who attended the panel and was able to secure employment with assistance from Hire Heroes USA. WWE.com caught up with Prout to discuss his new job, his experience with Hire Heroes USA and any adivce he has for veterans making the transition back to civilian life.
WWE.com: Mr. Prout, thank you for you service. When and where did you serve?
Jeremy Prout: I served as a Marine Officer from 2011 to 2015, including a deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from 2012 to 2013. It was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade my time in the Marine Corps for anything.
WWE.com: How difficult can the transition to civilian life after service be?
Prout: It can be very difficult; service members have a great number of skills but fail to understand how to apply them to the civilian side. At the same time, many recruiters don’t understand the jobs that veterans have done and what they can offer to a position.
I actually benefitted from working as a civilian for eight years after college, before I joined the Marine Corps. Despite this, even after I described my civilian experience, the person I was interviewing asked me “so have you ever worked in a regular office?” Some people tend to get tunnel vision on the fact that you are a veteran and have a difficulty seeing you as anything else.
WWE.com: How did you hear about Hire Heroes USA?
Prout: I heard about Hire Heroes through some other veterans that were also in the job market. Initially, I tried to do it all on my own and ignored the great resource that Hire Heroes and others bring to the transition process. That was a huge mistake!
WWE.com: What was your experience like at WWE’s Hire Heroes USA Employment Panel?
Prout: Tremendous, the panel was not only composed of industry leaders but ran the spectrum of backgrounds. When you get a chance to hear from Marvel Comics' creative director, WWE’s Chief of Staff, and the head of ESPN’s security, you run the spectrum of backgrounds and experiences. Besides the panel, there were a number of recruiters present. I walked out of the event with a lot of great contacts.
WWE.com: What position did you find through Hire Heroes USA?
Prout: I am currently a Senior Consultant conducting security and risk management operations for the energy sector. While I didn’t find the position through Hire Heroes, they did assist me in improving my resume and provided me with the networking skills to reach out to recruiters. Lucky for me, one of them was a retired Marine.
WWE.com: Are you a WWE fan? Who is your favorite Superstar or Diva? Match?
Prout: I’ve been a WWE fan since I was a kid. While not a traditional pick, my favorite WWE Superstar was Tugboat. My favorite match has always been the Royal Rumble.
WWE.com: Any advice you’d like to share with fellow veterans making the transition? Would you recommend they look into Hire Heroes USA?
Prout: Veterans' hiring is like a middle school dance, veterans and employers on either side of the gym, they want to make a connection but are not sure how to do it. Organizations like Hire Heroes bring together veterans and employers, bridging this gap and getting positions filled with good employees.
For more information on Hire Heroes USA, visit hireheroesusa.org.