Ray Fortier knows logistics. Whether through his experience as a member of the Operations Leadership Development Program at Travelers or as a captain in the Connecticut National Guard, you will find Ray ready to take on new roles and new challenges.
In early April of 2020, Ray answered the call to support the Connecticut National Guard’s COVID-19 response plan.
He sat down with us to share his experience working on the front lines of the state’s response efforts and also what it is like to be a military employee at Travelers.
What is your role at Travelers?
I am in my fourth rotation in the Operations Leadership Development Program (OLDP). My current rotation is in Technology Business Support. I serve as a liaison between the Business Insurance Field and Technology organizations. I also oversee various projects and initiatives.
How long have you been with the company?
Five years. I started right after graduating from the University of Connecticut in 2015.
Tell us about your service in the Connecticut National Guard.
I’ve been serving as a logistics officer for over seven years. I spent my first two years with the 143rd Military Police Company then joined the 1048th Transportation Company, where I led a platoon of 55 soldiers focused on transporting and distributing commodities and equipment. I later moved to the role of Battalion Plans Officer (Future Operations), overseeing training and operations for a combat sustainment support battalion. In early 2020, I moved into the Plans Officer role at the 143rd Regional Support Group.
What is your current mission and role with the CTNG?
Since early April, my mission has involved overseeing Connecticut’s “Commodities Warehouse” as a part of its COVID-19 response plan. Our site is the central hub for all inbound shipments and outbound shipments for hospitals, state agencies, first responders and municipalities. I am the officer in charge of all warehouse operations, which includes inventory management, coordination of inbound and outbound shipments, transportation planning, site security and other capabilities required to make a military-run warehouse function successfully.
Why are your role and mission important to you and the community?
While stepping away from my role at Travelers was difficult, having the opportunity to assist the State of Connecticut in distributing greatly needed commodities has been one of the most fulfilling and satisfying moments of my career so far. Nurses, doctors, paramedics, firefighters, police officers and everyday citizens have needed supplies and equipment for months. Our mission is to get those supplies to these people as quickly as possible, so they can ensure the critical functions of our state are kept intact. There’s nothing more important than that.
What first-hand experiences can you share?
In the operation’s early stages, we were extremely low on a lot of requested critical personal protection equipment (PPE), like hand sanitizer, exam gloves and surgical masks. Incoming shipments were infrequent at best. Around the fourth week of our operation, I was doing my regular warehouse walks. I noticed tiny travel-sized hand sanitizers with Travelers’ logo across the side sitting in one of the aisles. As soon as I saw them, a feeling of pride swept over me and for a moment, I thought about how everyone was doing back at work. Within days they were distributed throughout Connecticut to folks who needed them. It’s funny how such a small item with our red umbrella made me feel connected to my company and coworkers after weeks of being away on this mission.
What’s it like to be a military employee at Travelers?
Working at Travelers while serving in the military has been extraordinary. Travelers has proven what it says about supporting those with military commitments. Whether it’s for normal monthly and yearly training or longer-term missions, support from the company and my leaders and fellow colleagues has been more than I could have expected. It gives me peace of mind that I can step away to serve my community and know my career will still be there when I return.
Many of the duties you performed in the service have a civilian counterpart in business and industry, including here at Travelers. Still, the job search process can be challenging. That’s why we want to help you along the way, with practical resume and interview advice that can make your transition from the military easier and more successful.
The goal of your resume is to obtain an interview. It should give potential employers an overview of your background, while highlighting your accomplishments. You want to stand out among your peers. At a minimum, your resume should include your professional experience in a themed or chronological order, as well as your education, achievements and volunteer interests.
Your resume is your chance to make a good first impression. But, the interview is where the job is won!
This is your chance to set the tone with a sort, interesting introduction.
“I grew up in ___. I decided to join the [military branch] because____. I had a great experience including___, and learned ___, ___ and ____. That brings me here today to learn more about [company] and your opportunity for [position].”
“Based on my visit and discussions today, I am very interested in joining [company]. I believe my ___, ___, and ___ skills position me well to both learn from and contribute to the success of the organization. Is there anything more that I can tell you about my experience, or are there areas where you feel I am lacking?”
Chances are, interviews and boards that you have participated in throughout your military care have adequately prepared you to take on an interview in the civilian corporate world. Still, it’s always helpful to have a toolkit for reference. For additional interview tips, read our post about Behavioral Interviewing.
Company Release – 12/16/2019 9:00 AM ET
HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) today announced it has been recognized as a Military Friendly® Company by VIQTORY, publisher of G.I. Jobs. Travelers is one of 76 companies to earn the designation, which is given to organizations that meet or exceed standards in at least three of four categories:
Recruiting, hiring and training of veterans (Military Friendly® Employers).
Recruiting, hiring and training of military spouses (Military Spouse Friendly® Employers).
Partnering with and supporting veteran-owned businesses (Military Friendly® Supplier Diversity Programs).
Commitment to military consumer protections and having a positive brand reputation in the military community (Military Friendly® Brands).
“Veterans and military service members bring a unique and valuable set of skills to the company,” said Diane Bengston, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Travelers. “Fostering an environment of inclusion is a priority for us, and we’ve been focused on offering programs, benefits and services that resonate with and support military families.”
Travelers demonstrates its military-friendly commitment in a number of ways, including its:
The company has also signed the Statement of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve at both state and national levels, reaffirming its commitment to service members and their families.
Travelers has earned recognition from VIQTORY for its military-friendly culture for more than a decade and has been named a Military Times “Best for Vets” company since 2014. The Military Friendly® lists are compiled each year based on extensive research using public and government data sources and responses from a comprehensive survey completed by each company. To view the full list, visit militaryfriendly.com/2020-mfc.
To learn more about Travelers and its commitment to recruiting military service members, visit careers.travelers.com/military.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $30 billion in 2018. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190225005944/en/
Matt Bordonaro, 860-277-7014
Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.
An in-person interview can be a critical step in the hiring process and can help a recruiter or hiring manager determine whether a job candidate fits the organizational safety culture and core safety values of your company. Studies have shown that behavioral interviewing1 can be an effective interviewing technique and can help the interviewer understand more about how a candidate might act when faced with a workplace concern or safety issue.
The premise behind behavioral interviewing is that a person’s past behavior can more accurately predict future performance in similar situations. By asking a job candidate how they performed in specific real-life settings, you’ll gain a better idea of how that person may behave if they work at your company. By considering a candidate’s propensity to adopt safe workplace practices, business owners can gain insight into how they will embrace the company’s safety culture.
1 Predictive Validity of a Behavioral Interview Technique; Oliphant, Hansen and Oliphant; Marketing Management Journal, Fall 2008.
Career fairs can be somewhat overwhelming. From ensuring that your resume is up-to-date to perfecting your elevator pitch, there are many details to consider. However, jobseekers must remember, employers are also there to promote their best selves. The pressure is certainly not one-sided. When it comes to preparing, members of our University Relations recruitment team – Janixia Reyes, Alicia Hitchcock, and Jamie Roshka – shared three essential tips to consider:
Traditionally, career fairs will publish a list of employers attending the event in advance. Utilize this information to select and prioritize the companies you wish to connect with. Research those companies online, utilizing their company and career websites and social media channels. Collect general information about the company, their core values and mission statement as well as recent news about the company and any available job openings.
“Having conducted research before speaking to representatives from a company will make you stand out as someone who has taken the time to learn more,” said Reyes, “It will also help you curate your questions to maximize the time you have with the representatives behind the table.”
You won’t get much time with one person or company, so it is important to make a good impression quickly. Have your pitch ready to summarize your skills and experience in a concise and memorable manner.
“Think of this as a personal commercial,” said Hitchcock, “Your pitch should grab the employer’s attention, keep it, and give them cause to recall it later.”
Take the time to thoughtfully craft your pitch and practice it for length and efficiency. Having it committed to memory will bring confidence and enthusiasm to your delivery.
Hitchcock added, “Be sure that your pitch is genuine and rehearsed so that you can speak calmly and effectively about the subject you know best – you.”
“Effectively communicating your objectives gives the recruiter insight into whether you’d be a fit for their organization,” said Roshka, “It also helps them assess what role or job would work best for you.”
If you aren’t sure what your specific career goals are yet, focus on your skill set and apply it to the company you are speaking with.
“If you don’t know yet what you want to do that’s okay, too! As a recruiter it’s helpful to know if a candidate has a definitive long-term plan or if there are other opportunities we can introduce that you may not have been aware of,” added Roshka.
No matter your major, no matter the industry you’re most interested in pursuing, your ability to vocalize the correlation between your skills and the scope of an opportunity is critical. That includes highlighting details that are specific to each of the employers you connect with during the fair and beyond.