4 min read

Life after 20 years in the military

Following a 20-year career in the military, Pete Hodgkinson decided to embark upon a career change.

He attended one of our Military Transition & Talent Insight Days and has now been at Deloitte for nearly a year, working as a senior manager in Risk Advisory’s public sector cyber team.

Here he tells us how the skills he developed during his time in the military have set him up for his new career.

Overseas operations

“I signed up to the military aged 18, motivated by a desire for an outdoor lifestyle. I’ve served all over the world including operations in Iraq and Sierra Leone and a two-year assignment in Nepal, as well as military exercises in North America and throughout Europe. By the age of 21, I was leading a team of 30 in West Africa and by my mid-twenties, I was managing a team of 70 on combat operations in Iraq.

One of my projects in Iraq was to lead an entire communications rebuild at the British military headquarters in Basra. At the time of the operation, there were 8,000 troops on the ground, all of whom had to pause their work for 48 hours while the rebuild of the headquarters took place. It was a situation which required excellent logistics planning, strong people management, communications skills and risk planning – all skills which are transferable to a career at a company like Deloitte.”

Securing a future in cyber

“After Iraq, I spent two years in Nepal. During my time there, I saw how important information systems and the internet were becoming – both for everyday life and in terms of the increasing risk of online warfare. Supported by the military, on my return I completed a three-year, part-time Masters in Cyber Space Operations. This qualification enabled me to take on some really interesting jobs with the military, including multi-national operations which required communication, strategy and analytical skills.

My work on cyber security gave me an idea of what I wanted to do after retiring from the military. I would say that although everyone has a different career path during their time in the military, we all have the same core transferable skillset which is valuable for ‘civilian’ jobs.

With a good understanding of what I wanted to do next and aware that I would soon retire from the military, I decided to attend one of Deloitte’s insight days run by the firm’s Military Transition and Talent programme. It was a five-hour snapshot of the firm, with information about each of the businesses. I found it fascinating and after the presentations I made a beeline for one of the speakers who talked about Deloitte’s work in the IT and cyber sector. Two weeks later, I attended an assessment centre for my current job.

Since arriving at Deloitte, I’ve been leading a Security and Risk Management team to deliver multiple cyber security assessments to a large public sector client. This is part of a multi-million pound IT transformation programme. My experience working around the world has helped me navigate client relationships all over the UK. I’ve also been working on a project with my previous employer, conducting a number of cyber focused workshops for the Ministry of Defence.

I’ve now been at Deloitte for nearly a year and from what I have experienced everyone is extremely professional, hard-working and motivated – it really is a great place to work. It is very different from the military though. For one, there’s a lot less equipment - now all I need is my work mobile phone and laptop and I can pretty much work from anywhere.”

Veterans Work

Pete’s story is featured in ‘Veterans Work: Moving On’, a report produced by Deloitte’s Military Transition and Talent Programme in collaboration with Forces in Mind Trust and the Officers’ Association. It is the latest in the ‘Veterans Work’ series, which also features the original ‘Veterans Work’ report and three short films.

The Deloitte Military Transition and Talent Programme supports military personnel to identify their transferable skills and to support their transition once they’ve retired from the armed forces.

One Million Futures

The programme is aligned to One Million Futures, our ambition to help one million people get to where they want to be through access to education and employment. We’re supporting over 60 inspiring social enterprises, charities and schools with pro bono, volunteering and fundraising.

One Million Futures is part of our Global WorldClass commitment to help 50 million futures prepare for a world of opportunity.

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