Revel in the Challenge: Booz Allen’s Tony Mitchell Shares Career Advice

Revel in the Challenge: Booz Allen’s Tony Mitchell Shares Career Advice

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“Be willing to challenge yourself.” Tony Mitchell, EVP @BoozAllen, shares his #tech career advice

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 7:30am

CAMPAIGN: People Profiles

CONTENT: Article

“Expertise in information technology (IT) and computer systems works like a Swiss Army knife, for it’s a skill set that meets and beats all challenges,” Katie McKy wrote in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of African-American Career World. “Tech-savvy professionals know their skills are in demand and can be parlayed into all sorts of heavily recruited tech roles.”

To explore how IT prowess leads to invigorating, challenging careers, she interviewed Booz Allen Executive Vice President Tony Mitchell, who began his career as an engineer and now leads strategic development for the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Transportation and managing 1,500 employees. Mitchell shared insights from his journey. Highlights follow.

Push yourself

“Transitioning from the commercial sector to the defense sector was very challenging because everything was different: the clients, the buying approach and the size of the teams,” Mitchell said. Adding to the challenge: “I went from leading a team of 20 to hundreds of people.”

What gave him confidence and motivation along the way? “I love problem-solving—something that’s much more complex when you’re dealing with a challenge that’s a combination of technical, organizational, and leadership aspects,” he said.

Mitchell advises others in IT positions to constantly test their capabilities. “Becoming comfortable with being stretched by expanding expectations will help you discover hidden capacity that may develop into strengths,” he said.

Build a network that will challenge you

In addition to building your skills, build your network, Mitchell advised. “Many people took a chance on me during my career. I was offered roles that elevated my visibility and broadened my experience. I went through many transitions that could have otherwise sidelined me, but for the help I received.”

“Honestly, it was a combination of mentors and a career coach that helped me stretch myself and find leadership capacity that I hadn’t yet discovered,” he explained. “That experience was a significant launch point in my career.”

In addition, he said, “I love doing the work at Booz Allen because I’m always learning from and challenged by the people with whom I work.”

A culture that encourages success

“Booz Allen has demonstrated an incredible capacity to continuously transform, and this is what has propelled us to lead the industry,” Mitchell said, citing the firm’s “extraordinarily diverse” talent pool. “Our willingness to not only accept, but to also demand new ideas and ways of thinking from our people—this is our greatest strength.”

“We challenge people to change the world,” he said. “Are you ready?”

Read the full African-American Career World article and learn more about career opportunities at Booz Allen.