Atkinson’s Military Experience Transfers Well into PNC Bank Career

Sep 18, 2018 4:35 PM ET

Originally published on Equal Opportunity Veterans Digital Edition

After 22 years of active service in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he had four overseas deployments to 10 different countries, Oscar J. Atkinson retired on July 1, 2016.

“At my last duty station,” he notes, “I was the Operations Chief for the Fitness Reports Sections at Marine Corps headquarters in Quantico, VA, which oversaw the audit and processing of evaluations for the entire Marine Corps.”

Atkinson says several groups helped him to transition from the military to the civilian workforce. First, the retirement/transition program at Quantico provided help with writing a resume, interviewing and searching for jobs. American Corporate Partners also provided two mentors, who offered career advice and insight into the civilian workforce.

“The one that I can say helped me the most was the organization called Military MOJO, which is the Military Officers Job Opportunities,” he explains.

At a Military MOJO job event in Philadelphia, PA, Atkinson met a PNC Bank representative, herself a former Marine, who was looking to hire former members of the military.

“She saw the potential in me,” he remembers. “She was the driving force, ensuring I got an opportunity to apply and interview for multiple positions at PNC.”

As a result, he joined the bank soon after he retired from the Marines.

Because of his operations experience while in the Marines, Atkinson came on board at PNC Bank as an operations supervisor. He says most of his training was done on the job. “Being a senior leader in the Marines, my main focus was on learning the terms and processes of my new role.”

Currently “my team is responsible for reports that directly impact the loss mitigation process. My team ensures we remain compliant with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) requirements and internal regulations,” explains Atkinson, who’s presently pursuing a degree in business management.

An important change for him between the military and civilian workplace, he says, is to understand the difference between being a leader and being a manager.

“Managers assign tasks,” he explains. “Leaders, however, inspire, empower, mentor, coach and elevate their teams to achieve success and, of course, leaders get all of the tasks done.”

Skill sets such as teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and, “more importantly, getting the job done,” easily transfer to the civilian workplace, according to Atkinson.

PNC has many local chapters of its Military Employee Business Readiness Group (EBRG). Atkinson is president of the Cleveland, OH chapter.

“My chapter is focused on mentoring, career-building and giving back to the community, with events such as The Homeless Stand Down, in which we assist with providing clothing and healthcare-related opportunities for the 300 homeless veterans in Cleveland.”

Pittsburgh, PA-headquartered PNC also has a virtual military EBRG chapter for employees who don’t have an actual one in their area.

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