Nathan Smith

Chief Operating Officer

Hire Heroes USA

Find me online:

“I'm a service-oriented individual who likes to make people and things better.”

MY ROUTE:

The Straight Road

MY WORK LIFE:

Chief Operating Officer

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of UPHOLDING A CAUSE AND BELIEF and the interests of ARMED SERVICES and WRITING.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

A good work day consists of solving problems and making things better in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of life for our team. I make daily phone calls to our funding and employment partners, and take meetings with directors and executives, all the while trying to answer the questions: "How can we improve our organization? How can we deliver services more effectively to our veterans? How can we grow and offer these services to more people?"

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

You need a knowledge of history and politics and a sense of your place in the world. I'm a big proponent of getting a liberal arts education to help you develop those soft skills, or people skills.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

Chief Operating Officer

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School
  • Undergraduate - International Studies and Political Science
  • Graduate - Public Administration

What I studied STRONGLY RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • High School - Greely High School
  • Undergraduate - Virginia Military Institute, International/Global Studies
  • Graduate - University of Georgia, Public Administration

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN HIGH SCHOOL

The most important first step for anyone is knowing yourself; recognize your weaknesses and your strengths, then play to those individual strengths. For me, one of my strengths has always been problem-solving and analysis. I identified these strengths while I was in the military, and they've made me the perfect fit for the job I currently hold. Transitioning veterans often try to fit themselves into the job they feel like they should be doing, rather than doing something they excel in and enjoy.

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM MYSELF

“You're going to fail. You're not as good as everyone else.”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

A lot of us face the constant noise of self-doubt, and it's not a healthy way to go through life. For me, it took sitting down with a counselor to see that I was being overly negative and selling myself short. I know I'm certainly not alone in facing those doubts and fears, especially within the veteran community, but you have to know that it takes time to find your path. I've been able to overcome that negative self-talk, and to figure out who I am and what kind of value I bring to the table.

Service Background and Insight

What branch of the military did you serve in?

Marine Corps

When did you complete active military service (ETS)? Please specify the year (YYYY).

2010

What is the highest rank you reached while in the service?

Captain

What are some tips you would recommend for someone transitioning into civilian life?

You have an amazing network of veterans behind you; think of that network as an investment. Put some time and effort into networking, then let it do the hard work (finding opportunities) for you. Also, don't be afraid to seek therapy if you need

As many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war. Have you experienced PTSD, combat stress, or TBI as a result of your service?

PTSD

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