Transferring Military Leadership Experience into the Commercial World – The Matero Consulting Internship

January 25, 2021 Dan McDonough

As I approached the culmination of six years in the British Army, I knew that I wanted to use my resettlement time to increase my commercial awareness and support my personal development. Initially the number of prospective courses, industries and roles felt daunting. What did I want to do? What qualifications would I need? What should I be applying for? Where would I fit in best? It’s safe to say I had overthought the whole resettlement process before it even begun!

Fortunately, I came across an advertisement for an Internship with Matero Consulting on the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) early into my resettlement. As a start-up Management Consultancy, Matero offered the dynamism and responsibility I sought from a future employer. Founded by Stuart Tootal and Dan McDonough in 2019, Matero’s approach to consultancy fuses military expertise and planning, with commercial acumen. Both partners have extensive experience in the commercial world and they understand the value of veterans and a military approach, having both set up military transition schemes at Barclays and Deloitte. This reassured me that I would be able to utilise my military experience in the consulting world and be an asset to Matero.

My seven weeks with Matero Consulting have been invaluable. I have been fully embedded into the Matero Team; I have supported a change management project for one of their clients; researched ideas for Matero’s Business Development and helped organise the first virtual Matero Military Transition Network event. Furthermore, the Matero Team and Matero Associate Community (MAC) have been eager to support my development, whether that is by providing networking opportunities, interview preparation or career coaching. During this experience I have been most surprised by how quickly I could add value. It is clear the military has prepared us well for a multitude of roles and you should not be fazed by transition. Internship opportunities can be hugely beneficial in supporting your post military decision-making process and I would highly recommend Matero’s to anyone going through resettlement/transition.

The internship has also provided me the opportunity to reflect on some of the wider lessons I have learnt through my own resettlement and transition.

  • Understanding your strengths, and weaknesses, is crucial. Not only will you frequently be asked to reveal these in interviews, but combining them with your motivations will likely determine prospective industries and roles. Spending time at the start of your resettlement to focus on these areas will be beneficial for the rest of your transition. I found the self-help book for job-seekers, What Colour Is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles, a great place to start.
  • Your CV, in many cases, will be how you make your first impression to prospective employers. Focusing time and energy on it at the start of your resettlement (or ideally prior to resettlement) will ensure you are well prepared and in a position to react quickly to potential job opportunities. It is also important to understand the nuances required for different industries, for example, some large consultancies will just want a one-page CV. The Officers’ Association offer personalised CV workshops and guidance, which I found particularly helpful early on.
  • Many recruiters and employers use LinkedIn, so it’s essential that you have an up to date and relevant LinkedIn I found this series of webinars, hosted by Lincoln Coutts on the Officers’ Association, incredibly useful.
  • Networking is hugely important, and you will have undoubtedly heard this from others who have gone through the transition process. I found networking with other veterans a good place to start, as it eased me into the process and removed some of the anxiety of reaching out to ‘strangers’. Also ensuring you get a new name from each networking chat will enable you to further expand your network.
  • With many industries now working from home, employers have put significant emphasis on their virtual events. I was pleasantly surprised by how many events were on offer and it definitely enabled me to broadened my outlook when researching industries and looking for opportunities. The Officers’ Association and CTP are great places to start when looking for events to attend.


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