Army Reserve Mechanic Succeeds At Sunbelt Rentals
Sunbelt Rentals serves wide variety of customers – from weekend do-it-yourselfers to commercial enterprises and municipalities. The company has about 550 stores in 45 states as well as locations in Canada. Sunbelt Rentals has than 8,000 employees and annual revenues of $3 billion. Company headquarters are in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
The company is always looking for mechanics, customer-service representatives, technicians, CDL drivers, inside and outside sales representatives, service managers, and safety managers. There are also openings in accounting/finance, information technology, legal, product development, marketing, fleet management, human resources, and recruiting. Sunbelt Rentals is a partner of the Wounded Warrior Project; the company provides equipment for Wounded Warrior events.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | PETER DUPONT
Peter DuPont spent eight years as a light wheel vehicle mechanic in the United States Army Reserve, including six months of active duty for Operation Enduring Light at Fort Drum, New York. He is now a profit center manager for Sunbelt Rentals in Latham, New York. He manages employees, fleet, budget, safety, and other business details. DuPont began working for Sunbelt Rentals in July 2012. He has since remodeled the store – and profits have risen.
DuPont credits his fellow soldiers with leading him to his first post-military career opportunities. “I was given a few opportunities due to soldiers at my reserve center who put in a recommendation for me with the company where they were currently working,” he said. “Using the network of people you know, military or civilian, is a powerful tool.”
He encourages everyone to take advantage of educational options. “The best advice I can give to active soldiers is to become as diverse as possible during your service,” he said. “Take every opportunity available to take additional training, change jobs, strive for promotions, and/or become an officer. The more you can expose yourself to, the more well-rounded you will be, and attractive to potential hiring companies.”
He said his military training helped him land a position at Sunbelt: “My background in mechanics helped to bolster my qualifications when applying with Sunbelt Rentals.”
A personal attribute that DuPont acquired in the military also helps him in the civilian world. “The most important thing I took away from my time in the military is confidence,” he said. “Knowing I was capable to complete the challenges of basic training, advanced individual training, and the duties the Army threw at me gave me the confidence to know I was capable of any challenge the civilian world could present me. The challenges of a career pale in comparison to lying face down in a hasty foxhole, in the rain, at 3 a.m., after a 20K rucksack march.”
DuPont said that Sunbelt Rentals is “the definition of a veteran-friendly employer – for many reasons. First, there are branches all over the country. Wherever you live, I can assure you there is a Sunbelt close by. Second, there is a variety of job opportunities to fit a wide range of skill sets. If you are looking to work as a mechanic or truck driver, or in administration, sales, or management, Sunbelt will have something to suit you. Third, they do a very admirable job of supporting, recognizing, and promoting veterans all across the country.”
He advises job seekers use a variety of tools. “Use the Internet,” he said. “Employers today all seem to rely heavily on internet-based resumes to find candidates. Put your resume on as many career websites as possible, sign up for job alerts, and apply to any and all that you like. Also, if there is a position you really want to go after, make sure you write a cover letter, and then personally deliver your resume to the company’s office.”
What about interviewing? “I also highly recommend taking a class or reading a book on interviewing,” said DuPont. “Being someone on the other side of the hiring desk, I can tell you first hand there are many candidates I will not consider because they didn’t do the important simple things for the interview, such as be on time, dress for the job, have a copy of the resume, do a little research on the company, have a pen and paper to write notes, and have a few prepared questions to ask the interviewer about the job.”
DuPont is confident that veterans can succeed at Sunbelt Rentals. “Don’t be afraid to take an entry level job to get your foot in the door,” he said. “This company has a great network to move up the ladder and/or change positions for employees who work hard and want to advance their career.”