Uniting the Power of Many at Eaton
After 20 years in the United States Navy, Ben Cook retired as a commander. Now he works at Eaton as the industrial sector lead program manager, where he is responsible for the oversight of the program management office within the engine air management (EAM) product group. In this role, he is responsible for all new product development programs that are launched to support EAM. He ensures that Eaton’s products are launched in accordance with their internal PROLaunch system, while maintaining budget, timelines, and the quality expected of Eaton products. He ensures a plan exists to transition the program from design to a product that Eaton can manufacture. In addition, he is responsible for all functional training and career progression for the ten program managers that work for him.
Cook began his career at Eaton in 2014 and quickly moved up the ranks. In 2015 Cook was promoted to program management lead. In 2016, he was selected as one of the participants of the Advanced Leadership Zone Training. He was designated Eaton’s business systems evaluator and as an operational excellence evaluator. This year, Cook was selected to lead Eaton’s Veteran employee resource group (ERG).
Cook's Advice to Veterans
How does your experience help you on the job?
The communication skills I learned in the military are extremely valuable. As an aviator, I performed daily flight briefs. This is where I learned to provide leadership with accurate and succinct summaries. More importantly, I learned how to give and receive feedback. In the military, there never was a perfect flight so we always gave feedback to see if we could do it better next time. This helped me prepare for the civilian world where there is always room for improvement. It doesn't matter if it's in a manufacturing process, a contract negotiation, or a presentation. Knowing how to give and receive feedback will help you succeed.
What do you recommend for those who are separating from the military and looking for civilian opportunities?
Find an industry that interests you, then what you think you would like to do within that industry. Tracking down job titles can be a challenge. There are thousands of jobs, but the title is not always evident. Attend job fairs and talk to recruiters. Use LinkedIn to find veterans in your targeted company and reach out to them. Ask if they would either directly refer you, or if there is a military recruiter you can contact. Don’t blindly apply for a position and assume you will get called.
What makes Eaton a good place for veterans?
We understand personal leadership transfers very well from the military to the civilian job force. Most importantly, and honestly one of my biggest attractions to the company, is that Eaton’s ethical values align very well to the selfless value system military members have.
Eaton is also making a concentrated effort to create an inclusive and diverse culture, which includes the Veteran ERG. The purpose of the Veteran ERG is to help integrate the experience, values, and knowledge of Eaton's veteran workforce into the Eaton business system. We like to say that we unite the power of many into the power of one. We also use this opportunity to connect with veterans and use their expertise to aid and support the business with recruitment, development, and retention of veterans through company and community engagement.
What advice do you have for transitioning/veteran military who are trying to land a position with Eaton?
Learn as much as you can about our various power management businesses to decide which business is the best fit for you, then reach out to our military recruitment lead. Don’t shy away from your military service in interviews and be honest about your experiences. We value people who have demonstrated they are agile learners so use your experiences to illustrate your ability to quickly learn new skills.
To view current openings at Eaton, please go to www.eaton.com/militarycareers.