Pete Durbin always wanted to join the Army and enlisted in the Intelligence Corps when he was 19. He left in 2016 as a Sergeant after 11-years exemplary military service. Pete is now working as an Intelligence Analyst at a leading UK insurer - and credits completing SaluteMyJob, IBM and the Corsham Institutes i2 analyst training as a reason for gaining such a highly-sought-after role.
Pete’s biggest achievements and highlights in his 11 year career include his last operational tour, Op Toral in Afghanistan - and three years served out in Cyprus. He said the biggest challenge he faced during his military career was being away from his family, which was one of the main reasons he decided to leave, along with being ready for a change.
As an Intelligence Analyst, Pete’s role varied from day-to-day. He explained: “In the early days before I was a Senior NCO, it was very much about analysis, processing information into intelligence, making assessments and being able to stand-up and confidently deliver that information to different sized audiences, which varied from a one-to-one briefing to a big forum of 400 people. When I was a Sergeant, I was expected to do all of that, as well as fulfilling a junior management role within a team.”
Pete said there are a number of key skills he acquired during his Service that he believes are of value to civilian companies. “For me, the biggest skill I learnt was being able to interact with people from a broad range of backgrounds - I think that is a real skill you can’t really replicate in many other roles or sectors. I also had to be confident speaking in front of a large group of people and I think that overall experience has really helped me in interviews.”
When Pete decided to leave, he said he was more interested in finding Project Management roles, rather than going into the cyber industry to start with, as he believed the management skills he had gained in his military role would be well-suited to those types of roles. He found job hunting and translating his military skills the most challenging part of his transition. “I was naive at the time, I was just smashing in applications all over the place and applying for roles that were inappropriate to me,” said Pete. “I thought I was able to translate my CV but looking back on it now, I had no experience in the corporate sector. I really struggled speaking in the corporate language as there is not much training given on that.” On leaving, Pete joined the Reserves and worked for EDF Energy as a Risk Reporter on a short-term contract - before landing his most current role.
To prepare for gaining commercial employment, Pete, through the Career Transition Partnership, completed PRINCE2 and APM qualification for PRINCE2 Practitioners. He also successfully completed IBM’s i2 analyst training. To address the cybersecurity skills shortage, IBM Security, the Corsham Institute and SaluteMyJob created an innovative partnership, offering free training to certify veterans as users of IBM’s QRadar cyber security software and i2 Analyst’s Notebook data analysis to former and transitioning military personnel. Pete said he would - and continues to recommend the course - and registering with SaluteMyJob to other Service Leavers. He added: “I was really interested in getting an accreditation in the software as I know it is used across a number of industries. I just thought it would be hugely beneficial to get up-skilled in that area. I found the pace of the course really good - it was a challenging pace, the pressure for me was just right.” Pete said he believes that achieving the certification helped him gain his current Intelligence Analyst role. “I asked my boss the same question and he said having it showed I had the knowledge of a product they use - so that was useful. But it was also that having it indicated a continued desire to improve professionally, which the company I work for is very big on.”
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