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Finding success by helping veterans find their dream careers: Pree’s story

Published:
16 April 2020
After serving for nearly a decade, while simultaneously earning her bachelor’s degree in Adult Education Training and Development, Pree decided to take on her next mission: finding excellence in corporate America

Pree learned the value of matching the right talent to the right role to ensure a mission’s success in the U.S. Air Force. Today, she brings that same spirit to BP.

Pree’s life mantra is: “Do it in excellence or don’t do it at all.” She honed her passion for success during her nine years of service in the United States Air Force. However, these values were instilled in Pree long before she enlisted, having grown up in a military family – her father served in the U.S. Air Force, her aunt in the U.S. Army, and her uncles were also members of the military.

 

Pree has always been motivated by fostering connections between people and helping others pursue their own excellence. While in the military, she served as a Human Resources Specialist and was responsible for managing complex teams as well as coordinating the transfer of service members from one base to another, ensuring the right people were in the right roles. As a result of Pree’s hard work and determination, she was promoted to Staff Sergeant and served in the intelligence department. There, she helped analysts on the ground ensure their technology was operating efficiently so they could accomplish their missions. 

 

After serving for nearly a decade, while simultaneously earning her bachelor’s degree in Adult Education Training and Development, Pree decided to take on her next mission: finding excellence in corporate America.

 

Seeing value and connecting veterans in the energy industry

 

Pree joined BP in 2016 and continues to combine her HR training with her passion for helping people when they are transitioning from one aspect of life to another. In her day-to-day role in Talent Acquisition, she sources and hires candidates at BP to help support the company’s business goals – leveraging her previous experience assembling high-performing teams in the military. 

 

An audience close to Pree’s heart is veterans. Given her own military background, she is uniquely qualified to guide veterans when navigating the vast career opportunities available within a large energy company like BP. Pree serves as a core team member of BP Veterans, a business resource group dedicated to supporting veterans working at BP. In addition to serving as a mentor through that employee group, she is focused on helping make BP a military ready employer by engaging with veterans throughout the company and sharing best practices for recruiting and retaining employees who have served. According to Pree, not everyone has to be an engineer or have a technical background in oil and gas to be successful at the company – there are many roles in human resources, accounting, finance, logistics, communications and more that play a vital role in supporting BP’s mission to reimagine energy for people and the planet.  

 

Pree says, 

At one point or another, I think most veterans struggle with the challenge of transitioning from the military and understanding the value that they bring to the corporate setting. It can be difficult to articulate how your skills translate to an office environment.

At BP, she leads the company’s Military Placement Program in the U.S., a 12-month internship for veterans working in BP’s supply and training business. With plans to expand the program throughout the organization, Pree looks forward to helping even more veterans find roles within BP. 

 

Pree’s dedication to helping veterans achieve success in the workplace and create connections also led to her founding her own consulting firm, Vet-Prep, which helps veterans transition from the military to the corporate world.

 

Pathways to excellence at BP

 

When veterans join the company, Pree wants to help ensure they have a meaningful, rewarding experience. The company encourages all employees to be creative and think outside of the box about their long-term career, and Pree prides herself on being a resource to veterans joining BP since she herself has navigated the organization. She adds: “BP is a very entrepreneurial company. We’re given the flexibility to build and shape our career paths.”

The military taught me confidence and how to be a team player – we never left a soldier behind. I bring that same philosophy to my teams at BP today.
Pree says some of the other skills needed for a successful career are being flexible, learning how to build relationships within the company, and collaboration. Plus, the soft skills that she learned in the military, such as leadership and communication, have played a big role in her career. As a result, Pree encourages veterans to leverage all the skills acquired during their service. 

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