BNSF Railway | Hiring the Best of the Best |
Published in the July/August 2011 issue of print Search & Employ® |
With 18 years of experience in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, Michelle Parrack understands the military culture. She also owes her civilian career success – as a manager of OE/Training for BNSF Railway – to what she’s learned while wearing a U.S. military uniform.
“The things I experienced in the military and the things I learned since have all led me to where I am today at BNSF,” she said. “My military experience put all the tools I have now in my tool belt. I brought a lot of things with me to BNSF that have helped me stand out.”
Parrack still serves in the Reserve, and was recently promoted to major. She’s been deployed four times, and served in a lot of high-pressure situations. Outside of the military, Parrack has had only one employer – BNSF. But because of her military experience and inherent drive, she’s held several positions there.
“They really like to cross-train at BNSF and promote from within,” she said. “I’m a perfect example of that.” She worked in marketing and in mechanical manpower planning before moving on to her current role.
“BNSF provided the opportunities, and my experience in the military got me here,” Parrack said. “I got a lot of support from within the company, and without the support of the leadership here it wouldn’t have happened for me.”
“I’ve been very blessed and very lucky to work for such a great company,” Parrack said. “There is a lot of support for those in the National Guard and Reserve, and we have a great benefits package.”
She also likes the fact that BNSF specifically targets military personnel for future hires. “We actually seek out and promote military candidates,” she said. “They have the dedication, core values, integrity, and that service-before-self attitude that we seek. Their tool belt is full and they are the best of the best.”
Parrack also understands that, like her, veterans take control of their own futures. “We have to take ownership of our own development in the military, so that translates to what we do outside the military as well,” she said.