Veteran Employee Story – Scott Burklow

Bunzl Distribution USA, Inc.  |  Calling on Leadership and Team Skills  |

Published in the July/August 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

Scott Burklow, a former senior airman in the Air Force, is a regional human resources manager for Bunzl Distribution USA, Inc. His military responsibilities included aerial surveillance and aerial command and control. Now, he is responsible for employee relations, performance management, recruitment, safety, coaching, and staff development.

Bunzl Distribution USA, Inc., provides more than 450,000 supply items, including food packaging, disposable supplies, and cleaning and safety products, to food processors, supermarkets, retailers, convenience stores, and other users. Bunzl Distribution is based in St. Louis and is the largest division of Bunzl plc, an international distribution and outsourcing group headquartered in London.

Burklow’s leadership in the military helped get his employer’s attention. “Bunzl was attracted to me largely because of the demonstrated leadership experience I gained in the Air Force,” Burklow said. “Additionally, the fact that I had worked in multiple countries and with diverse groups of people gave the Bunzl hiring managers confidence that I would be adapt at working well within a team-based environment and at all levels.”

Burklow still leans on his military experience. “I routinely call upon the leadership and team skills that I developed while serving,” he said. “These skills have aided me in establishing trust and respect with my co-workers, while also helping to me to successfully manage the tactical steps needed to push projects forward.”

Being able to deal with stress is also important. “Having self-discipline to manage the daily routine and being able to maintain professional bearing, especially during stressful situations, are two key attributes that have assisted me throughout my civilian career,” Burklow said.

Burklow thinks veterans will like working for the company because they will have plenty of choices. “Bunzl Distribution has a variety of career paths that correlate well with military assignments – logistics and supply chain management, procurement, as well as information technology,” he said.

Burklow says that networking and seeking out new learning options will help servicemembers find post-military employment. “Never pass up an opportunity to learn or to develop additional skills,” he said. “Research the careers that are of most interest to you, and seek out additional duties that may assist you in developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities that relate to those civilian careers. Network with fellow veterans to learn more about employers you want opportunities with, and ask them what it takes for success in those organizations so that you can be prepared to tell a hiring manager why you are an exceptional candidate.”

He also suggests that servicemembers take advantage of military programs. “Take full advantage of your Transition Assistance Programs to get your plans in order, and start planning for your job search early,” Burklow said. “Prepare your resume so that it showcases special military skills that differentiate you as a candidate. Network with friends, family, co-workers, and veterans to learn what employers in your area have openings that might fit your interests. Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are useful.”

As for working at Bunzl Distribution, Burklow preaches persistence. “Visit our website to search for jobs that are currently available,” he said. “Be persistent in making contact with the hiring managers, and don’t hesitate to identify yourself as a veteran. When interviewing, help the hiring managers understand how your military experience makes you a superior candidate by explaining how your skills correlate to the job responsibilities of the position you seek.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers