Konecranes | The Same Stuff, Just Higher |
Published in the July/August 2012 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Mark Cherkitz, a former electrician’s mate second class in the Navy, is a service supervisor with Konecranes. The company manufactures and services overhead lifting equipment and other lifting devices, and has more than 100 service branches in North and South America. In the Navy, Cherkitz was in charge of maintaining 36 forklifts, 7 small boats, 14 refueling/restoring stations (including winches and boom cranes), and 7 elevators. While on shore duty, he was part of the group for motor rewind and submarine electrical refitting.
At Konecranes, he maintains a budget of approximately $2 million, while supervising seven technicians. He is responsible for all aspects of his branch because there is no service manager or branch manager assigned. Since coming to Konecranes, Cherkitz has been part of the nuclear modernization team, advancing from technician to service supervisor in May 2007. He also made million dollar-plus sales awards in 2008 and 2011.
Cherkitz understands that his Navy experience has paid dividends in the civilian sector. “All of the electrical training received in the military easily allowed me to get a job straight out of the military as a commercial electrician,” he said. “I received my Texas State Unrestricted Journeyman’s license – maintained today – which enabled me to advance my electrical knowledge and to be a better asset in the field. As a second class petty officer in the Navy, it has allowed me to use my supervisory knowledge learned there to better help here.”
He has advice for those who are still in the military and looking toward a post-military career, as well those already working in the civilian sector. “Acquire as much training and education opportunities as possible,” Cherkitz said. “Always ask for more responsibilities. It will allow you to overcome the civilian mentality related to work and will make you an asset to any company. With the military mentality, it prepared me for life on the outside, and I was able to adapt quickly.”
He said his military experience led directly to his success at Konecranes. “Responsibility and accountability are the biggest assets I have from the military,” Cherkitz said. “Those along with job-specific training have led me to be a successful member of Konecranes from the get-go.”
But even with all his success, Cherkitz was nervous about working at Konecranes. “I accepted this job with trepidation, but once I got to climb on a crane, I realized it was the same stuff I had always done, just higher,” he said. “What this has taught me is that I made the right choice.”
Cherkitz suggests that servicemembers who are considering leaving the military get their job searches going as soon as possible. “Start early,” he said. “Probably one year before your get-out date. Make sure you do your research on the areas you want to live as well as the job opportunities available. Just because you did a certain thing in the military, don’t think that is all you can do when you get out. You will be amazed at the opportunities available if you broaden your field of view. “