November 10, 2022

From the Army to EquipmentShare

Aaron Shumaker with Army General David Petraeus
Work Life

“Daddy, what time are you going to be home?” my 4-year-old daughter asked. “I don’t know, YaYa,” I replied instinctively. I realized a moment later I did know. I would be home at 1600, or 4 p.m., as I should get used to using the meridian clock again. I buttoned up my shirt instead of zipping it and placing my patches on the sleeves. The thing most foreign to me was slipping on my Hey Dude shoes instead of lacing up my boots. Then I was off, on my way to work at 0800 – I mean 8 a.m. No morning formation. No calls from soldiers awaiting purpose, motivation and direction. Just an odd peace that was somehow deafening.

I was on my way to the first day of my Skillbridge internship at EquipmentShare, and frankly, I was nervous. For 22 years, I had known how to be one thing: a soldier.  Now I was something else, though truthfully, I didn’t know what. Throughout my Army career, I was always writing speeches, press releases, articles, instructionals, etc., so a job with EquipmentShare’s marketing and communications team seemed right up my alley. I had accepted the internship over four others. I picked EquipmentShare because it encourages veterans – and all employees – to do what they do best while on the job, but also concentrate on family and wellness. I needed a job that:

  1. Emphasized the importance of family and individual well-being 
  2. Provided flexible work hours so I could address medical appointments and family needs
  3. Surrounded me with supportive and enthusiastic coworkers
  4. Provided a competitive salary

I talked to a couple of buddies who were either working at EquipmentShare or had previously worked here before I made my decision. I’m happy with my decision. From day one, the people impressed me, and I’ve enjoyed the environment – it’s professional, but casual.  My managers and coworkers are legitimately interested in what I can bring to the table. After a fulfilling career where I worked up the ranks in the Army, big worry of mine was being marginalized in a company. I had briefed General Officers on personnel assets and managed personnel at an enterprise level, so I was not interested in starting over. I needed meaningful employment, and I’m getting it. In fact, it’s expected here that our people be the best in their fields.

Mostly, though, I was impressed with Jabbok and Willy Schlacks’ commitment to veterans. There was no doubt they wanted me here, because they recruited me and offered me an internship opportunity quickly following an interview. I began to feel as though they don’t just want to hire veterans — they feel they need to in order to accomplish their mission. They not only want us to be part of their team to grow their business, they also want to bring us along in their journey of growth. At EquipmentShare, I feel invested. I want to help Jabbok and Willy succeed, because they want me to be successful. I am motivated each day to disrupt the construction industry and find areas where EquipmentShare can win. Let’s face it, if the military has taught us anything, it’s that there is nothing more important than winning.

This is where you come in. I’m talking to all my fellow service members and veterans. Logicians, mechanics, drivers, human resource managers, recruiters, infantrymen, engineers, IT professionals — I need to speak with you. I encourage you to join me in a new mission, to bring those skills you learned in the war room and bring them to EquipmentShare. At EquipmentShare, we are asked once again to kick some butt and take names, disrupt the market and win the hearts and minds of the customer. I guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you will be fulfilled.

This brings me back to where I began. Today, I slid on my Hey Dudes and went to work with a new team, and I brought some of my soldier swag with me. We are taking the construction industry by storm. Sound good to you? Fall in.

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