Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Comparing the Job Search Process to the ROTC Process


With the beginning of the Spring semester, many seniors are experiencing the same anxiety of what life will be like after graduation. As senior year trickles away, all seniors are in full swing of life planning. While other students get to work on resumes and personal statements, the job search process for ROTC seniors is nearing an end. Some might think this process is different than other students, but the Army job placement process is very similar to that in a civilian market.

For Cadets in the ROTC program, the job search process is better known as the accession process or generally referred to as “branching.” Cadets begin this process Junior year with populating an online profile, similar to the Common App, with information about themselves. Cadets also complete the Talent Assessment Battery (TAB), which is a series of questions aimed at discovering traits one possesses, such as spatial intelligence and interpersonal skills. The “employer,” which in this case are the 18 branches of the US Army, are able to see a Cadet’s profile and judge if he or she would be a good fit. Over the summer, Cadets conducted online interviews with the branches and were able to articulate why they would be a fit for that branch. Outwardly, this process can seem vastly different from submitting a resume and cover letter, but the branching process closely mimic’s a civilian job search. After Cadets signal to the branch that they are interested in a job, much like one would do on Indeed or LinkedIn, the branch then has the opportunity to decide if that person is an ideal fit based on different criteria and needs. For National Guard or Reserve Cadets, the process is similar. In their case, they apply to a specific state or unit.

Like the civilian job market, there are a variety of jobs available to Cadets. With 18 unique branches, such as infantry or finance, there is no shortage of things to do. Cadets can receive positions that have them in an office setting or receive a more on the go job, depending on their placement. Similar to other seniors, Cadets need to decide where they want to live and their first duty station will be released in the Spring. As their careers progress, there will be opportunities for continued education, different jobs and promotions like in any company.

            In addition to having a similar job-hunting process, the senior Cadets are not that different from other Furman Students. Meet three senior cadets and hear their stories below:


Mamie Yenovkian

  A Greenville native, Mamie is a politics and religion double major. She is also in Chi-Omega and serves on Panhellenic Council. She will be a Military Intelligence officer. Like many seniors, her majors intertwine with ROTC. Both politics and religion come into play in military interactions and she finds interest in examining these interactions in the context of justice. Her favorite Furman memories include ROTC labs in the woods behind the chapel and dinners with her sorority family. During her time at Furman, this past summer has been a particularly impactful one. She went on the Israel MayX and was able to see the interactions between politics, religion and the military first hand. In addition, she went to Advance Camp, which is a 35-day army training event, where she was able to use the skills and knowledges she built over the course of the ROTC program. Her words to live by are “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller.


Nick Johnson

Coming to Furman from Asheville, Nick is also a politics and international affairs major. He will be a Signal Officer, detailed Infantry. In the Army, a detail is when you spend four years in one area and then transfer to another .  He is able to apply the skills he learned in his major to ROTC. Future officers are expected to think about the “bigger picture” of the world and how the US military fits. Political Science is particularly important to this skill because it teaches students to develop an understanding of world affairs and make thoughtful and educated choices. From his time at Furman, he has interacted with a variety of students, professors and subjects that have granted him diverse experiences that allow him to confidently tackle any challenge he may face. Nick’s favorite Furman memory is from Family Weekend 2019. During the ROTC family BBQ, he contracted into the Army and the support he received from those around him still motivates him today. During his time at Furman, his most impactful experience was taking part in the “GoRuck” program. This program is a 72-hour, non-stop workout session that is meant to push your limits both physically and mentally. While the training was not easy, the bonds Cadets formed during those 72 hours are unbreakable, and he was able to learn invaluable lessons from the instructors, many of whomare Special Forces. While ROTC is a tight-knit group, Nick is thankful for the support of the larger Furman community. His words to live by are “The truth is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” General Norman Schwarzkopf.

Mary Spangler

After moving around throughout her childhood with the military, Mary came to Furman to be a politics and international affairs major and a cadet. She will be an Engineer Officer detailed to Field Artillery. Like Nick and Mamie, the politics major allows Mary to develop an understanding of the political scope of the world. Through her classes she is able to expand her knowledge on impactful events and cultural differences that impact global relationships. While at Furman, she has explored many different interests . She has been able to try things like rock climbing, theatre, internships, and climbing 14ers in Colorado. Her favorite Furman memory is climbing to the top of the bell tower. After Advance Camp this summer, she was able to attend Cadet Troop Leadership Training in Wiesbaden Germany. This military internship allowed her to shadow a Military Intelligence (M.I.) Captain, which provided her with “real Army” experience. She was able to learn extensively about M.I. procedures, produce M.I. reports, attend and shoot at a range and gunnery, network with military Officers, gain insightful perspectives and travel Europe! Not only did it expose her to military processes, but it also permanently altered her career preferences. Her words to live by are “Anytime you go where you’ve never been or try something you’ve never done; fear will be present. It will always stand between you and anything worth doing. Step outside your comfort zone, treat others with love, and always seek improvement.”

Good luck to all seniors on their endeavors!

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