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Get to know a HP Veteran: Patrick Nalu - North America Sales Manager

As the Veterans Staffing Program continues to build momentum and reach out to our military service members past, present, and future I’m going to take time each month to recognize those veterans that are already part of HP. These brief questions and answers will serve to help you understand how they came to HP, and in turn how you can get to HP.


With that, I’d like to introduce Patrick Nalu, and here is his story…




Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk with veterans about careers at HP!  Could you first share a little bit of who you were in the military?


I originally enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001. The events that unfolded in the coming weeks/years led to my combat deployment in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq 2004-2005. My unit, while deployed, provided the main artillery support for the combat operation in Fallujah, as well as the ongoing skirmishes in the remaining months. I spent most of my 6 years in Artillery, specifically in the Fire Direction Center and as Meteorological Observer. Essentially I computed trajectory data for the artillery guns based on type and distance to target, altitude and weather data among other things. My unit was also tasked with several different missions to secure the city. I was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant.




What is your role here, inside HP?


I am currently the North America Sales Manager for Information Management Software. I am responsible for 2 Sales Managers and 18 Inside Sales Reps. The IM Team focuses our efforts on Data Management solutions. Specifically around Data Backup, Recovery, Archiving and Records Management.


I originally joined HP as a Server, Storage and Networking ISR. Within a year I was promoted to a VMware technical consulting role in which I provided guidance to customers interested in virtualizing their data centers. About a year later I was promoted to my current role in software sales management.


How did you find out about opportunities at HP?  Tell us about your interview experience at HP.


I found out about HP through family that lived in the Conway, AR area. I then proceeded to review the HP Careers page and HP Careers Twitter feed to skim over the job opportunities that best fit my credentials.


The interview process was quite simple in that I first had a phone interview with an HP recruiter. She then set up a face to face interview with two of the Inside Sales Managers.  The interview consisted of job role questions, situational analysis and sales role plays.


Upon leaving my interview I had a good understanding of the role and how it fit in to company. Within a week I accepted my job offer and soon after started at HP.


A lot of companies have really focused on hiring veterans – what was about it HP that made you say yes?


First and foremost I loved the history of HP. From the founding of the company to the management methodology, I really liked what HP stood for in the public eye. Furthermore it was the HP Way that intrigued me. It was the mindset that at HP that people took care of each other.Integrity was important. Teamwork and flexibility was encouraged to get the job done. This is why, in part, I chose to work for HP. Those ideals resonated with me as I felt they reflected many of the same ideals in the Marines and my upbringing.


I accepted my current role largely based on the support and commitment of those I would be working with. I have rarely been in a situation where someone at HP wasn’t willing to help out and that is why I am committed to staying here.




Now that you’re here at HP, what are the two biggest things you wish you knew more about when you transitioned out of the military uniform?


The two things I wish I knew more about when transitioning are; how to adapt my management philosophy and experience to civilians, and what resources were available to find a job with a stable company.


First, even though there are some commonalities, everyone’s experience is the military differs. Some people manage small teams. Others manage larger groups or entire divisions. My management experience in the Marines, in part, meant that if a Marine was told to do something, he did it without question. Orders were followed and the mission was carried out. In the civilian world it’s not quite as simple. There tends to be a wider array of personalities, career goals, and policies that a manager must adapt to. As the saying goes; Improvise, Adapt, Overcome!  


This couldn’t be truer in the corporate world.  My experience in artillery didn’t exactly translate to any job in the business sector. What I had to do was think about what was common about my job and that of a business person and take it one step at a time. I needed to focus on my people management skills as well as my graduate degree. A great thing to keep in mind is that no matter your experience, employers are looking for a person with integrity, leadership qualities, responsibility and professionalism. These qualities and many more are gained from a successful tenure in the service and it’s our job to bring those to light.


Secondly, I simply wish I had access to more resources for finding a great job with a stable company. Beyond a few websites for veterans, I wasn’t aware of the vast amount of local and state organizations dedicated to helping veterans get a job that corresponded to their aspirations and experience. Many companies posted jobs that were not aligned with my goals. It was difficult to find a company that took a look at my education and work experience and coupled that with my military career to place me appropriately.


Several employers simply looked at my education only which I felt was disappointing. I believe employers that discount the impact the military and especially leadership roles can have on an individual are sorely at a disadvantage. Mentoring programs where leaders in business could mentor aspiring veterans would have helped tremendously. We need to pay it forward. Veterans that are now business leaders could make a massive impact in their company as well as the community if they simply mentored one person whom is transitioning to the civilian life. Just imagine the impact!


I want to take a moment to thank Patrick for his time and thoughts about his journey to HP. You may connect with Pat on LinkedIn and check back for more stories from veterans now building great careers at HP!


The Veteran Staffing Program looks forward to bringing you more candid conversations with veterans recently hired and a host of other topics in the weeks to come.


- Dan


 Veterans Blog - Blog 0 - Image Dan.JPG


Dan Piontkowski is the leader of the Veteran Staffing Program at HP. He is both a Navy and Marine Corps veteran and has worked in the military recruiting program space for the past 8 years. Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.

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