BTU #32: Brooke Jones-Chinetti: Cold emails, JPMorgan, and Startup CEO

“Really its a full time job to get a full-time job. Sometimes with veterans, we’re bringing these unfathomable managerial skills to these organizations that we transition to. But we forget that stuff shouldn’t just be handed to us… I’m the queen of the cold email now, and I wish that I would have had that confidence as I transitioned to try to find veterans at companies that I was interested in, and to hear what their transition was like.”
 – Brooke Jones-Chinetti

Brooke Jones-Chinetti lives in New York, where she most recently served as the CEO of VetTechTrek – a startup that facilitates high-impact trips to leading tech companies for veterans and their spouses. She started out at West Point, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Portuguese and Environmental Engineering. She served in the US Army for over 6 years, during which she deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to Kuwait as part of Operation Enduring Freedom – Spartan Shield.
She also served as Senior Director of Human Resources and served as the executive officer for the Army’s Chief of Signal, a 2-star general position. After her transition from the Army, she spent a year in the Financial Services industry with JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of their rotational Executive Development Program. She is currently studying at Columbia Business School.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • Step-by-step advice on how to write cold emails to figure out what you want to do and get your foot in the door for a job
  • An over of the JP Morgan Chase rotational Executive Development Program
  • Brooke’s experience as CEO of an early stage startup at VetTechTrek
  • How leadership as CEO of a startup differed from leadership in the military
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes

  • 1:56 – Brooke’s background
  • 3:04 – How Brooke and her husband both decided to leave the Army
  • 6:15 – Evaluating the Reserves
  • 10:40 – The most surprising aspect of Brooke’s transition from the Army to civilian life
  • 13:15 – How to use cold emails to find other veterans, learn from their experience, and make connections
  • 16:25- Brooke’s first job search and what she learned along the way
  • 21:36 – Advice on how to manage the timing of your transition from active duty
  • 27:20 – Advice for how to better understand yourself and what you’ll enjoy in a career
  • 32:15 – An over of the JP Morgan Chase rotational Executive Development Program
  • 34:50 – Brooke’s day-to-day life while at JP Morgan Chase
  • 38:15 – Brooke’s decision to transition from JP Morgan Chase to Columbia Business School, and wy she chose an Executive Education program
  • 43:02 – Brooke’s experience as CEO of an early stage startup at VetTechTrek
  • 47:10 – How leadership as CEO of a startup differed from leadership in the military
  • 49:01 – How Brooke felt ahead of her civilian counterparts, and where she had to work to catch up
  • 51:33 – Final words of wisdom1:24 – Travis’ background