Coleman prides itself on its diverse employees that saturate our six offices around the world. We are proud that our employees come from a variety of different backgrounds, beliefs, jobs and colleges. One great example is Thomas King, a veteran of the US military. We sat down with him to learn more about his experiences.
1. Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I was born in Detroit, Michigan. I lived there until I was about 2 or 3 when we moved to Highlands Ranch, CO – a suburb about 20 minutes south of Denver. I loved Colorado and went skiing almost every weekend! About halfway through high school, I moved to Kansas City and lived there until I joined the military. And yes, the best BBQ is from Kansas City!
2. What made you decide to join Coleman?
I have always been interested in financial services and learning about how businesses operate. I also like interacting with people, so Coleman was a perfect blend between learning more about new businesses and working with both experts and clients.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
We get so much exposure to businesses and industries that no two days are the same!
4. Tell us about your service in the military.
I was in the 82nd Airborne Division as a Scout. After I completed my initial training, I had about 2 months before we left for Mosul, Iraq. So, we did a train up in Louisiana for about 3 weeks before taking a short break to spend Christmas with our families. Then we were off! We landed in Kuwait on New Year’s Day and from there, we went up north. I was in Mosul, Iraq for the next 9 months. We partnered with the Iraqi military to secure the city from ISIS. It was the last major stronghold for ISIS left in Iraq, so it was a proud moment for everyone when the battle was over.
5. What made you decide to join the military?
I always wanted to join the military when I was growing up. My family is kind of like Lt Dans from Forest Gump with someone fighting in every major war since the American revolution. Even my grandpa is a veteran and received the Silver Star award for his service in World War II. Given our family history, I was thinking about joining for a while and, shortly after college, I decided to go for it.
6. What values/skills did you learn from the military that you can apply to your job?
There was a saying an old Sergeant Major had that, “no one cares what you did yesterday, and no one owes you anything.” To me this means to stay humble and try to constantly perform better every day.
7. What was your course of action immediately after leaving the military?
I knew the approximate timeframe I would be leaving the military, so I fired up the ol’ LinkedIn and started looking for new jobs in the Raleigh area where my wife and I live. I saw several jobs that looked interesting, but when I came across the Coleman posting, I knew it would be a perfect fit. I submitted my application and was ultimately hired. The team was very understanding and flexible given I did not know my exact end date for the military. Fortunately, I was able to expedite the process and leave the military on a Friday and start work at Coleman the following Monday!
Thomas spends his time trying new restaurants in Raleigh and visiting Duke Gardens in the summer. He has a wife and daughter.