Veteran Viewpoint: Why a Semiconductor Career Is Right for You

November 11, 2021

veterans semiconductor

An Interview with Jon Murray

Tell us a bit about your background. What operational experience do you bring to NSTAR?

I joined the Navy right after high school. I spent my first six years as a maintenance technician on surface ships. Following that experience, I was fortunate enough to qualify for a Navy scholarship. I used that scholarship toward my education at San Diego State and received my bachelor’s degree in business administration and management. After graduation, I was commissioned as a Navy surface warfare officer.

For most of my Navy officer assignments, I served as an operations manager. Back in 2014, I graduated from Creighton University’s Heider College of Business with my master’s degree in investment management and financial analysis. Throughout my time in the Navy, I demonstrated the ability to lead large teams, like when I was a program manager for the Navy staff. Our team achieved our outlined goals and objectives, all under challenging circumstances. The experiences I had during my time with the Navy and on assignment were invaluable in shaping me as a leader and operations manager.

You have an extensive background in the military with the U.S. Navy. What sparked the career change?

In total, I spent 22 years with the Navy, and I’m grateful for the experiences, travel and education opportunities. Most of all, I’m grateful for the people I met and the enduring friendships that came from the Navy. I felt I’d reached a point in my life where I was ready for a change and wanted to take on a new challenge. Based on that, I opted to leave the Navy to begin my next career.

NSTAR is a very welcoming employer to veterans who are transitioning to civilian life, and in general, semiconductor careers are well-suited to veterans. In 2019, nearly 38% of NSTAR employees were veterans. It’s really nice working somewhere where you feel you have a lot of shared experiences with the people around you, even though our paths are only crossing now.

What led you to NSTAR, and why did the company stand out to you?

I connected with NSTAR through a staffing agency. As I learned more about the company, I felt it was a great fit for me. It was the type of challenge I was looking for in this next chapter of life. On top of that, the NSTAR team was a group of people I was excited to work with, who continue to be extremely supportive.

There are many similarities between the semiconductor industry and the type of work I did in the Navy. NSTAR felt like the right place for me, and I haven’t been disappointed. My experience first as a technician for the Navy, and then as a manager, working with complex electronic equipment, gave me the general knowledge to be a manager in our technical industry. At NSTAR, the work our people do is critical to sustaining the world we live in, as well as innovating products that improve people’s lives.

In your opinion, what makes NSTAR a good fit for military veterans transitioning to civilian life?

As I mentioned, careers in the semiconductor industry are not all that different from what a lot of military veterans do while serving. So, although it’s something new, there is some familiarity. The things you learn in the military such as a commitment to safety, self-discipline, quality workmanship, attention to detail and accountability are all marketable traits any employer will find valuable. That, coupled with NSTAR’s core values and variety of opportunities, really adds up to a great place for veterans to advance and grow in a new career.

NSTAR’s core focuses are what drew me to the company in the first place. Although it’s hard to choose one specific area that resonates, I would say that our focus and commitment to employees stands out. I’m proud to be part of an organization that values and invests in its people. My experience so far is that this is an open organization that values everyone’s perspectives, and it’s a great place to grow.

What are some of your goals in your role at NSTAR, and how do you intend to develop and achieve them? And what do you envision the future of NSTAR looking like?

Right now, I’m primarily focused on our organizational structure and how we can evolve to better meet our customers’ needs, as well as support continued growth. Since joining NSTAR in May 2021, I’ve visited a few of our customer sites and spoken with our employees in the field. I plan to continue these conversations and work groups so that, as a leadership team, we can better understand the challenges our employees face and what our customers need. With those findings, I plan to continue developing our team and look at areas for process improvement with the ultimate goal of raising the bar and leading our industry.

I believe that as the semiconductor industry grows, NSTAR will continue to grow along with it. I envision us as an organization continuing to innovate and enhance service offerings to our customers, driving growth.

Last but not least, if you had 48 hours and an unlimited budget to do anything you wanted in the world, what would you do?

That’s a tough question. At the end of the day, I always want to give back to our team. I’d look for an opportunity to recognize all our employees for the work they do, day after day. They’ve shown an exceptional amount of resilience and perseverance this year, and we can’t thank them enough.

Are you ready to explore semiconductor careers for veterans? Start your journey here.