Andrew Meader, veteran and voluntary benefits consultant, has been with Unum since 2014 and appreciates the company’s leadership and team oriented environment.
Here, in a Q&A with WorkWell, he talks about his military career and how he’s using what he learned as a U.S. Navy SEAL to excel at Unum.
WorkWell: In which branch of the military did you serve?
Andrew: I joined the U.S. Navy while still in high school and left for boot camp shortly after graduating. I went through six weeks of boot camp, and then trained for more than a year to become a Navy SEAL. My SEAL training class began with close to 300 men, but only 36 graduated. I was one of three who were only 18 at the time.
As a primary pilot of miniature submersible vehicles (tiny submarines), I participated in top-secret nuclear submarine missions. I also did a six-month, voluntary deployment to Iraq where I was, among many things, a sniper. After 10 years of active duty, I decided not to re-enlist. I instead got involved with national recruiting efforts and spent my time as the Greater New England Naval Special Warfare coordinator.
WorkWell: What did your time in the military teach you and how are you applying what you learned to your corporate life?
Andrew: My experience in the military is essentially the foundation that I built my Unum career upon. The funny thing about being a SEAL at the age of 18 is that you get placed in positions of leadership and great responsibility rather quickly. You have to learn how to become as efficient and effective as possible with all of your practices, and truly make sure you have a keen sense of attention to detail and accountability for your actions.
From a professional perspective, I have applied almost everything I learned from the military to my current position as a sales representative. I try to “think like a SEAL” in all I do – constantly learn more, become more efficient in my practices, push harder and help my team achieve our goal.
WorkWell: What impressed you about Unum?
Andrew: This company and my position fit my character very well. Unum really gives you the opportunity to push yourself professionally as far and as hard as you want to, and the responsibility for your growth and performance is all on you. I was also impressed by the company’s leadership and team oriented environment, which has been something very important to me since beginning my past career in the military.
WorkWell: Is there anything else about your military career that you’d like to share?
Andrew: Everyone is capable of overcoming adversity and gaining mental toughness. While conducting counter terrorism missions with my SEAL teams, it’s inevitable that things would never go 100% as planned, and we’d be constantly challenged during every stage. The same can be said for every professional career in my opinion. It’s important to always focus on the positive, learn from your mistakes and build on lessons learned. I never let things bother me, instead I take a lesson from what happened and move on to the next opportunity.