Strengthened by service
Boston Scientific is proud to support veterans and active service members in its global workforce. For Veterans Day, two employees discuss their experiences at the company after serving, and share how the valuable skills they developed in the military have helped them grow in their careers.
Finding another way to serve
Roger Mont knows what it’s like to work under pressure. Prior to joining Boston Scientific in 2016, he held the roles of combat vehicle driver, machine gunner, martial arts instructor and platoon sergeant, all while serving as a U.S. Marine. He completed six deployments — five in Iraq and Afghanistan — and successfully led more than 50 people in a combat environment.
But when Mont was honorably discharged in October 2012, it “was one of the most difficult stages of my life,” says Mont. “I struggled to translate the skills I’d developed in the military into the corporate world.”
Unsure of what kind of civilian career he wanted to pursue, Mont enrolled in college with the hope that taking classes in different areas would help him find his answer. He quickly found his niche in numbers. “I graduated with an accounting degree, and started with Boston Scientific as an intern shortly after,” he says. Seven years later, Mont is thriving as a senior sales operations analyst, a position that allows him to apply both his accounting acumen and the project management, leadership and critical thinking skills he honed in the military.
“What I love about my role is that it’s fast-paced and deadline driven, but it also requires a high attention to detail,” said Mont, recalling the project plans he designed before taking his group of Marines outside the military base in Afghanistan. “When I start any project, I use the same basic project plan we had in the military: situation, mission, execution, action, command and signal. It’s obviously different in the civilian world, but you’re still looking at the mission — or the goal — and laying out the steps to execute it.”
In addition to his role in sales operations, Mont is an active member of the Veterans and Employees Together in Service, or VETS, employee resource group (ERG). VETS serves as a resource for deployed employees, helps support veterans and their families including those experiencing homelessness, and coordinates appreciation events and honor ceremonies throughout the year. Mont joined the ERG as an intern, and in 2019 he took on the role of co-lead for the Valencia, California chapter.
He also met a fellow veteran who was helped by the company’s technology. “A few years ago my director introduced me to someone who suffered chronic pain after suffering a blast on combat deployment,” said Mont. “He had a Boston Scientific spinal cord stimulator implanted through the VA, and it changed his life for the better. It was a powerful reminder of the reason behind the work we do.”
Life as a “weekend warrior”
Natalie Byrom was just 10 months into her career at Boston Scientific when she got the call that she would deploy to Afghanistan in October 2017. By day, she was serving customers and patients as a key accounts specialist for the company’s Endoscopy division; by night and on weekends, she served her country as an Apache helicopter pilot and eventually a company commander in the South Carolina Army National Guard.
“I remember getting the notification that we were deploying, not knowing when or how I was going to tell my manager about it,” said Byrom. “I hadn’t even been here for a year and there were so many unknowns.” Not only was her manager understanding, but the entire team rallied around her, sending her handwritten letters and emails throughout the nine-month deployment. “My team members and the nurses I worked with would say to me, ‘Stop worrying about what’s going on here. We love you, we support you and we’re all going to be here when you get back.”
And though it took a while for her to adjust to how life had changed at home when she did return, Byrom says Boston Scientific was nothing but encouraging and helpful through the duration: “They made the process much easier.”
Now, seven years into her career at Boston Scientific and in a new role as global product manager for the Endoscopy business, Byrom’s found that many of the takeaways she gleaned from the military lend themselves well to her job. The top two? “Time management and flexibility,” says Byrom. “Whether you’re leading 50 soldiers or you’re serving many customers with different needs, you need to be able to budget your time. And the flexibility piece — it’s the same whether you’re packing your bag to leave at a moment’s notice, or pivoting because something’s changed and you need to ensure a product makes it to the patient on time.”
Equally important for Byrom is creating an environment that fosters positivity, teamwork and a sense of caring. And to do that, she says, it’s all about the little things. “When our unit was in Afghanistan, we had a ping pong table and a coffee shop at our base, and that was it,” said Byrom. “So I made cupcakes for every single soldier’s birthday. Just like the letters sent to me during deployment from my colleagues, these seem like small gestures — but they matter a lot to people.”
Learn more about career opportunities for veterans at Boston Scientific.