‘Only 6.5% of Marines Are Women’ — I’m One of Them, and Here’s My Best Advice For You!

Sponsored by Rentokil Terminix

Jessica Graves. Photo courtesy of Terminix.

Jessica Graves. Photo courtesy of Terminix.

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Fairygodboss
June 21, 2024 at 3:3PM UTC

Jessica Graves has a background in breaking barriers. For instance, as she tells us, only 6.5% of Marines are women — and this statistic didn’t intimidate her. 

“My proudest career move and my proudest moment will always be the day I graduated from boot camp,” shares Graves. “After 13 weeks of doing things I never dreamed I could do, I earned the right to wear the eagle, globe, and anchor, and earned the privilege of going to serve my country. I proved a lot of people wrong and not only graduated from boot camp, but did so with honors and a rifle range record!”

Then, when she made it to the fleet, Graves tells us she “worked tirelessly to show I belonged there as much as the next Marine.” While this was not easy, Graves emphasizes that her effort was certainly worth it — and it helped provide her with the skills she needed to transition into a civilian career, and break barriers there, too!

“In the beginning, my transition from military to a civilian career definitely had its challenges,” Graves tells Fairygodboss. “Going from a very structured day-to-day life where every person had a common goal to more of a ‘for each their own’ mentality was difficult… I kept looking for the perfect fit that would give me the same challenges, while also keeping me fulfilled.”

Ultimately, she found that fit with Terminix, where she currently works as a corporate talent acquisition specialist. In this role, she’s translated her values of honor, courage, and commitment from the Marines as well as her desire to excel and not back away from challenges into a successful career.

We caught up with Graves to learn more about her role at Terminix, as well as the company’s Business Resource Groups that keep employee culture front and center.

Tell us a bit about your  job. What’s your current role, how long have you been in this role and what’s your day-to-day like?

I’ve been in this role for a little over two years. My “day job” consists of supporting our corporate recruiting team; I provide white glove service to our candidates, which involves everything from scheduling interviews to sending offer letters and answering any questions I can about joining Terminix. 

My goal is to give candidates the best experience possible so they can’t help but want to come to work for us. For the past few months, I’ve also had the opportunity to assist in projects related to our merger with Rentokil. This has allowed me to meet and work with colleagues from both organizations, which has been awesome!

What advice do you have for someone new to your industry?

Get involved! Terminix has so much to offer and will support you in growth and improvement, both personally and professionally. Now that we are merging with Rentokil, we will be the biggest pest control company in the world, but our goal is to be the best!

In general, what’s your favorite aspect of Terminix’s culture, and how does your company help you succeed?

I love our culture — the fact that we have nine Business Resource Groups to support our colleagues is incredible to me.

I’ve had the honor over the last two years to chair our Women’s Business Resource Group. To offer support and hope and insight to our colleagues through various events and discussions is definitely one of the most rewarding things I’ve had the chance to participate in. In addition to that, our leadership team within the Full Talent Pipeline group (FTP is an HR function responsible for recruiting, onboarding, learning & development, and career progression) is made up of some of the most encouraging, supportive, and insightful leaders I’ve had the opportunity to work with. They are always encouraging our growth and development. 

What’s your #1 piece of advice for veterans, and especially other female veterans, who are looking for jobs right now?

Stay vigilant. Stay motivated. Stay true to yourself. We have so much to offer aside from the skills our job requires. Our sense of loyalty and determination are things that can’t be taught. It is what will make you succeed and stand out. Don’t settle; find your niche and rock it out.



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