Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Meet Our Inaugural Bunker Fellows


Meet Our Inaugural Bunker Fellows

In 2015, the Department of Defense announced a new initiative to allow service members to participate in internships during their last six months of active duty service in order to facilitate a more successful transition into their civilian careers. In response to this initiative, Bunker Labs has created a Transition Fellowship to provide a select group of transitioning service members with internship opportunities, professional educational, and networking experience.
Alex_Panosian.jpgAlex Panosian
Alex grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a BS in International Relations and was selected as a Kimsey Scholar and Freedom Scholar. During his Army career, he managed airborne operations and training events for over 900 soldiers annually in multiple countries. Alex plans on attending a full-time MBA program after his transition, and he has already been accepted at Chicago Booth, Northwestern Kellogg, and MIT Sloan. During his fellowship, Alex has been interning at the private equity firm Waterton, where he is working with various divisions to gain experience in capital management, acquisition and business operations, business operations. He hopes to transition into a career in private equity with the goal to eventually manage his own fund or lead his own organization. 
James_Lance_Cunningham.jpgJames (Lance) Cunningham
Lance is a graduate of West Point where he received his BS in Civil Engineering as well as Army Ranger School. His military career culminated with his 2013 deployment to Afghanistan where he led his task force’s main effort and was awarded a medal for valor for successfully leading a team of Army combat engineers and Army Green Berets to rescue a surrounded Afghan Special Forces unit. Recently Lance completed his MS in Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T and is currently earning his MBA at Booth. During his fellowship, Lance is working at Bunker Labs on his tech startup, Speak Easy, a web plug-in which incorporates language learning into your daily online activities. He says, "The Bunker fellowship has been immensely helpful for not only helping me transition but also helping my entire family transition. Through the veteran network offered by the fellowship, my wife was able to land her dream job at Accenture and through the incubator at the Bunker, I've been able to launch my own startup."
William_Dix.jpgWilliam Dix
Will Dix is originally from southwestern Michigan, where he attended Grand Valley State University and earned a Bachelors of Science in Public Administration and Political Science. Will completed two tours of duty as a Naval officer in San Diego, California, where he was hand-selected to develop a proof-of-concept training model designed to prepare teams of sailors and marines for counter-piracy missions. As a Navy liaison, Will planned and executed numerous maritime security operations in coordination with Philippines, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates military forces.
Will recently earned his master’s degree in Health Communication from Northwestern University and he is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School Of Business. During his Bunker fellowship, Will has served as the Chief of Staff for Prevail, facilitating major contract negotiations, implementing focused marketing strategies and conducted hiring to double the size of the team. He will also be interning at Aon, where he will be part of a mergers and acquisitions team, helping consult and facilitate major deal negotiations. He explained, "Three months into the fellowship, I can say it has been one of the most valuable experiences I have ever been a part of. It has opened my eyes to the incredibly large network of veterans willing to help people like me make the optimal transition to a civilian career." He hopes to transition to a career in consulting or venture capital, with a focus on the healthcare industry.

Karl_Schoch.pngKarl Schoch
Karl is from Cincinnati, Ohio and attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated ninth in his class and received his BS in International History. Karl served as an intelligence officer, developing innovative targeting techniques and also managed a team that conducted partnered training operations in Poland and Latvia. Through the Bunker Fellowship, Karl has secured a role at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman in Boston beginning later this month. "Bunker Labs was extremely helpful for me in introducing me to Oliver Wyman, helping me work through the recruitment process, and connecting me with employees who helped me prepare for the interviews," he said. This fall, Karl will be pursuing an MBA and hopes to transition into a career as an entrepreneur, with the goal of eventually starting and running his own company. 
Rupnow-Headshot.pngScott Rupnow
Scott Rupnow grew up in Hudson, Michigan. He attended West Point where he majored in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Aeronautical Systems. During Scott's military career, he built schools in the Philippines, worked in the US Embassy in Peru on a counter-narcotics team, briefly deployed to Afghanistan, and worked aboard a US aircraft carrier in the North Arabian Gulf, conducting airstrikes against ISIS.
Scott is using his time in the Transition Fellowship to incubate his startup, Speak Easy, at Bunker Labs. Scott is responsible for business development and strategy and is currently focused on incorporating Speak Easy and converting Speak Easy's provisional patent to a utility. He explained, "Before the Bunker Fellowship existed, transitioning veterans were forced to take leaps of faith when choosing a career. For me, the Fellowship has greatly reduced that risk by allowing me to explore my options before I transition."
Scott will begin the University of Chicago Booth School of Business full-time program in the fall of 2016 and intends to focus on entrepreneurship and strategic management. His ultimate goal is to immediately apply his MBA education to Speak Easy in order to make it a household name.
Headshots-Blake-Jim.jpgJim Rabuck
Jim is originally from Gillette, Wyoming and attended Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where he earned a BS in Biology. Jim served as an Army Infantry Officer working in Intelligence and within Operational Command structures.
Jim is using his time in the Transition Fellowship to incubate his startup, REKi, a mobile app platform that integrates cognitive learning technology to create a personalized travel queue based ones interaction with their social network platforms. While working on REKi at Bunker Labs, Jim is also receiving support from mentors including Kim Cayce and Scott Case. He says, "The program has meant everything to me from encouragement to self discovery. I think it's a catalyst for military members who want to solve a problem they have in a unique and innovative way." Jim looks forward to continuing his career in the National Guard and growing the presence of his startup.
Bunker Labs Austin is currently seeking applicants for the Transition Fellowship. Stay tuned for opportunities in other cities.

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