News | March 2, 2022

Employee Reflection: Connor Ryan

DLA Disposition Services Resource Analyst, Kaiserslautern, Germany

A man posing.
DLA Disposition Services Resource Analyst Connor Ryan.
A man posing.
220302-D-D0441-1235
DLA Disposition Services Resource Analyst Connor Ryan.
Photo By: Courtesy photo
VIRIN: 220302-D-D0441-1235
Where are you from? 

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and went to school at Wittenberg University. I first started thinking about federal service while participating in the National Security Education Program, which led to a job with the Defense Human Resources Activity in Alexandria, Virginia. I really liked that job, and I was nervous about leaving because I had great relationships with my coworkers. Luckily, I found an equally great team here at DLA!

Describe your current job.

I am a Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPR) generator and Accountable Receipt Official (ARO). My main responsibilities are to work with our trading partners to create and close out funding documents and to record the receipt of goods and services in our accounting system.

How long have you worked for the federal government, including military service?

About four years.

How long have you worked for DLA Disposition Services?

Only about six months.

Any DLA memories worth sharing?

I had a great time at our last barbecue. I was just expecting some microwaved hotdogs and soda, but it turns out we have a lot of great cooks here and it was the best spread I’ve ever seen at a work event!

What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction and why? 

I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but I really enjoy finding ways to automate our reports, researching SOPs, documenting best practices, things like that. At my last place we really emphasized Continuous Process Improvement and it’s been fun applying what I learned in my new role.

Any good advice someone has given you?

Every mentor I’ve ever had has said something similar: you can learn from every mistake.

What kind(s) of training and education helps your work performance in your current role?

I had to take a lot of formal training to get system access and my roles assigned, but I have also benefited from hands-on mentorship in Excel. Our Lead RA set aside an hour or two a week to go over some of the more advanced features using real life data sets, which was extremely helpful. I have already been able to build new tools that allow us to get our work done more efficiently.

What would you say has been your major contributions to your organization this year in your job?

As a new employee, I think my major contribution has been getting up to speed and learning as much as possible before our experienced staff rotate back home. My goal is to absorb as much of their expertise as possible while we’re working together.

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them?

Unlike a lot of my coworkers, I didn’t have any ties to the military before becoming a DOD civilian, so I would tell the warfighter that I always benefit from learning what their service looks like and please let me know if there is anything I can do differently in my job to be more effective in meeting their needs.

Where do you see yourself five years from now? 

I would love to stay in Germany for the maximum of five years, but in the long run I really want to get back to the Midwest. That was part of my reason for applying to DLA, since they have a large presence in that part of the country.

Tell us something that most people might not know about you or your directorate?

Growing up in Columbus, I used to drive by the Defense Supply Center on East Broad Street all the time. I never knew what it was until I started looking into DOD jobs in the Midwest and learned about DLA and its mission!

What was your first job?

I was probably one of the last kids to have a paper route—I don’t think that job even exists anymore! As far as my first “real” job, I developed photos at a Walgreens (actual film!).

Any passions or hobbies outside of work?

All these lockdowns have made me want to be more outdoorsy. While I’m in Europe, I really want to go to Iceland. And if I renew here, I might use my home leave to see the Southwest.

Any favorite quotes?

“The result of your recent COVID-19 PCR Test is… Negative.”

What’s the most thrilling/adventurous thing you have ever done?

Driving a motorbike on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam. I don’t recommend it and I wouldn’t do it again. Just get a taxi!

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DLA Disposition Services is celebrating its 50th Anniversary by reflecting on its mission, culture, and workforce. This series is highlighting leadership and employees throughout the agency, across the globe. Visit the historical page to learn more about the MSC and its history.