Verizon recognizes the value of veterans

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(From left to right) Robert Brandt, Veronica Villegas, Hector Milan

(From left to right) Robert Brandt, Veronica Villegas, Hector Milan

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.

Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.

By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.

Veterans at Verizon

When searching for new candidates, area operations manager Robert Brandt, who served in the Marine Corps, looks for veterans who can lead and motivate others. He advises other hiring managers at Verizon to do the same.

"When looking at resumes, I look for keywords and experiences that show me this person was in the military," he said. "Most of the time, their service comes out naturally during an interview, but I may ask a pointed question to encourage them to share." Taking it a step further, Brandt advises veterans to really sell the value they can bring to the company when interviewing for a position. "Don't hold back on selling yourself," he added.

A Day in the Life Program

Army veteran Veronica Villegas from Verizon's Military and Diversity recruitment team, is passionate about the company's ongoing commitment to service members. After her years of service, Villegas completed her MBA and returned to the corporate world with the goal of being a part of something bigger.

"Verizon is a military-friendly place that shares my values," she said. "The environment is collaborative."

As the driving force behind Verizon's A Day in the Life program, she says, Verizon shows veterans how much their leadership and training is valued at the company.

As part of Verizon's A Day in the Life program, veterans shadow an employee for 12 weeks. The veteran sits down with the hiring manager on a consistent basis to discuss their experience and what they have learned so far. These discussions often turn into a job interview as the veteran and hiring manager really get to know each other.

Oftentimes, when veterans apply to jobs during their transition to civilian life, they don't know what kind of job would best suit them. In addition, many job postings don't provide enough details about the job. Through its various resources and programs, Verizon strives to match each veteran with the right job for them. The field operations career, for example, is a perfect match for most veterans because of their leadership skills, Villegas said.

"I meet with them every few weeks to review what they are learning," Brandt said. "By week six, we like to have them making decisions in the role, so by week 12 we can offer them a job and they can jump right in."

After completing the program, one veteran recounts various similarities between their new role and their role in the military: "I didn't realize how similar the military is to this job," they said. "Now I can look forward to the next stage in life. Before this, I was scared and didn't know what to expect."

Building Confidence through the Hiring our Heroes Fellowship

Hector Milan enlisted in the Army in 1993 and spent his first 10 years working in logistics. After a three-year rotation as a recruiter, he opted for a permanent change in his career path and spent the next 15 years in the recruiting field.

When Milan retired from the Army after 25 years, he was anxious about his transition back into civilian life. His fear of the unknown and apprehension regarding corporate America were evident in the beginning stages of his job search. He recalls feeling uneasy when he first spoke with his Verizon military recruiter.

To ease his transition, Milan participated, via Verizon, in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship program, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative. This nationwide program matches service members with participating companies to smooth the transition from their military to their civilian careers.

"When the military recruiter called and asked if I had ever considered working for Verizon, I immediately thought, 'I don't want to sell phones!'" he said.

As he was given the opportunity to learn more about the field operations manager position, Milan was able to draw direct connections to his years as an Army recruiter: "Every single piece of this job correlated to my job in the Army," he said. As a result, he jumped at the opportunity to also participate in the Day in the Life program to ensure his interest in the position.

After learning firsthand what the position involved, Milan was drawn in. The Day in the Life Program and the opportunity to shadow a manager for a day helped ease the transition for him and made him excited to begin his new career at Verizon.

"If I didn't have that Day in the Life, I wouldn't have known this position was available to someone like myself," he said. "You have perceptions of what a company is, and that day opened up a whole new world."

To join Milan and over a dozen other veterans who have chosen to experience A Day in the Life, contact us at VZ-TA-MILITARY@verizon.com

This post was sponsored by Verizon