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Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at IBM committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. IBM is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company.
Much of America doesn't understand what it means to be a member of the National Guard or the Reserves. But today's citizen soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are exceptionally skilled at balancing their military duties with their family lives and civilian jobs. Meanwhile, it takes an understanding, flexible, and supportive employer to ensure that America's part-time service members have the tools to succeed in both careers.
Josh Atencio knew he had found a great opportunity when he accepted a position at IBM after graduating from Minnesota State University, Mankato. But the Minnesota National Guardsman didn't know how well IBM would support his job as a citizen soldier.
"When I was in school, balancing my coursework with drill and work was tough, but I made it work," he says. "When I graduated and started working at IBM, I had no idea how challenging it would be to balance both my military and civilian careers. But my teammates and leadership at IBM are incredibly supportive, and give me the flexibility I need to ensure I can be successful in both arenas."
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.
Editor's Note: The following story was authored by Robert Half and highlights a veteran at Robert Half. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Robert Half is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Like many veterans transitioning from a military to a civilian career, Kimberly Stiener-Murphy was at a crossroads when she left the Air Force. She hadn't planned for what's next after her service to our country — something, in retrospect, she wishes she had done. She struggled for months to find a new career path. She considered applying for a job as a prison security guard. She also thought about going back to college using the GI Bill.
With an estimated 200,000 service members exiting the military in the United States annually, post-service career placement is a critical issue. One of the biggest obstacles veterans face is translating their military skills for a civilian job market.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at T-Mobile committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. T-Mobile is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company
"I want to be a point of contact for any veteran who wants to come to work for T-Mobile," says Otto Chan-Arias. The former airman's open-door policy to military personnel supports that of the company, which is dedicated to hiring 10,000 more veterans and military spouses by 2023. Born in Costa Rica and raised in Washington state, Otto eventually found his way from the Air Force to working as a Senior Unix Systems and Design Engineer at T-Mobile.
Here he takes us from his experiences on the battlefield to resetting his civilian career with the help of company benefits – and how he plans to pay it forward to help others making similar job and life transitions post-service.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Hyatt committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Hyatt is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
In 1986, a young Samanthia Shilo — 90 pounds and "very girly" by her own description — was struggling up "Mount Mother" with a 25-pound pack on her back. She had enlisted with the Army Reserves to take the financial pressure off her family as she pursued her college degree, but now, in Army basic training, her motivation was the pressure she had placed on herself.
"It took me two weeks to climb that hill," Shilo recalls. "But it was more of a mental challenge than anything else. And after you go through that, and rolling over in the mud, and tear gas chambers, there's nothing that you feel like you cannot achieve — absolutely nothing."
The determination and personal discipline Shilo forged to get herself through her Army training are still with her as the director of sales and marketing at Hyatt House Houston/Galleria, an extended stay hotel in a highly competitive hotel market. Shilo says her time in the Army Reserves taught her to stay calm under pressure, manage her time effectively, exercise self-discipline, and relate to people from different cultural backgrounds, skills she now uses daily.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at The Home Depot committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, The Home Depot is a client of Hireprupose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Cramped inside a U.S. Army tank with three of his teammates in Cold War Germany, a young Tony Harrison felt the thrill of driving 60 tons of steel across the frigid ground.
He and a friend had joined the Army together in the summer of 1987, hoping to contribute to their country's security while securing a future for themselves through the G.I. Bill. But little did Harrison know that the lessons in teamwork, organization, and personal discipline that he learned in the Army would provide valuable lessons for business administration.
In a team of four, collaboration was essential for success. Harrison quickly learned to get along with people very different from himself, communicate effectively, and appreciate the value of roles.
"I enjoyed the discipline that the Army taught me, along with the lifelong friendships," he says. "It helped me to be a more well-rounded individual that could bring structure and organization to a unit."
Over time, he rose to the advanced position of tank gunner, and was assigned additional inventory responsibilities. In his free time, Harrison loved traveling throughout Europe, exploring Paris and London, and watching bullfights in Spain.