I enlisted in the Army while I was in college, working on my degree in Cognitive Science. After college, I worked as a marketing specialist for a startup company for two years before I deployed to Kuwait with my unit. By then I was a Sergeant, and I was in charge of a small team that monitored operation performance of US military seaports.
When I came home after a year and a half, I was proud of my experience and my achievement. I was a Warrior Citizen with Army leadership and civilian educational background under my belt. I was confident that I could land a new job soon, and I started applying around. But I quickly found out it wasn't easy. As I was rejected from one position after another, it became clear to me that I lacked the skill and experience that employers looked for in today's job market. I was out of work for more than a year.
When I finally learned about Veterans2Work and their program which opened career opportunities in Salesforce, my path became clear. I started to soak up CRM knowledge as much as I could. I had all the resources that I needed: Veterans2Work provided the career guidance, resources, and support, from getting me oriented and trained, to help me land a job. Salesforce provided the training, making all the study materials available on their Trailhead website.
I studied hard, and within a month after the in-class training, I got certified as a Salesforce Administrator. In the next month I locked up my Force.com Developer certification. By then I received lots of emails from recruiters, but their talks did not get any further when they found out I didn't have the experience the clients required. To help me become more employable, Veterans2Work arranged workplace learning experience. They also introduced me to employer partners who would provide workplace learning as a path to full-time employment.
Veterans2Work also paired me up with my mentor, Eddie Lemus, a Marine Corps veteran at Workday with lots of industry experience. He gave me advice about what to look for in my new employment and how to prepare for interviews. Many of Veterans2Work's Vets2Cloud alums also gladly shared their knowledge and resources. All of them being prior service, they had a personal understanding of the difficulty I faced looking for a job.
One of the employers Veterans2Work introduced me to was Apttus. They helped me with the interviewing, and two months after graduating from Veterans2Work's Career Launch Program, I started on my first day of work at Apttus. To this day, I have enjoyed working with an employer that has given me the room to develop my skills and grow as a professional. I'm glad to have successfully transitioned to a career where every day is challenging and rewarding. And I am truly grateful for Veterans2Work - their help was absolutely indispensable to get me where I am today.