Tell me about your experience at the US Military.
I joined the military in 2005, three weeks after I finished high school. I was an Intelligence Analyst with the 66 MI Group and 1st Infantry Division. During my six years of active duty, I was stationed in Germany and Kansas, with a year deployment to Iraq. I then transferred to the reserves so I could complete my bachelor and master’s degrees. I continued my work as an analyst, and then became a chaplain’s assistant. In business language, I delivered dozens of risk management projects and became a scrum master to several groups. All in all, it was a formative time in my life, I made lifelong friends and learned a variety of skills.
Why did you join FDM?
After I immigrated to the UK, I was actively looking for work which led me to FDM’s Ex-Forces programme. I decided to join because of the promise to help me train and transition to a corporate environment as well as the two-year commitment. From my Father-in-law, I also learned how valuable the PRINCE2, Scrum Master and BCS qualifications are in the industry. Some view the two-year commitment in a negative light, whereas I view it as job security and a blessing.
How did you find your transition from the military to the corporate world?
My transition was difficult for a multitude of reasons, yet worked out well. By the age of 31, this will be my third career, and I hope to thrive in it. I immigrated from the US during the summer of 2018 and changed career fields from both the military and the religious non-profit fields. It has taken time to adjust to everything, but all is well now. My sense of urgency, commitment, discipline and resilience has helped me tremendously.
What advice would you give other service leavers who are interested in tech?
I would advise patience and resilience. Learn what you can, adapt and overcome. It is a growing field, with a lot of potential for growth and excellence. I can honestly say it is never boring and IT requires a passion to engage with people, even if it is a small team you are on. It also requires a hunger to keep learning. Some things never change, but the context changes slightly. That context is where you will find the greatest of allies and detractors to your work. Take nothing for granted and write down all your assumptions so they can be challenged. Only that way will you complete your mission.
What has been the best thing about your time with FDM?
As usual, I am torn between my social butterfly response and nerd response. My social self was excited to meet fellow ex-forces transitioning to a new field. My nerd self was ecstatic to learn about excel, project management, business analysis and agile software development.
Would you recommend FDM to others?
I would highly recommend FDM; the first week alone was worth joining FDM, the rest was dessert with whipped cream and fruit toppings. I learned so much about sales pitches and interview techniques. Never would I have learned or been able to practice so much anywhere else. In my past, I used Excel extensively and I still learned something new at FDM. The whole environment helped me transition into a mindset of success and self-worth in a corporate setting. This was an intimidating thought and I am grateful to have overcome it.
Have you recently left or about to leave the Forces? The FDM Ex-Forces Programme could be your next step.
If you enjoyed this post, check out similar stories from our blog:
- Marcus Wichael: Military Man, Piano Man, and IT Professional
- Veteran Career Stories: Aullonzo Thomas
- Ex-Forces Career Stories: Gideon Henry