FDM consultant Marcus Wichael has been through many ups and downs; but he never forgets the most important thing – to smile and stay positive! Marcus talks us through his experience prior to FDM and how he is grateful for everything life has thrown his way, especially the ‘golden ticket’ that FDM provided him in terms of transitioning into the corporate world after leaving the army. Since completing his training, Marcus has been placed with JP Morgan in Tampa, Florida as an Application Support Analyst.
Prior to joining FDM, I enlisted in the US Army National Guard alongside my twin brother when we were seniors in high school. My hard work resulted in being ranked up to Sergeant, and learning many valuable life lessons along the way. One of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned is to always be thankful for what we are given in life, because it can so easily be taken away.
I was introduced to the importance of gratitude when I was in high school. I got involved with playing the piano while my father was sick. A keyboard was given to me as a gift and I began playing while he was on bed rest to help soothe his pain. At first, I wasn’t very good, but I was persistent and learned to play skillfully in about three years. My father did not have the ability to communicate with me by speaking, but when I played the piano, he would smile. With that, I began to learn as many songs as I could for him to hear throughout his last days.
My father passed in 2008, and I was so angry that I ended up putting the piano down for a bit. I was still young and I didn’t fully understand what had happened or why. Shortly after I was visiting a friend at my local hospital and I saw a piano. I sat down and began to play, and after a few minutes, patients and nurses began coming out of their rooms to listen. I fell in love with the instrument all over again, mainly by the reactions of the others listening. I remember one patient crying and hugging me because she was so touched by the piece I had played. The music brought her happiness, even if only for a moment, and that is my goal when playing; to make the listeners happy and to remind them that everything is only temporary, and that life is so great! I began to visit the hospital regularly on weekends to play for patients and their visitors.
These experiences whilst playing the piano helped me realise that we never truly know what those we interact with are going through, so we should always be kind to everyone. I have a ton of energy and I try to share that with the people I work with. I laugh, make jokes and attempt to make those around me laugh and smile at least once every day. Sometimes that’s all people need—a genuine smile and a small reminder to help them feel good about themselves.
Transitioning back into the corporate world after my time in the army has actually been very easy. My experience with the FDM academy in Reston was absolutely amazing My first three weeks were challenging, due to the fact that I had never used SQL or UNIX before, but it was an experience that truly prepared me for my role on-site. The FDM curriculum is well thought out, and the trainers are extremely skilled and knowledgeable. I went out of my way to try and get to know everyone during my time in the academy, and I ended up making lifelong friends.
FDM’s training is not easy, but if you are willing to dedicate yourself and invest every bit of your attention to success, the return is well worth it. One thing the military does not offer is corporate-level experience, which makes it challenging for veterans to land their dream jobs after serving. FDM is the golden ticket for veterans like myself, providing an incredible two years of corporate experience. Plus, no previous IT experience is required. I highly recommend FDM to anyone looking to find their dream job in tech or business.
Throughout my experiences, I’ve learned that in life, we will have many ups and downs. I like to remind everyone I meet to never give up, and continue to push yourself through your current struggles. Success is just around the corner.
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Read more articles about our Veterans and their transition into the corporate world with FDM: