My unexpected path from the Air Force to a tech career
November 4, 2019
November 4, 2019
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Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan them—and that can be a good thing.
My path to a career in technology has taken a couple twists and turns.
I was an Intelligence Analyst for the United States Air Force, from March 2015 to April 2019, working on cyberintelligence missions.
Today, I’m a System Developer Associate with Accenture, working with industry-leading software, like Salesforce.
The military provided exposure to careers I never considered. And the Accenture Apprentice Program provided exposure to the world of tech.
In 2015, I put my pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in biology on hold due to financial reasons. I talked with my wife about options, including joining the military.
I was accepted into the Air Force and was thrilled to be selected as a military intelligence analyst. I was anxious when I learned I would be working on cyberintelligence. At the time, I had absolutely no understanding of what working with computers and code meant, but this was my opportunity to try it out.
During my final few months in the Air Force, I explored a variety of potential careers for life after the military. Since I developed an interest in software and development, I thought I’d try an apprenticeship.
I looked at apprentice programs with a few companies, but it seemed that most didn’t know what to do with veterans like me. Almost every option available was in fields like construction or real estate.
Accenture was the only company I could find that offered a technology apprenticeship. I was thrilled. To me, Accenture seemed like the engine powering the world, helping companies figure out how to use the latest and greatest technologies.
Today, I’m on a new path. I am working on developing code for Accenture, taking professional development courses and finishing my bachelor’s degree in software engineering at Arizona State University.
The apprentice program helped me acclimate to a civilian work environment, which is completely different from military culture.
Accenture gave me the time and education to help me transition from a military service member to a veteran professional at a global tech company. The program was the door to a totally new world that I had only been observing from outside.
The level of exposure and relevant experiences were amazing and immediate.
Right from the beginning, I worked with software I was not exposed to in my work with the military but is being used by millions of people around the world.
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Accenture culture is like the military's: camaraderie and a shared sense of purpose.
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Accenture is a great place for veterans to build a career.
In a way, our culture is like the military’s: an atmosphere of camaraderie and a shared sense of purpose as we build great products.
I’ve been offered a wide range of opportunities to grow my career. The Military Employee Resource Group also allows me to find, connect and engage with other veterans within the company.
In the military, we often hear of veterans who miss a sense of purpose or that they landed the wrong job at the wrong company. Accenture has been a fantastic place for me to come to work every day. The culture is incredibly inclusive and the work-life balance is amazing.
Through career counseling, mentorship and a commitment to ongoing training and professional development, you’re encouraged to go as far as your ambition takes you. And I love that Accenture thrives on diversity of thought and perspectives.
My advice: Don’t be afraid to ask for help, give advice or try something new. You never know where it’ll take you.
Drive your career forward. Innovate and transform the way the world works and lives with the work you do every day.
Find your fit with Accenture.
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