Berkeley Lab’s Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) recently hosted the third “Veterans’ Day on the Job” event for approximately 30 participants in the NPower program. NPower is a national program, with a Bay Area chapter serving veterans who are eager to transfer their military experience and develop new skills toward a career in technology.
Their visit on October 12, 2016 included a tour of the Advanced Light Source with Tom Scarvie and Doug Taube of the ALS IT group; a “veteran’s perspective” talk by Navy veteran Mike Elmore in the IT Division; a professional development workshop facilitated by Sr. Recruiter Bill Singh; and a networking session with Berkeley Lab’s Veteran Employee Resource Group (VERG) and IT Managers. Colette Flood from Workforce Development & Education (WD&E) also shared information about internship opportunities.
“The civilian work world has a different culture, vocabulary, and expectations which need to be learned by military veterans,” said Victor Aguirre, NPower Career Specialist. “By attending these site visits to technology-focused organizations, they become exposed to the civilian work environment.” Aguirre also shared some of the veterans’ take-aways from the recruitment presentation by Singh. “Several students mentioned how invaluable the immersive recruiting experience was for them. They learned a great degree of insight regarding what hiring managers are looking for in resumes and interviews; what additional skills they would need in order to develop a strong career in IT; and how to leverage their networks.” A few student testimonials are listed below.
This initiative is a part of DIO and VERG’s commitment to reach out to the veteran community, and ensure a veteran-friendly work environment for employees and prospective applicants. VERG is open to all employees at the Lab, with Facilities Division Director Reva Nickelson serving as the Executive Sponsor. For more information, please contact VERG Co-Chairs Phil Weiss (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rich Celestre (email@example.com).
(Top-right photo by Marilyn Chung; bottom-left photo by Jake Kemnec)
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Veteran Testimonial #1: “Visiting LBNL helped me to see what a possible career path in IT would look like, and to understand the importance of the IT skills that I have learned. The ALS tour showed me that IT is a critical component to their operation. I am excited at the possibility of applying my new IT skillset at a place like LBNL!”
Veteran Testimonial #2: “I really enjoyed hearing from Mike and Bill in the afternoon. As a veteran, it isn’t always clear to me how my military skills would translate in a civilian environment. They both showed me how I could take my military experience, along with my IT skills, and approach my LinkedIn profile and the job search process. The perspective that they have provided has given me more confidence in my ability to find a position in IT.”