Rosa Hernandez served as an Operations Specialist in the Navy for ten years, rising to the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. “I joined the military for college and to help out my family,” she relates. The skills that she picked up during her time in the Navy were many, but the most valuable ones were learning to be flexible and versatile, and to work with a team to achieve the same goal. “My service taught me to never expect an easy day.”
She firmly believes those skills make veterans great hires for any type of situation. “Veterans make good employees because we already have the skills that employers are looking for. We also have leadership training to better command our subordinates. Companies should hire veterans because we are highly retainable.”
In need of a new career herself, Hernandez signed up to attend a RecruitMilitary career fair in Jacksonville. She had researched several companies ahead of time, and looking for their booths, when she was approached by a recruiter from the University of Southern Florida (USF). “I thought they wanted me to attend their school, but I was wrong. Instead, their recruiter asked me what type of job I was hoping to find and asked for my resume. I moved on and visited more booths. When I finished I took one more walk around to make sure I hadn’t missed any companies, when I was pulled aside by the dean of the same school. He said he’d read my resume and that I was perfect for the opening they had, and asked me to call him to schedule an interview.” Hernandez got to the parking lot and heard her name again. It was the dean asking if she could interview on the spot. She was hired later that day, and is now enjoying her role as a receptionist at USF.
She advises fellow veterans seeking a career transition to be patient. “The first job may not be the best job. Do your research before you go to a job fair and know who you are talking to.”