Editor’s Note: Mike Miller is a guest OnQ blogger and part of “QCIP Warriors Class 14-07”—the seventh internship class moving forward from the Qualcomm Corporate Integration Program for Warrior Veterans. If you have questions about the program, email QCIP-WarriorsInfo@qualcomm.com.
I’ll admit it: before this program, I was the guy who knew that Qualcomm’s name was on the stadium occupied by the San Diego Chargers. And I knew the company did something with cellphones. Regrettably, that was about it. At the time, I was getting out of the military and really didn’t have a need or desire to know what this company was about.
Whew—talk about a first impression.
I’ve just completed the seventh iteration of the Qualcomm Corporate Integration Program for Warrior Veterans (QCIP-Warriors). It’s an eight-week “internship” designed to expose veterans to the corporate world, provide key experience operating in a business environment and empower us to go out and be successful in our own personal job hunt.
Getting out of the U.S. Navy, I was confident that I would be able to easily translate my military experience as a communicator and land a big corporate job making six figures a year. Not even close. I couldn’t even land an interview. And when I finally did, the company I interviewed with pulled their offer due to some bad financial news coming out of their first quarter. Needless to say, that grand success I had dreamed of never materialized into reality.
Obviously, I needed some help.
It’s not that we veterans are unskilled or socially awkward, but the military engrains an ethos of humility, quiet confidence and team-before-self into our very being. All very noble and admirable character traits, but they create a sort of shell that can make it challenging to sell one’s self in the job hunt.
The Spring 2014 QCIP-Warriors program provided me and 13 other participants with the key intangibles needed to be successful looking for work.
For the past two months, we attended workshops on resume building, networking, interview techniques and personality discovery that helped us build a professional bravado and self-esteem to be able to sell ourselves to any job we’re passionate enough to go after. All of this education while also working side-by-side with department managers in our individual areas of expertise within Qualcomm, where we each were allowed to contribute daily to the success of the organization.
The combination of staffing professionals, Qualcomm’s military veterans, department managers and countless others have all left life-changing impressions on us and have truly set us up for success. I could not be more grateful for this experience.
Many organizations claim to be military-friendly, say they support our troops and that they want to help when veterans come back home. Qualcomm walks the talk. It’s one thing to thank a veteran for their service; it’s another to offer tangible solutions that can make a difference in the life of a service member. Military service isn’t forever, and at some point we have to join the rest of the American workforce. Qualcomm has given each of us a renewed motivation and vigor to go out and conquer the professional world.
One job interview at a time.
Throughout my QCIP-Warrior experience, I wrote a blog chronicling my transition along the way. You can read more at: www.thiscivilianlife.com