May is designated as National Military Appreciation Month. This month provides not only an opportunity to say thanks to all those, past and present, who have contributed to the U.S. military, but to also recognize some of the military coworkers we are fortunate to have on our team.
We caught up with Kristy Burciaga (KB - pictured center), Account Manager; Jon Steckelberg (JS - pictured left), Partner Specialist; and Joshua Keller (JK - pictured right), Account Representative; who share the skills they transferred to their career, their proudest moments, and advice for those transitioning into a civilian career.
What skills did you acquire from military that you were able to transfer to your CDW career?
KB: I’ve learned how to be a better communicator through doing many briefings for my unit. This can translate over to customer meetings and presentations on the CDW side.
JS: The biggest thing that I took away from my time in the service is to be a good teammate. I led when I got the opportunity and I followed when I had to, but I always did my best to support my fellow soldiers and the mission.
JK: The military helped me restructure my life and develop a plethora of skills. If I had to select a few, I would say leadership, perseverance, organization, confidence and teamwork.
What moment or accomplishment from your military experience are you most proud of and why?
KB: I am really proud of having the honor to be a leader in the military. I’ve learned so many things about leadership from the military that have made me a well-rounded and more confident person.
JS: While on a training mission in Panama, I was flagged down by a soldier who was participating in jungle training operations (unrelated to my training) who needed help with an injured teammate. I drove my vehicle into the jungle to medevac the injured soldier and his team’s medic and get them back to a medical facility. I didn’t get any award for my actions, but I am proud that I was instrumental in helping when needed.
JK: My job training reservist was highly rewarding. The effect I was able to have on young Marines lives, both personally and professionally, as well as the projects I managed are my greatest sources of pride from that period of my life.
What advice do you have for someone transitioning from a military to civilian career?
KB: Don’t downplay the skills you’ve learned from the military and the things you’ve achieved on the military side. Most of those skills and accomplishments are more transferrable than most people think.
JS: Know how to apply your military knowledge to a civilian setting. A hiring manager may not understand military phrases and job responsibilities, so phrasing your experience in a way that they would is important.
JK: I am still learning some of this for myself, but I would suggest leveraging your experiences and values into your career. In regards to CDW specifically, the support structure here is amazing. Don’t shy away from seeking help or guidance across the organization. CDW operates as a team with open lines of communication. Any veteran or reservist that takes that into account should fit right in and acclimate well.
From community relations efforts to creating opportunities for veterans and providing internal resources like our Military & Allies Resource Council (MARC) business resource group, CDW is committed to supporting veterans and active military in the community, as well as the workplace. Our efforts to attract and retain veterans have been recognized by way of military friendly awards:
Interested in joining CDW's team? Learn more here.