The Oracle Veteran Internship Program has been one of the best experiences I never knew I needed. How did this story start for me? I was scrolling through Facebook when someone posted about the internship program. At the time, I was taking some time off work to finish my bachelor’s degree. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I also knew I wanted to try something new. This was that new.
At 19, I enlisted in the Army National Guard. When I got out of the Army Reserve in 2017, I was still immersed in the military culture because my spouse was still on active duty in the Army. I have been immersed in this military life since the beginning of my adulthood. Recently, my spouse finally retired. Now, we’re trying to navigate the civilian sector and the cultural differences that exist outside of the service. For me, Oracle’s Veteran Internship Program makes its entrance here.
The Oracle Veteran Internship Program is designed for transitioning military members, military spouses, and veterans to gain corporate culture experience. During the internship, the Diversity and Inclusion leaders provide insight into how to interact. They also highlight the importance of working with civilian counterparts, while learning how to be civilians in the corporate world.
What makes the Oracle Veteran Internship Program so great? During the program, you have contact with several levels of leadership as you complete your tasks. They hold weekly meetings to assist with breaking free from the military culture. They also encourage us to interact and connect with those outside of the military community. As a veteran and spouse, I found my perfect opportunity to learn the importance of connecting with others.
I took a chance and applied for the program. I had no idea what to expect, but I submitted my information. At the time, I was unemployed and weeks away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree in leadership. I thought that the internship would provide practical, hands-on experience in product marketing and further expand my marketing skills. What I didn’t expect was access to the level of training and guidance that would help me gain a clearer understanding of the corporate world.
The top five things I learned during my time with the Oracle Veteran Internship Program and the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Tech Product Marketing team include the following points:
Networking is key. Our fearless leader, Gerry, taught us about more than just Oracle. He shared that networking is necessary for the civilian sector, which I have found to be true. When you’re in the military, networking is helpful, but you don’t necessarily learn that until later as you grow within the ranks. Oracle ensures that you have the option to network and provides opportunities for you to do so. Every person I’ve worked with has been beyond helpful and connected me with others, allowing me to grow my knowledge and my network.
Oracle cares about user experience. During my time with the OCI Tech Product Marketing team, I worked on multiple projects, some of which might seem tedious to others. However, each project is completed with attention to detail at a level that puts others to shame. Each detail is carefully mapped out and designed to streamline the process of becoming a part of the Oracle family.
Oracle cares about its people. Oracle is full of innovators and creative thinkers who aren’t afraid to think outside the box to provide a wide array of services to their customers. Oracle’s culture is amazing. As a new member of the team, people were so kind even though we didn’t necessarily work together. The Employee Resource Group also works to support diversity and inclusion for all its employees.
Leadership is nonoptional. Coming into the Veteran Internship Program as a 32-year-old intern, I expected to be treated like an entry-level intern. Instead, the team I work with welcomed me with open arms and immediately expected me to step up as a leader. My manager allowed me to showcase my talent by tasking me with major projects that have a lasting impact, instead of tedious busy work to pass the time.
Oracle meets you where you are. I applied to this position knowing that I might not have the exact experience that they were looking for. What surprised me is that I didn’t know that I would get the opportunity to lean into project management. Most of the projects I have been working on, I have never done before, which has provided a huge learning opportunity. Even though this area was new to me, I have never felt silly for asking for assistance or clarification on the projects. Leadership welcomes inquiries because learning helps employees strengthen their skills.
The Oracle Veteran Internship Program has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in my professional career. I’ve learned so much about myself, working in the civilian world, and with Oracle. If given the opportunity to do it again, I would without hesitation.
To learn more about the Oracle Veteran Internship Program, see Military and Veterans in Diversity and Inclusion.