The work may be different, but there are many similarities between work done in the armed forces and the private sector. Many roles require the ability to lead teams, launch programs, and work under pressure, making the 230,000 veterans who leave the military each year an ideal pool to hire from.
We sat down with Douglas Wise, now a product marketing manager for our CX cloud applications. Formerly an all-source intelligence analyst in the United States Air Force and former member of the United States Air Force Honor Guard, he applies many of his skills into launching new software solutions, engaging with customers, and conducting competitive intelligence.
Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us about your military service and how you learned about Oracle.
DW: After enlisting in the Air Force in 2010, I began my active duty military career as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst supporting Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years later, I was selected to become a member of the United States Air Force Honor Guard, where I represented all Airmen past and present in ceremonies ranging from funerals in Arlington National Cemetery to parades across America.
After a year in the Honor Guard, I was then assigned to support the missions of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). While at DIA, I was deployed to Afghanistan to support Special Operations as a Human Intelligence Analyst. Upon returning from deployment, I decided to depart active duty and become a reservist, where I then spent the next three years at the United States Central Command supporting operations throughout Iraq and Syria.
While I was a military reservist, I attended Texas A&M University and graduated in 2018. I set my sights on Silicon Valley. I signed up for a Hiring Our Heroes career fair in Palo Alto, one of the many organizations whose mission is to help veterans transition from active service into the civilian workforce, and saw the big red Oracle sign. Prior to working at Oracle, I always thought oracle was just a database company. However, after speaking with Veteran Talent Advisor George Ploss about Operation Forward March, a veteran hiring initiative for the Solution Engineering organization support cloud applications, I was hooked!
One of the things we care a lot about here is onboarding. How was that process for you?
DW: Oracle greatly assisted in my transition through their onboarding process. I’ve found that many veteran transition programs tend to just be ‘translation’ programs. For example, a lot of programs focus on taking your resume from military speak to corporate lingo. These programs are extremely helpful, but if you are like me and my fellow veteran friends, you are leaving the military to do something different not just get the corporate version of your military job. This is where I believe Oracle’s onboarding differs from other companies. They understand that veterans are equipped with a versatile set of tools to succeed in any role.
Veterans are a blank canvases, we have no bad industry habits, because we are new to the corporate world, and in a transition, the role itself. Furthermore, if there is one thing a veteran is good at… training!
During the Solution Engineering interview process, the hiring managers were looking for veteran candidates who had a solid soft skills foundation, those who could tell a story, and untimely the ones who had the ability to understand the greater business impact. If you had those three traits they knew they could train you in Oracle’s Value Based Selling techniques during their 16-week onboarding course. To put it into perspective, my onboarding class consisted of 15 new hires ranging from veterans to 25 year solution engineering veterans. At the end of the onboarding program 2 of the top 3 graduates were veterans.
As you know, we emphasize talent development here. How have you been able to grow your skills since starting here?
DW: I’ve been able to polish my soft skills, become Eloqua Master Certified, and expand my understanding of the many industries Oracle supports. But it goes beyond just learning new skills, as I’ve also learned how to better explain how my military experience isn’t so different from sales and marketing. It just took working within the industry to see it.
What is something you would tell fellow service members and Veterans looking to transition into the private sector?
DW: In the private sector only a few things really matter. Can you help increase revenue, decrease costs, or minimize risks? Strive to make those your priorities.
Succeed with Oracle
Are you a veteran of the armed forces? We have internship and career programs where you can apply your skills in the private sector. Learn how you can make a difference by visiting our veterans career website.
If you’re a company looking to hire veterans, we can help you too. Learn more about our Oracle HCM Cloud solution, which can help with the recruiting, onboarding, and talent management process.